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Friday, September 13, 2019

Keep Your Horse Healthy and Happy at Home

There are so many advantages to having your horse live at home that sometimes you overlook the conveniences of a barn setting. Things like the companionship of other horses and opportunities for regular exercise take extra effort to ensure at home. Luckily there are lots of simple and effective ways to keep your horse happy and healthy even if you don't have years of training experience.

Make Sure They Exercise

Riding them is one of the best ways to keep your horse in shape. If the terrain allows, take them over hills to help build muscle and endurance. Practicing over jumps can also challenge their fitness, and many horses find it fun. You can find used horse jumps that will help control costs in setting up a jump course.

Work Indoors In Bad Weather

You don't need a huge arena to keep your horse in tip-top shape. If you aren't able to set up an exercise course, or if the weather simply keeps your horse indoors, you can still perform obedience training and practice groundwork and technical maneuvers in spaces as small as a barn aisle. Try putting a piece of plywood down in the aisle to simulate crossing a bridge. This is great for keeping horses tuned in to obstacles they may face in a show ring or even on the trail. Have your horse practice backing up, both in open areas and into tight spaces like stalls and chutes.

Keep Them Safe

It's easy to get excited about bringing your horse home. In that excitement, you may not have fully thought your barn and arena setup or training routine through. The first thing you need to do when you bring horses home is to ensure they are safe. Make sure that barn and arena footing is suitable for any weather conditions, especially if you live somewhere that is prone to ice. Check your fencing regularly for any repairs that might be needed or damage from weather or animals.

Enjoy Their Companionship

There is a lot of work to keeping horses at home. Take some time out of chores and training to simply enjoy the companionship of your horses. Chances are that's at least partly why you brought them home.

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