Just like people, horses need exercise, too. Regular exercise helps to avoid a myriad of health complications and keeps your equine friend in tip-top shape. Here are a few ways that you can help improve your horse’s fitness.
Go for More Rides
Whether you choose to ride in the ring or hit the trail, more rides provide more exercise. Riding gives you a perfect opportunity to monitor your horse’s gait, exercise time, and more. Practice different speeds and going over equine jumps. As with any exercise, make sure that you properly warm up your horse and cool him down when you’re done to prevent injury.
Groundwork involves any exercise where you’re on the ground instead of on your horse. A popular option is lunging, although you can incorporate other forms of groundwork as well. These exercises engage his mind as well as his muscles, keeping him fit and sharp.
Pony Him Around
Ponying a horse is when you lead a horse while riding another one. It’s a great way to exercise multiple horses at once. It also helps to get younger horses comfortable with an exercise routine, riding tack, and new locations.
Run Through Water
Have you ever tried walking or running in the water? It really works the leg muscles. It’ll do the same for a horse, too. If where you practice has a water feature, utilize it to build up your horse’s strength. If not, find a nearby stream or pond (make sure that it’s safe first) and bring your horse in. If he’s comfortable, you may be able to ride him through. You can also wade next to him and get a good leg workout at the same time.
Regular exercise is vital for the health of your horse. It can also keep him from getting bored and strengthen your bond. Mixing up the exercises can keep things interesting, but make sure that you keep your horse’s needs in mind.