Just like people, horses also need to exercise to stay healthy. This is even more important if a horse is being kept in a small, confined area with very little room to move around. Add to that if he’s always tethered to something. Just imagine what very little exercise it gets every single day.
The best way to ensure the health of your horse is to exercise him as frequently as possible. This will help improve his strength, agility, speed, and confidence.
To help you get started, here are the top five exercises that your horse needs.
1. Always warm up first.
A proper warm up will increase the blood and oxygen supply to both the muscles and the brain. This is important as it will decrease the stress on the tendons and ligaments. It will also make your horse feel more relaxed during the whole workout. This is simply achieved by walking your horse with a rein. Do this on a slow pace for at least 15 minutes then he will be ready for the rest of his exercises. And also, the older the horse, the more he will benefit from more minutes of warming up.
2. Let your horse gallop.
This is simply to let your horse run very fast. This will increase his heart beat, which is great for both his heart and lungs. But as mentioned above, don’t immediately let your horse run. You should warm him up a bit through walking or trotting then let him gallop for a mile or two. Then it is also vital that after the run, you let him cool down by walking him for another mile or two.
3. Workout in the water.
Now this type of exercise will have the least impact on the legs and joints. However, not all horses love to wallow in the water so you should first gauge if he would be amiable to it. If you’re unsure of your horse’s temperament, you can start by walking him over puddles then gradually move on to shallow waters.
4. Do some strength exercises.
For your horse to perform splendidly especially in a competition, he needs to do some strength training exercises. It will help build his muscles and improve his speed. This can be done through trotting, jumping, riding up a hill, or simply going out for a ride every day. There is no need for any complicated routines or exercise equipment, just make sure that if you are going out for a ride that you are using safe saddles whether it’s an all-purpose one or for show.
5. Simply let him graze.
If you do not have the time to exercise your horse, you can just let him go out in the open field and graze. Even better if there are other horses he can run with as this will also improve his social skills. There are also some objects you can give him while he’s grazing like a ball that he can kick around should he feel a bit playful.
Now get those legs moving!
Keeping your horse healthy is your responsibility so always allot some time to make sure that he is getting enough exercise. You don’t really have to be a skilled trainer to do all of the tips mentioned above. Even simpler, just riding your horse as frequently as possible is often enough to keep him healthy and happy.
Tori Leumas on January 23, 2016:
Great hub! I have always loved horses!
MG Singh emge from Singapore on January 20, 2016:
Wonderful, I love riding horses from the days of my Academy. Voted up