During the peak of the summer riding season, your horse’s daily exercise routine will change. The horse requires longer exercise sessions overall and, more importantly, a diverse range of conditioning challenges throughout the week to prepare for this season. Both short and long sessions are beneficial to help the horse achieve the necessary fitness gains. Continue reading for a few tips on how to prepare your horse. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
Prepare Your Horse Gradually
To prepare your horse for the season, you can gradually increase their daily exercise sessions. After consistently training the horse four or more days a week with a progressive buildup of low to moderate speeds and intensity for six weeks, most of the exercise sessions should be around 40 to 50 minutes long. Also shorter days, such as groundwork or easy hack days, can be included in the weekly schedule. However, if they begin to occupy a significant portion of the schedule, it can lead to detraining. Try to find a balance that works best with your horse.
After this stage, the duration and intensity of the horse’s conditioning and workouts become more tailored and intricate based on the desired objectives. Typically, the horse’s fitness is enhanced over a four- to six-day work week. This includes sessions lasting between 40 to 50 minutes. Try incorporating one or both of the following: a high-intensity workout and/or an extended low-intensity session. For more specific workout plans, talk to your trainer or vet. If you own more than one horse, then your exercise routines will differ from horse to horse.
The fitness goals for your horse are very important. To prevent poor health in horses, it’s important to determine the duration of exercise needed to maintain their bodily systems. While the minimum amount of activity varies depending on age, all horses depend on a basic level of fitness to achieve certain health benefits. These benefits include promoting gastrointestinal motility, clearing secretions from the lungs, and boosting immunity to diseases. They also include lymphatic system function, hoof growth, regulating body temperature, and reducing stiffness and mental stress caused by domestication. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
Horse Fitness Goals Maintenance
Twenty-five to thirty minutes of exercise at 40% of the horse’s maximum heart rate will maintain health benefits. Also, this corresponds to a heart rate of approximately 90 beats per minute, which is similar to a brisk walk or easy jog. Engaging in this level of activity for at least four days per week helps sustain the adaptations in the bodily systems mentioned earlier and prepares the horse’s body for more intense conditioning programs in the future. The following is an example of what your horse’s routine should resemble. Remember, consult your horse vet or trainer before changing your horse’s routine.
- Sunday—Resting period
- Monday— 25 minutes of walking
- Tuesday— 20 minutes of lunging
- Wednesday— 30 minutes of riding
- Thursday— Resting period
- Friday— 25 minutes of riding
- Saturday— 25 minutes of groundwork exercises
You don’t have to be a horse owner to know that horses are naturally covered in hair. Though this hair is usually short, some breeds have more than others. Many new horse owners ask themselves the question: should I clip my horse? Continue reading for an answer from the experts. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
Answering The Question: Should I Clip My Horse?
There are many reasons why you need to clip your horse’s hair. The most obvious reason is due to the weather. Even though hair insulates horses from the cold, if you work your horse during the winter you should actually cut their hair short. This allows body heat to escape, which prevents the horse from becoming too sweaty. If not properly cooled down after a ride, your horse will sweat and become chilled. A horse that becomes chilled may be more prone to colic, colds, and other serious health conditions.
In general, grooming a horse with thick hair is more strenuous. Clipping your horse can significantly cut down on time spent grooming. Aside from grooming, clipping your horse can have health benefits as well. For example, during the Colorado summer when it rains, trails often get muddy. Keeping the legs and fetlocks clipped short can help prevent conditions such as scratches and mud fever since the mud will have no hair to cling onto. The last thing you want is your horse to have dirty and matted hair. Clipping dried mud clumps is very hard and often results in you nicking your horse with the clippers. Removing the hair before this can occur is completely worth it!
Any horse owner will tell you how important it is to always keep fresh hay on your farm. Baling your own hay is a great way to save money. It may sound complicated, but it easier than you might think. All you’ll need is a wooden hand hay baler, twine, and of course hay. Continue reading for more details. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
Baling Your Own Hay Tutorial
Don’t have a wooden hand hay baler? You can actually build one yourself. The most common design can even be found online. Once you have your baler, cut your twine approximately two and a half times the height of the baler. Loop your twin according to the baler instructions. Make sure to tie off the loose twine before putting in your hay. Now fill the baler with as much hay as you can pack in it. Depress the plunger on the baler, making sure to keep your fingers out of harm’s way.
You might have to depress the plunger a few times to get it fully compacted. To tie it off, lift the plunger and put in the open position. Depending on which hand baler you have, the method you tie the twine will differ. Therefore, make sure you follow the directions closely. Once the twine is tied tightly, you’re ready to release the bale and start over. Your homemade bale won’t be the typical giant circle that commercial balers produce. However, you’ll have neat and compact rectangles that will store easily in your shed or barn.
Equine horse pain can be a serious problem when left untreated. When your horse exhibits signs of back pain, let your vet know as soon as possible. Diagnosing the root of the problem is key to preventing more serious injuries. Continue reading to learn more about how equine horse pain is treated. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
Easing Equine Back Pain
Horse back pain could be due to a chronic injury or lameness. In many cases chiropractic care can help correct abnormal proprioception. This is the body’s unconscious perception of position and movement, which blocks nerve pathways. Chiropractic sessions prevent back soreness and chances for more injuries to occur. Another treatment for horse back pain is acupuncture. This procedure triggers endorphin release and sends calming signals to the nervous system. It also dissipates spasms, and brings blood flow to stimulate healing.
Have you ever heard of shock wave therapy? This procedure sends a pressure wave into the tissue. It increases the blood flow and new blood vessel formation, essentially helping the body heal from the inside. It also breaks up the scarring of tight, shortened muscles. With proper management and therapy, most horses with back pain can be rehabbed back. Having a good relationship with your horse clinician will make the process go smoothly. Make sure you exhaust any questions that you have about procedures before they take place.
Did you know that horses are very proficient sweaters? It’s true! This means that they are some of the most efficient animals at cooling themselves. However, they are not immune to the sun or heat stress. Though Colorado seems colder weather than many other states, it still gets very hot in the summer. Continue reading for some horse safety tips for the summer heat. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
Horse Safety Tips
On hot summer days, make sure your horse has access to fresh water. Before exercising your horse, calculate the horse heat index. To do this add the day’s temperature in Fahrenheit plus the percentage of humidity. For example, if it’s 75 degrees outside with 65 percent humidity, the horse heat index is 140. A horse heat index in the 120 to 150 range is okay to exercise in. Anything above 180 will increase your horse’s chance of heat stress.
During high horse heat indexes, make sure they get break frequently. How much your horse can exercise during high temperatures depends on many factors. If the horse is obese, thin, or has not been in regular work, begin with slow short workouts and very gradually increase time and intensity to allow the horse to acclimate. Many horse owners will avoid the hottest part of the day by riding in the early morning or later evening. Riding trails with plenty of tree shade or covered riding arenas are preferred.
Did you know that the overconsumption of pasture grass can cause obesity in horses. It has been reported that excessive pasture intake accounts for nearly 50 percent of all reported cases of laminitis. Laminitis is the inflammation of sensitive layers of tissue inside the hoof in horses. Continue reading to find out how you can help reduce risk with a horse grazing muzzle. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
A Horse Grazing Muzzle
Grazing muzzles are great because they reduce your horses bite size. They also restrict access to the entire grass leaf. Horses with grazing muzzles on can only really eat the top of the grass leaf. This is where the concentrations of sugar tend to be the lowest. Muzzled horses tend to graze larger areas and for longer periods. Therefore owners do not have to make big changes to their pastures. In addition, your horse will get more exercise as it has to move around more to graze. Weight loss will also reduce your horse’s risk of certain diseases.
Though sometimes clinicians ask owners to totally restrict their horse’s grazing, this is not always necessary. Grazing muzzles are a great alternative to total grazing restrictions. For example, horses predisposed to a metabolic disorder can still benefit from restricted grazing. So how do you know if your horse could benefit from a grazing muzzle? First determine the horse’s laminitis risk. Of course there are other factors for horse laminitis to consider like breed, age, and sex. Ponies are actually more commonly affected by laminitis than full sized horses. Ponies graze too much when given unrestricted access to pastures. Therefore, many pony owners in Colorado also own grazing muzzles to encourage weight loss.
Have you ever heard of hydrotherapy. It includes swimming, underwater treadmill work, and other rehabilitation techniques. Hydrotherapy for horses works in the same way that it works for humans and other animals. Continue reading for how this type of treatment works for equines. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
How Hydrotherapy for Horses Works
Exercising in water reduces physical loads and concussive forces on the body. This is important when it comes to rehabilitating from an injury. Muscle injuries occur with repetition on forces on the body. The buoyancy from water limits these forces. The science is simple. Water is more dense than air. Horses work harder at slower speeds during aquatic exercise. This leads to improved cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle development. There are a plethora of benefits to hydrotherapy for horses.
Weight reduction promotes greater range of motion and strengthens flexibility. This is the best benefit of all because it reduces the risk of future injury. With every treatment method, there are some shortcomings. Hydrotherapy requires horses to acclimate to aquatic conditions. This takes more time than other rehabilitation methods. However, hydrotherapy has been proven to help. In this case, the benefits often outshine the drawbacks. For more information on hydrotherapy for horses, talk to your equine veterinarian today. There may be this type of therapy center fit for horses near you.
Did you know that horses can get dry skin resulting in a poor quality coat? This can certainly happen in Colorado due to our low humidity and dryer climate. The best thing horse owners can do for equine skin care is to make sure the horse is eating the proper nutrients. Continue reading for more information about what nutrients your horse needs for defending against dry skin. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
Equine Skin Care Treatment
Before we get into the nutritional aspect of this topic, here’s a good tip. If your horse has dry skin, take a look at the shampoo you’re using. Also, shampooing your horse too frequently removes naturally occurring oils. Use a simple shampoo with fewer detergents and alcohols. Biotin helps horses’ skin and coat. Biotin is tricky because there are no guidelines for how much to use. However, research suggests twenty to thirty milligrams aid in hoof quality, so we can assume similar levels help with the skin and coat.
Zinc also helps with skin quality. Epithelial cells that make up skin require zinc for reproduction, maintenance, and repair. Zinc is found in forages, but it still might not be enough. In this case, use a supplement to make sure they’re getting everything they need. Copper is also very important for equine skin care. Copper maintains the structural integrity of the cross-linkages that provide strength to collagen in the skin. In conclusion, check with your vet to see if biotin, zinc, and copper supplements are right for your horse.
Taking care of your pony may be more difficult than you thought. Healthy adult horses typically eat up to 2.5% of their body weight per day when foraging on a pasture. However, many ponies can eat up to 4% of their body weight or more when foraging. Therefore, you must monitor your ponies eating habits more closely. Continue reading for some tips on taking care of your pony. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
Tips on Taking Care of Your Pony
Ponies are very cute and great for kids, but they have a reputation for misbehaving. Depending on where you got your pony and how much training it received beforehand, this behavior is manageable. If your horse is particularly bad, you’ll want to get them training as quick as possible. Even in small equids, bad manors can lead to real safety hazards. It goes without saying that kids love ponies. A pony that snaps, bites, kicks, etc., isn’t cute but is also a danger to small children. So be careful when they’re around untrained ponies. Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re not a threat.
Like many animals, bad behavior could be an acting out due to health problem. Therefore, you should rule out sources of pain that might cause bad behaviors. After a check up from the vet, then you can assume it’s just a learned behavior. There are ways to correct bad behavior that owners at any skill level can do. Using techniques such as well-timed positive and negative reinforcement, you can teach you pony good behaviors just like the professionals can with large horses.