Just as with humans, it is essential for your horse to get plenty of regular exercise. Not only will this help your horse to maintain a healthy body weight, but it will also help your horse to maintain and build muscle while also improving circulation. Even just finding ways to exercise your horse for 20 minutes twice per week will go a long way toward increasing its stamina and holding its muscle tone. Here is a look at a few ways that you can exercise your horse:
- Turnout: Simply turning your horse out to pasture for at least half of the day will help it to get the exercise that it needs, as it can run around and play with other horses if you have more than one.
- Riding: Riding your horse is the most fun way to ensure it gets the exercise that it needs. When you ride, you have the ability to control and maintain the horse’s speed, which will further help to build its stamina and muscle.
- Lunging: Lunging involves working your horse in a circle either on a lunge line or with a rope in a round pen. Lunging is a great alternative if you are not able to ride. It can also be a great way to burn some of its energy before you go on your ride.
Other options include hand-walking, just as you would take a dog out for a walk, and ponying, which is a process where you ride one horse and lead the other. This is a great option for exercising two horses at one time!
Did you know that keeping your horse properly hydrated during the summer months may require more than simply providing fresh, clean water at a cool temperature? In fact, you may need to provide your horse with some additional supplements and assistance in order to ensure it stays hydrated during the hot Arizona summer. Here are a couple additional steps that you may need to take in order to keep your horse properly hydrated this summer.
Your horse’s number one way to stay cool in the summer is to sweat. Unfortunately, sweating results in the loss of important electrolytes such as potassium, sodium and chloride. If your horse loses too many electrolytes, it may develop muscle cramps, colic and fatigue. By adding supplements to your horse’s feed or water, or by administering pastes to the back of the tongue, you can help your horse recover from the loss of these electrolytes.
Offering salt for your horse will also help with preventing dehydration. Your horse’s diet should include at least 1 to 2 ounces of salt each day. If your horse is sweating a great deal, more salt may be necessary. Providing a salt block is the most common way to help get more salt into your horse’s diet. Most experts recommend starting with a plain white salt block rather than a mineralized salt block, as the minerals often have a bitter taste that some horses do not enjoy. You may also consider offering loose salt. Your horse will limit its consumption to the amount that it needs.
The Last Ride Arizona provides great information on Exercising Your Horse in the Summer
With summer just around the corner, it is a good idea to keep in mind how to determine if it is too hot for your horse to engage in activities that may be physically exhausting. To that end, here are some tips to keep in mind: Read More