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4 Exercises to Help Calm a Hot Horse

If there is anyone that can talk about hot horses on a hack, it is me.  My horse Shandy was a complete nightmare on hacks.  He would attem...

Monday, 5 July 2021

Why Your Horse Hates Being in a Stable...and What to do About it

Sometimes we cannot help but to stable our horses.  Whether it's due to illness/injury or no turnout, we still need to keep our horse's healthy.  Here are some tips I've found that keep horses happy and healthy while stabled.  

A quick note before we start -


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Boredom Breaking


Stabled horses tend to get very bored.  So, it is extremely important for their mental health to keep them occupied.  

Your horse should have access to toys, licks and different ways to eat forage.  A basic setup would include the following items.  


  • 2/3 Types of Haynets 



  • A Swinging Horse Lick 






  • Stable Toys 






  • Carrot Haynet 

I have found that having these extras really helps to avoid boredom.  I have noticed that stabled horses tend to get more grumpy, bad-mannered and pushy.  Keeping them mentally stimulated really helps with this.  





Keeping Him Moving


A big problem that stabled horses suffer with is leg problems.  Between stocking up and getting stiff, it's definitely not good for the horse's health.  

Unless your horse is on strict box rest, you should make sure he is moving around as much as possible.  We use the schools and round pens as a turnout in the winter.   There are also small turnout pens to use.  Basically, your horse needs turnout, even if you don't have access to a field.  




If all else fails, hand walking and playing in the school will work.  Another great thing you can do is use a horse walker a few times a day.  Although, there are hard to come by.  



Care Before Riding


When your horse is standing in a stable for a long period of time, he needs extra care before riding.  You first need to hand walk (or use a horse walker) for at least 20mins.  This will loosen your horse's muscles and warm him up.  

Next, you need to stretch him.  Follow the steps in this 'Horse Stretches' Post to fully stretch him.  

Once you have gotten on your horse, it is important to work him long and low for the first half of your ride.  Not only does this allow the horse to stretch over his back and neck but it is also really good for building muscle.  





Care After Ride


When you get off of your horse, you should immediately stretch him again.  This is because you need to do it before his muscles cool down.  

Next, hand walk your horse for at least 10 minutes.  Then you can take him back to the barn for the last steps.  

At the barn, the first thing you need to do is give your horse cold therapy.  This could be either cold hosing or *some ice boots.  This will cool your horse's legs which can help to avoid any damage to muscles and tendons.  Leave these on for at least 20 minutes.  

I then like to use an electric massager to relax his back.  you can use a handheld one or *full back pad that you can leave on.  

Lastly, if your horse stocks up, it is important to use stable wraps when you take off the ice boots.  This will avoid swelling and can also protect his legs.  Only leave on for 12 Hours.  





*disclaimer* 

I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  

TheRider'sReins 





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