It’s a manager’s greatest fear to have the horse’s health decline and not be able to stop it. For anyone dealing with this, know that you are not alone, and you are not trapped. With an organized process, plenty of humility, and a focused effort, you can deal with the mysteriously unhealthy horse.
Between poor footing, unsavory temperatures, and minimal daylight hours, the Winter season means lots of down time and a low-key work load for many horses. However, with Spring fast approaching, these horses are getting ready to start back to a routine exercise program. SO… “How should I recondition my horse?”
Overcoming anxiety, stagnancy, and discontentment in our horsemanship really boils down to one thing– Humility.
So often horse farms run into the management dilemma of having too many horses with too few acres. Here are some tips and ideas on optimizing horse management on limited acreage!
As horsemen, we understand that no two horses fit in the same mold. Each horse has his own presence, mental capacity, and physical capability. This simple fact is extraordinarily important to remember when we deal with those who test our horsemanship. So often our patience and abilities are tested when a horse won’t cooperate. Maybe he is heavy on the aids, rushes, refuses fences, spooks, or is rude on the ground. The key to managing these horses is not necessarily to correct the behavior, but to understand why the horse exhibits it.
As an advocate for the horse, there has always been a fire in my soul for horses who live in situational vulnerability. Looking at horses who end up in places of last resort (neglectful homes, abuse situations, kill pins, rescues if they’re lucky) we see a pattern of inserviceability. Whether it be from unsoundness, sickness, age, or behavioral issues, often times the life of a horse who does not bring money, pleasure, or convenience to a person becomes vulnerable.
I find it helpful to have a baseline for each horse’s health. In order to keep track of this, I’ve created a standard scale to rate and note on a horse’s health and wellness. Updating this form on a monthly basis, I can keep track of all the horses under management with with information specific to their individual development and needs.
It’s time for Dazzle & I to head to our home farm in Georgia for the summer, and with this we have an 8-hour trailer ride. As I’m preparing her for the trip, I realize how much we can do for our horses’ wellness by investing in a healthy, comfortable trailer experience. Over the past few years, I’ve come to follow a sort of check list to ensure my horses’ optimum wellness during and after trailering. I’m so excited to talk about my
Top 5 practices in promoting a well horse on a long road trip!
The most addicting aspect of working with horses may be the unique relationships we develop. In its rawest form, training a horse is an ever-growing relationship where two individuals build a unified language. With this language, horse and rider can understand each other, educate each other, and make or break the relationship itself.
By adjusting the training program and devoting a personal approach to a professional horse’s life, we cultivate a product that will be serviceable for years to come.