Wherever you are in the world, chances are you’re in the middle of winter. We’ve been dealing with days and days of cold rain, meaning that our ponies are rambunctious and in desperate need to stretch their legs and run. If you’re running into the same problem, what do you do to help solve their need?
We’ve discovered some tricks in the past few days. Continue reading if you want to discover some new ideas!
- Work on ground manners. Not only does this make your horse think more, but training ground manners has them moving their feet in other directions than walking forward. Their whole body is moving, similar to when you’re riding. Try practicing halting, moving their hind end away from you, turn on the forehand, and backing up!
- Have them do some carrot stretches! If your horse is holed up in their stall while it’s raining, they are probably stiff. Get them to loosen up and use their brain by stretch their neck and legs. Your vet/chiropractor can show you specific moves for your horse, but having them bend their next in each direction will surely help!
- Walk figure 8’s and practice jogging beside your horse. You will, at some point, need to trot your horse on the ground for a vet. Why not practice while the arena is unrideable? This is good for a horse that doesn’t start or stop on command when you’re on foot next to them.
- Grazing. If the grain isn’t to soggy and you have grass, let them relax, stretch down, and much on some grass. This always levels their head, because grazing and eating is a calming exercise for them. The important thing to remember is to make sure they don’t eat a ton, since the grass composition is changing during the winter and spring, and we don’t want them to be laminitic!
Well, there you have it! These are some of the exercises we do with our horses when the weather isn’t ideal. We’re lucky in California that our winters are mild, but it can still be hard on our horses. Thankfully, our property also has hills and jog tracks we can use when the arena isn’t rideable. What do you do when you can’t ride in the bad weather?