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Tips for a fit horse during the winter

Posted in : on 15-11-2021

Winter is coming! You notice it all around you. Temperatures drop, and the wind seems extra cold and sometimes you could even notice snow. It might be a challenge to go to your horse. Maybe you train less or you don’t train with your horse at all. We give you four tips to keep your horse flexible and fit during winter!

Tip 1: Wandering

Walking can ben ice when the paddock is too wet or too hard. Your horse can lose it’s energy and won’t get bored, stressed or bite. Walking is great for the endurance of your horse. It also stimulates the digestion and blood circulation. When your horse doesn’t move a lot it decreases the digestion. In this case you can give brewer’s yeast or linseedoil,

Tip 2: Yoga

Yoga exercises with your horse? Yes, it exists! Yoga has been around for centuries and brings the body and mind into balance. Yoga increases awareness, reduces anxiety and gives more self-confidence. You often have a fixed routine with your horse of grooming, saddlery, riding and training. By doing Yoga exercises, together with your horse, you can break this routine. It creates a bond and makes contact more playful. In addition, the exercises are good for the muscles and keep them flexible. On Youtube you will find all kinds of instructional videos or ask your instructor or osteopath for tips. Always guide your horse calmly in a yoga stretch and do not use pressure. Never force your horse or give up on yourself. It should be fun and enjoyable for your horse and for you!

Tip 3: Massage

A horse massage helps to keep your horse healthy and can be compared to a massage for humans. In the winter, your horse may suffer more from discomfort such as muscle stiffness, stable legs or blockages in the muscles. In addition to sufficient exercise, a massage can help your horse to keep the muscles flexible and loose. Giving a massage increases the blood circulation in the muscles. This allows sufficient oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to the muscle. Waste products will also be able to leave the muscle better. In addition, you can also support your horse’s muscles during the winter with a supplement such as magnesium citrate. Magnesium plays an important role in a horse’s body. It is essential for good bone density as it plays a major role in the central nervous system and helps maintain healthy muscle function. If your horse has just had a massage, give your horse cleavers as extra support. This contributes to the removal of waste products that are released after a massage.

Tip 4: working on hand

You can also train well with your horse when standing still and when walking. In short, working on  hand comes down to ‘letting your horse perform riding exercises, without rider weight on the back’. So you walk next to your horse and can work on balance, relaxation, communication and cooperation. A lesson in working by hand can be just as intensive as a lesson under saddle. In addition, you can see what your horse is doing with its mouth, body and legs. With this you increase your knowledge, understanding, skills and rider feeling.

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