Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How to Care for a Horse after Exercise or Sport

Horses need care and most specifically they need this attention after racing, sport or exercise. Athletic horses can be challenged and in the same way human sports people need care, horses do too.

Caring for your horse after it has pushed itself will comfort it, relax it and also help to increase its lifespan. Relaxing the animal is important for its health and wellbeing and a good horseman need to do this. So, let’s take a look at some tips to prevent injury, help relax your horse and make it comfortable in 20 minutes or less.

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Get Off the Horse

From the moment you get off the horse you should loosen the firth or the cinch on the horse. The horse should then be checked for saddle or girth sores and if there are any then these will need to be treated.

Next, allow the horse to cool down. This is especially important if the horse has been made to work hard. This should be done slowly until the horses’ respiration and pulse has relaxed and is back down to normal levels. You’ll know your own horse, however in most cases once the horse has stopped puffing and being out of breath it is relatively cool. Treating it beforehand can cause problems with the horse.

Run the Stirrups

If your horse is wearing an English saddle then you will need to run the stirrups up the leather. These tend to hang from a long loop – so draw them up the back strap of the loop and the grab the bottom of the loop and pull it through the stirrup.

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Work Safely

Your horse needs to be groomed and you can do this by untacking and placing the horse in its halter. Be sure never to tie a horse – it’s a bad idea. Next you need to undo the cinch or girth and walk around the horse to the off side and place the cinch and girth over the saddle. You can take these off fully too.

Now take the saddle off from either side – try and beware of the back of the horse as this can cause a problem if you hit it. So, lift in nice and high. Then remove the pad or blanket and see if it needs laundering. Be sure to follow instructions regards cleaning it. Also, beware that not cleaning it regularly can cause problems for the horse, particularly in old age – something not all mature horse insurance policies will cover you for.

Check Hooves

Check the hooves are clean before riding and check to see your horse hasn’t picked up any rocks in the hooves area.

Finally, lead the horse into the stall or the pasture and take off the halters if you wish beforehand. It’s often best to leave the horse an hour or so before feeding it.

Follow these tips and you can be sure your horse is in good condition and that there are no issues relating to it and its wellbeing.

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