Keeping your horse in full exercise, or indeed any type of exercise/rehab can be super challenging over the winter months! So much is against us and our horses!
But if you do either want to or need to keep your horse in exercise over the winter, it takes some commitment, motivation and planning, especially on the worst weather days!
You might not be able to do everything you do the rest of the year when the weather is better BUT there is still a lot you can do with your horse, and...
Winter exercise can be quite a task, the weather and darkness being against us in addition to whatever our horses issues may be. And keeping the arthritic horse exercised during the cold, dark winter months can be quite complicated.
Arthritic joints don't like the cold, damp conditions, and can stiffen up really easily and quickly. I commonly see horses with an arthritis diagnosis having 'flare ups' as soon as the weather starts to really change and get cold and damp.
Part 2 in this Winter Exercise Series, is the benefits of using poles with our horses.
Polework is quite often suggested for horses exercise programmes, but do you really know the reasons why, and what we can achieve by adding poles to our horses plan?
I often recommend walk poles, and especially in the winter this can be a helpful type of exercise...it's low impact so reduced injury risk, but we can actually help the internal joint fluid and structures by increasing the movement...
As we are at the beginning of winter here in the UK, I wanted to write a Winter Exercise series, based on my experience of rehabbing horses in the winter...not easy, but needs to be done!
Unfortunately with the best will in the world, a lot of horses suffer with less movement in the winter months, due to stabling, the weather, etc. And less movement is unhealthy for their body and systems.
Movement is natural and key to horses maintaining body strength, core strength, muscle tone,...
It’s mid January and this weeks tips are all about practical ways to manage your horse when the weather and conditions are against you, to keep their systems functioning well.
Last weeks blog was on Winter Exercise - ways to keep your horse moving, and the week before that was Winter Management for horses with arthritis, again some practical management tips for you.
Tip 1: Snow / stabled days
There are SO many factors to consider when it’s been snowing - safety, enough food...
The winter months in the UK sure can be difficult for horse owners! Snow, ice, frozen ground, wind, rain, mud, short days, all of this makes life hard to keep our horses in exercise!
But it's really important for us to keep them moving as best we can, and as safely as we can, for so many reasons, and especially if they are stabled for long periods. AND if you're dealing with Kissing Spine, or Arthritis, even more reason to maintain your exercise regime for your horse, in an adapted...
Arthritis Management in the Winter
The winter months in the UK can be difficult for horse care and management, and in particular horses with arthritis can struggle over the winter with joint pain and stiffness.
At this time of year I do see a lot of horses having ‘flare ups’ and needing veterinary attention to deal with pain levels and lameness.
I work with horses owners post diagnosis and vet treatment, to help make plans to manage the horse on an ongoing basis, and adapt their...
Motivation with your horse in the winter!
This weeks Tips are all about ways to keep motivated and stay on track with your horse in the final part of winter, by just adding some small activities, so that we get ourselves and our horses ahead for springtime (which is just around the corner!!).
It takes 6-8 weeks to build muscle, so if you were to start exercising your horse now, you would be seeing the results in early April - springtime! So now is the time to start...
This weeks Tips are around Arthritis / Senior horses and how to manage them in the winter months when it’s cold, wet, slippy, icy, snowy etc!
Senior horses and/or horses with stiff joints need some special care in the winter as the cold wet weather really does affect their comfort levels.
The good news is that there is a lot we can do to help our friends to keep them comfortable and able to exercise!
Tip 1: Medication: pain relief and joint supplements
Your senior / arthritic horse...
The winter months really do throw up some difficulties with keeping our horses in exercise...rain, wind, snow, ice, frozen ground..and maybe all at the same time!
It's important to keep our horses moving as best we can, to stimulate their digestive system (see last weeks posts!), increase blood flow around the body, and maintain muscle tone and core strength. As well as deal with boredom if stabled!
So here are a few Tips to help...
Brainstorm some ideas for...
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