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New Year’s Resolutions for Your Horse!

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The holidays are here and before we know it, we will be ringing in 2020! While you are working on New Year’s resolutions for yourself, I encourage you to make a few for your horse as well. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Commit to care – Wellness care is important for all of us, horses and owners alike. Make sure your horse is examined by a veterinarian at least once per year. Horses older than 15 years of age should be examined every six months. Husbandry, dental care, vaccination, and screening for common problems should part of the visit. Routine trimming and shoeing by a farrier are also important components of wellness care that should not be skipped.
  • Shed some extra weight – If we take an honest look at our horses, most could use to lose a few pounds. Use your wellness visit with your veterinarian to discuss healthy weight loss strategies. Pay attention to the macronutrient ratios in the hay and grain that you feed. Be cognizant of the calories your horse is getting from treats. Consider how much exercise your horse is getting. Perhaps adding just one more hack or lounging session per week could make a big difference.
  • Improve exercise habits – Whether your horse is a high performance competitor or a backyard pleasure horse, it is likely there is room for improvement in the exercise routine. Maybe it is as simple as adding some stretches to your training routine, or one more hack per week. Perhaps increasing the intensity of training for 10 extra minutes per week is appropriate. For other horses, swimming or work in an underwater treadmill will be helpful in achieving next level fitness. As with any change in exercise routine, make changes gradually, and reassess progress frequently.
  • Try new things – Many riders tend to stick with one discipline, usually the one they know and love. Use the New Year to expand your horizons and try something different with your horse. Maybe your barrel horse always wanted to be a shooting horse. Perhaps your hunter could use a break from jumping, and thrive as a dressage horse. Even if your horse loves her job, a bit of cross training never hurt anyone. It can expand perspectives, add new skills, and often make horses better at their current job.
  • Save more money – The peril of nearly every horse owner is not having enough money for their horse. Shows, veterinarians, stabling, feed, tack, and supplies are all expenses that accompany horse ownership. Then the unexpected happens. Horses get injured or sick, the trailer breaks, equipment fails. The only thing that is guaranteed is that surprises will happen. Having extra money put away for your horse and related needs will give you greater peace of mind and ease some the financial stress associated with having a horse.

With any luck, you found some inspiration in these New Year’s resolutions. What are you going to commit to in 2020? We would love to hear about and see your progress!

The Barn Blog

New Year Resolutions