A relationship between a person and their horse is unique. A horse is a companion, no matter if you ride him for leisure or to win a competition. One of the most important things a horse rider can do to make sure that your horse stays healthy is maintaining it well after riding.
Riding and any other form of exercise, for that matter, is strenuous for horses, so proper steps must be taken to establish a post-riding routine for them.
So, here are some tips for preserving the health of your horse and ensuring its longevity:
Walk for 10 to 15 minutes
You mustn’t stop your horse suddenly after riding and instead walk it around for 10 to 15 minutes. If your horse is still panting heavily, walk it around for another 5 minutes. Walking allows the horses’ body to recover from a period of arduous exercise. It also has several health benefits for your horse, such as improved blood circulation and relaxed muscles.
Horses lose a lot of water by sweating, especially during a riding session. So, make sure your horse stays hydrated by offering water in a bucket. You should let your horse drink as much water as it wants, so if it finishes the first bucket, offer it another. Horses are different from humans, and having water immediately after riding is safe for them.
Rub it down with cold water
After the horse finishes the water, take a hose or bucket and spray cold water on it. Contrary to claims that cold water can cause flounder or colic, spraying cold water bears no side effects. You can also choose to sponge its entire body. You should make sure, however, that the water is not too cold. Installing a heater to provide water for the horse is a good idea if your area faces harsh winter and snowfall.
Invest in a horse fleece rug
A horse fleece rug is an excellent investment to make for your horse. Sweat production rapidly cools down the body, and this can cause sudden temperature changes, even in humans. By investing in a horse fleece rug, you can ensure that your horse cools down slowly. It absorbs the sweat of the horse, thereby preventing sudden temperature fluctuations. One must invest in rugs made from breathable fabric as other fabric can cause suffocation.
Groom, your horse
Grooming allows you to remove dirt and check for injuries and wounds on your horse. It also increases blood circulation. However, grooming is useful not only for the health of your horse but also to strengthen the bond that you share with it. The horse becomes familiar with your presence as you groom it. Groom your horse both before and after riding it. Grooming products are readily available at any horse-riding shop. These are the necessary tools you need to groom your horse along with its uses:
- Use a curry comb to gently ‘curry’ or rub and help loosen dirt. This is usually the first step to horse grooming.
- Use a hard bristled brush to remove the debris loosened by the curry comb.
- Use a soft-bristled brush to remove the finer dust particles. It provides a shine to its coat and is soothing for the horse.
- Use a cloth or soft sponge to clean the eyes and nose of the horse. Use a separate cloth or sponge to clean behind its tail.
- Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle the mane and tail of your horse. Work as you would with human hair- detangling in small sections and do not tug the hair.
- Use a hoof pick to remove dirt from your horse’s grooves and other parts of the hoof.
Put the horse in the barn and clean the area
Put your horse in the barn or shelter. Next, move on to the grooming area. Scrape up all the hair and throw them away. If your horse has pooped in the barn, scoop and put it in the poop bucket.