Sometimes even in the middle of a training week you just gotta take a play day. Most people who have horses have at least 2. The horses can play together & be horses. Cookie doesn't have a paddock mate yet so I have to take the place of a play mate for now.
We had gotten a good long soaking rain yesterday, which meant no work or play. Today, the ground dried up some & no rain again until Monday at least so far. Even though it was still muddy & a tad slick, but not real bad so rather than try to work in it, we played. Cookie knows the difference between play & work now. She understands that I'm not asking anything of her except to move her feet with me & not over me. lol
We start off in a trot & it only takes a few moments to turn a corner & run run run. Tail flying high, shaking our heads, & giving 1/2 bucks with squeals & high stepping trotting when she turns. A few trotting steps later & she's off & running again.
This kind of play helps to break up boredom, it's stimulating both in adrenaline & mind & gets rid of excess energy. That excess energy if it's not let out in a healthy manner can lead to vices of all kinds. Cribbing, wind sucking, weaving, grouchiness, disrespect. It can also lead to physical illnesses from the above mentioned. (Though the windsucking could possibly mean there is an intestinal problem somewhere & needs to be checked by a Vet).
I obviously can't run as fast as she can, so she's already at the other end when I come running up. It's quite a sight I'm sure. This way we both get exercise in, blow off steam & just have fun. Seeing how the ground was a little slick, I don't run behind her all the time. Once in a while I'll just stand still & allow her to find her footing, picking her way through things & not feel pressure to do so. She did slide a bit on a take off, but all is well. No limping, swelling or stiffness.
One of the great things about lunging is Cookie has learned voice commands pretty well as well as gestures. When we were done running around, we stopped a moment, both hot & sweaty & trying to catch our breath. Me catching my breath, more so than Cookie that is lol. Then I gestured for her to walk around as if on the lunge line & she did in both directions. Walking to cool her out so she wouldn't catch a chill, keeping her muscles warm & loose so she wouldn't tie up.
By the time I fed, her pulse & breathing were back to normal & she was damp, but not wet. I placed several piles all around her paddock which helped to keep her moving so by the time she finished all the piles she would be completely cooled out.
I on the other hand...I was still hot, sweaty & breathing hard. lol!!! I'm still not in shape, but Thank God I'm not where I was before.
If you & your horse need exercise, run around the paddock with them. Be mindful of where they're facing & stay away from the hind quarters & just have some fun.
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