We're still in Fall here in the south, but in the northern part of the states Winter has risen its head. Snow has begun to fall as have the temperatures & I can only imagine curling up to a crackling fire with a good book (probably something to do with horses) & enjoying a cup of chocolate or coffee. Mmmmm. However that thought is interrupted & replaced by my horses health.
I'm pretty sure we've all fallen prey at one time or another to the fact that while Holidays are a great time for family gatherings, it adds to our waistline in a hurry. By the time spring rolls around we begin dreading how much exercise we're going to have to do to lose those pounds that have found us.
This year, make it different for you & your horse. Exercise doesn't have to be something you dread, especially when your horse will be involved. Most of the time the weather isn't cooperative for a good ride, but if you can manage even just 3 times a week to take your horse for a 30 minute walk you both will benefit. If you can ride indoors, easy light work is best. Walking-trotting keeps the blood flow going & keeps muscles in shape. However, don't over do it. You don't want a sweaty horse when it's really cold. Unless you have a top notch barn with warming stalls & the ability to keep the horse from getting chilled after a ride, don't work them up into a sweat. Slow & steady, light work will do the trick. Leading your horse down a trail will give you both a good workout & the chance to stave off the cabin fever. You don't have to go real far, 15 minutes out & 15 minutes back will suffice. If at all possible, turn your horse out during the day when the weather is decent. It will help their state of mind & yours to get to watch them play in the snow for a bit.
Try to get in at least 3 days of light work, walking. Add more days if you can per week. Come spring time you'll be ahead of the game getting your horse back in shape to ride in the spring. :) Happy Trails!
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