Performance horses experience a lot of wear and tear on their joints. Even carrying a rider on a trail ride for several hours can add considerable pressure. It’s important that you’re proactive in the health of your horse’s joints. Learn how to keep them sound and healthy for a long riding career!
1. Nutrition is key, especially in the young, growing horse. Work with a nutritionist to develop a feeding program designed for gradual growth in young horses and maintenance in older ones.
2. Keep your horse at a good weight. Obesity can put a lot of unnecessary strain on the joints.
3. Always condition your horse slowly and allow their body to get accustomed to their workload over an extended period of time. Fitness doesn’t happen overnight.
4. Regular hoof care is essential. Get on a good schedule with your farrier to ensure your horse’s hooves stay trimmed and balanced.
5. Frequently check your horse’s legs for the first signs of a problem. Heat, swelling, and lameness are symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored.
6. Avoid working on hard surfaces for long periods of time. Your arena footing should also be monitored.
7. Allow for warm-ups and cool-downs. Ease your horse into the ride by allowing their muscles a chance to wake-up.
8. Stretching exercises can be great in-between rides. Check out some ideas here!
9. Continue working your horse year-round and avoid long breaks.
10. Consider joint supplements for those with intense workout schedules.
Do you loves horses? You’ll enjoying reading this fun article!