4 Tips to Help with Wild Winter Horses
A few tips to help with the wild winter beast between your thighs!
We’re all struggling to fit riding into the daylight hours and this weather can most definitely be demotivating! The last thing we need is our confidence knocked which is how a number of my new clients are feeling.
So I thought I’d share a few tips that I use to tame my wild winter beasts.
1. Cut Back on Cereals within Your Horses Feed
Take a good look at what you’re feeding, try to feed as much forage as possible and cut back on cereals.
I have a few horses that are slender so I still want to feed them up, I’ve just swapped from pasture mix/build up to “soothe and gain”, linseed mash and soya oil all mixed in with a good Alf Alfa.
I loved reading David Marlins article - The Benefits of Feeding Oil to Horses
2. Warming Up Your Horse
Obviously in the colder conditions, just like us, our horses muscles take longer to warm up. Make sure you give them at least 20 minutes. However if they’re misbehaving this can be difficult.
Laying a hot water bottle for 15/20mins on their hind quarters (or various places along their back depending on the size and shape) under a rug before you get on I have found warms the muscles well, as we haven’t all got solariums!
3. Lunging Your Horse Before You Ride
We want to do our upmost to avoid getting injured because our horses (or ponies) have come out like fire breathing dragons 🐉 so definitely lunge first if you know they are going to be fresh.
Wait until they finish their display of acrobatics, begin to listen to you with transitions, soften over their backs (and in their eyes!) and can keep an even rhythm on the circle in all gates on both reins. Then get on feeling confident that their brains and bodies have warmed up and settled.
Depending on your horse’s choice of acrobatics (weapons 😂) I have a few pointers to help you through it. It’s a bit of an art, but once you’ve cracked it, you’ll be chuffed, depending on the level of acrobatics it can take balls of steel, but you’ve got this, i believe in you!
4. Try Not to Feeling Demotivated
Even if you’re not feeling up to riding, make sure you still spend time with your horse to build the bond you have with each other, your horse will appreciate the time spent giving them a good groom and it’ll stimulate yours and their blood circulation.
Ensure your horse has been out the stable for a stretch, even if it’s just for a walk around the yard, this will reduce their legs filling and if they get too used to 4 walls around them they’re bound to be super spooky when you ride and you can’t blame them.
Don’t beat yourself up about not riding them everyday, try to ride at least 3 times a week, on the other days you can lunge, groom or walk in hand.
We all know that feeling of guilt we feel if we haven’t ridden so spending quality time with them will reduce this as you’ve still achieved something positive and rewarding for both of you!
You now have a couple of tricks to help you to calm your winter beast! Let us know how you are getting on.
If you need a little more help, why not get in touch.