Following Government advice for everyone to stay at home for at least three weeks to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, many horse owners are having to adapt and change their daily schedule with their horses. Other horse-owners are experiencing complete lockdown at their yards, meaning they can’t go to the yard. In what does lock-down mean for your horse’s health & well-being, we share our advice on the practical steps horse owners can take in caring for their horses. For those horse owners who can’t go down, we’ve also got some ideas to keep you sane!
Horse Owners At The Yard
If the stark reality is that you are not going to be able to ride as much, or if your family is feeling uncomfortable about you spending too much time down at the stables, (which means less time in the saddle), then you need to review your horses’ diet. Reduce his hard feed slowly and try and cut down the intensity of your exercise plan slowly and safely.
You may have the luxury of being able to turn out your horse for more extended periods during the crisis. However, at this time of year, remember that the grass is starting to grow, so be careful of horses that are prone to laminitis and colic. Longer turn-out may work for some horse owners but not for others. For those horses looking at pro-longed periods in the stable, ensure they have plenty of hay (small holed hay nets are ideal for quick eaters or those on weight watchers), and stable toys, trickle balls and mirrors can help keep them entertained.
If your horse is already on a supplement, don’t make any sudden changes. The only exceptions are salt and electrolytes, which you can stop if your horse is not in full work. The fewer changes you make to his diet the better. Feeding Aloeride can support your horses’ healthy digestive system and is popular with customers with horses who are digestive sensitive, prone to colic or suffer from EGUS.
Short On Time
Lunging and groundwork exercises are great alternatives to riding. However, apply the same safety principles as you would do in the saddle; wear a safety helmet, body protector, gloves and boots. Pole work is another excellent way to keep your horse interested in his work until you can ride again.
Horse Owners At Home
We appreciate that a lot of horse owners are unable to see their horses at this time. So, we hope these ideas might help you cope over the next few weeks.
If your yard has gone into lockdown, it’s possibly been one of the most challenging decisions your yard manager has ever had to make. If you are at a large yard, don’t expect your yard owner to be able to do all the horses AND send you updates daily. They too will be acclimatising to the change of routine and the stress that comes with that.
If you can’t hang out with your horses, then hanging out with your fellow liveries is still an option. Set up a WhatsApp group and use it as a positive place to chat and share photos and good memories until you can create some more again.
Brush Up On Your Knowledge
You know all that time you have now instead of being down at the stables? Use it to brush up on your knowledge and riding skills. We’ve got some fantastic features including Flexing And Suppleness Exercises with Dressage Rider, Sarah Rogers and other excellent advice and features on caring and training your horse.