Kentucky Performance Products: 15-Minute Sessions With Your Horse
As equestrians, we’re always looking for ways to positively affect our horses’ behaviors. Here are a few ideas that only take 15 minutes of your time, but can drastically increase the bond you and your horse share.
By Joe and Penny Most, equine clinicians and owners of Perfect Partners Equine
So many times we feel as though we don’t get to spend enough time with our horse, either riding or working on our relationship. With our jobs and living life, it is sometimes hard to have several hours to work with your horse. Here are a few ideas for ways that take only 15 minutes of quality time and make amazing changes in your horse.
Spend nondemanding time with your horse. Take those few minutes and just sit in the stall with your horse. Don’t ask for or expect anything. Be sure to stay safe if you have an overly active horse.
Slow down when feeding your horse. Take an extra few seconds or minutes to engage with your horse at feeding time. Don’t just dump and run. Enter your horse’s stall or pen and make contact with your horse before you give them their feed. Your horse should look at you with two eyes and have a happy look on their face. Wait for the look to change (if it is an ugly one) before you feed them. Same applies if you are feeding in an outside area.
Work on simple things that do not require an arena or special location. Try working on getting your horse to lower their head. So many times we need a horse to bring their head down for bridling, haltering, vaccinations, etc. Use techniques with phases of pressure on the pole or nose to teach your horse to lower their head on cue. In addition, putting the bridle on and then taking it off without riding helps the horse to keep from dreading the bridle. Work on this in your short sessions and before you know it your horse will be lowering their head easily.
Pick up your horse’s feet. Oftentimes our horses are only requested to pick up their feet for the farrier. Picking up your horse’s feet on a regular basis helps with much of the anxiety that can be associated with the farrier. You can also use this time to take a look at their legs and feel them for lumps or sores, and check their hooves for rocks. Your farrier will appreciate your efforts in this area.
Scratch your horse’s favorite spot. All horses have a favorite spot to be scratched. Can you find your horse’s favorite spot? Use your time to give your horse a light groom. Check for knots, tangles or any skin conditions that may be beginning to develop and also check for ticks in the summer season.
Work on ground skills right in the stall or pen. In a just a few minutes you can go through moving the front end, rear end, sideways in both directions. You can also work on the backup by backing around the stall. You may want to use your halter and lead rope at first to maintain better control in a close area.
These are just a few ideas to try during your 15-minute sessions with your horse. Use your imagination and we know you can think up many more!
Happy Trails from Perfect Partners Equine!
Sponsored by Neigh-Lox® Advanced, providing complete digestive support to reduce the incidence of ulcers and colic in horses that are traveling.
About Perfect Partners Equine:
Perfect Partners Equine, established by Joe and Penny Most, offers trail horse clinics, obstacle challenges, and equine vacations for trail riders. Joe and Penny have over 30 years of experience in equine activities such as recreational riding, showing, training, breeding, and long-distance hauling. They bring a wide variety of expertise to the riders who participate in their programs, and they share habits and skills that help riders better understand and communicate with their horses. To join Perfect Partners Equine on one of their many equine clinics, excursions or trail horse retreats, visit perfectpartnersequine.com or email [email protected] or call Penny Most at 336-403-1508.
About Kentucky Performance Products, LLC:
Poor hooves causing lameness?
Ask your vet about FootWise™.
- Aids in the elimination of dry, flaky hair coats and brittle manes and tails.
- Maintains healthy hoof tissues so they are less susceptible to developing hoof problems such as thrush and white line disease.
- Sustains a strong, resilient hoof wall, reducing the incidence of cracks, chips, and lost shoes.
- Supports the regrowth of healthy hoof after injury or surgery.
For more information, visit KPPvet.com.
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