Is your horse a workaholic, totally lazy or somewhere in between? The type of horse you ride determines the types of breaks it needs.
Elite-level riders often talk about giving their horses a break between seasons, and it makes sense. The jumps are big, their show schedules are intense and their horses’ extreme fitness levels simply aren’t sustainable 365 days a year. Accordingly, riders time their horses’ breaks to coincide with the calendar in order to maximize their chances of peaking for the important classes.
But what about the rest of us? Should we be scheduling breaks into our horses’ year? And what does a “break” mean, exactly, anyway — pulling shoes and kicking them out to pasture or simply lightening their workload?
The answer is … it depends.
For many horses, a scheduled-in break is a welcome reprieve that allows them to recover their bodies, relax their minds and come back stronger on the other side. For others, a full-on holiday can do more harm than it does good.
Does your horse fit any of the following descriptions?
Some horses just thrive on work and without that outlet for excess energy they tend to go a little stir-crazy.
The Accident Waiting to Happen (Over and Over Again)
This category builds their own breaks into the schedule via a never-ending stream of injuries, illnesses, abscesses, etc.
The Indoor Cat
If your horse would stay in his stall 24/7 — or, preferably, just move into your spare bedroom — he/she fits in this category. Turn them out to pasture for the winter and they’re likely to call PETA on you. Ew, mud!
The Lazy Horse
Horse lack any work ethic whatsoever? Bringing them back after a break can be tough mentally because they’ve “seen the other side.”
The Fitness Challenged
Getting fat and happy in a field is fun but if a horse doesn’t bounce back to fitness easily getting back into shape after a period of no activity can be a frustrating struggle.
The Elder Athlete
Maintaining a base level of fitness in older horses reduces the risk of injury and stiffness developing, similar to the research and evidence for humans as they age.
Does your horse fit into one of these categories? If so, don’t despair — just give your horse a smart “let-down,” whether it’s an abridged break …
… or continued riding but at a low intensity, focusing on keeping muscles loose, stretching and having fun.
Whatever your horse’s holiday routine, Draper Therapies can help with its recovery focused line performance horse products.
What’s YOUR horse holiday strategy? Share in the comments.
Draper Therapies is proud to produce the highest quality products featuring Celliant®, the first technology of its kind to be designated by the FDA as a medical device. Celliant is shown to increase tissue oxygenation by eight percent, which helps the body recover faster from physical activity as well as increase energy, endurance, stamina, and performance. To learn more about Draper Therapies and Celliant, visit www.drapertherapies.com.