Ride an exercise ball instead of your horse? H&R file photo.

1. What’s the most important reason for a rider to work out? (And we mean exercise apart from your time spent in the saddle.)

A. You love that fit-to-ride look!

B. You feel less guilty about snagging a Snickers once in a while.

C. You become more effective as a rider plus less prone to injury.

2. If it’s your horse that’s out of condition, how should you bring him back into fitness?

A. As quickly as you can, working him several hours a day.

B. Incrementally over time, to avoid injuring him.

C. Never! He looks cute with the extra weight.

3. True or false: An out-of-condition horse can cool himself easier than a well-conditioned one can (all that sweat!).

T / F

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. C is correct, obviously. (Though we must admit, A and B motivate us, too.)

2. B is correct: A phased-in program helps to protect those precious joints, tendons, and ligaments…where an ounce of owner carefulness is worth a pound of veterinarian’s cure.

3. F is correct: Layers of fat trap heat inside the body, so it’s the well-conditioned horse that can cool himself easier than an out-of-shape or obese one. (But you knew that!)

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