Outside of meeting his basic needs involving shelter, feed, and clean water, these 5 New Year’s resolutions are easy to keep – and your horse will thank you for sticking to them.
Regular Exercise and Enrichment – Switch Things Up
Commit to providing regular exercise and mental stimulation for your horse. Engage in activities such as trail rides, obstacle courses, or incorporating groundwork to keep him physically and mentally engaged. If you commonly ride in the arena, try something new to switch things up and keep his mind engaged. Find a safe place to ride outside the arena, do groundwork exercises, and find other ways to keep his training diverse and prevent him from becoming bored.
Honor His Needs as a Horse
Apart from taking care of his physical needs, consider how you can help enrich his mental health and meet the needs of the whole horse. Commit to increasing your horse’s turnout time. Allowing him ample time to graze, socialize, and move freely in a safe and suitable environment is essential for his physical and mental well-being. Provide him time to socialize with herdmates, or other horses. Keep a close eye on his nutritional needs and supplement if necessary. Schedule routine veterinary check-ups for your horse throughout the year. Regular health assessments, vaccinations, and dental care will ensure that any potential issues are addressed promptly, promoting your horse’s long-term health.
Spend Quality Time Together
Make a resolution to spend more quality time with your horse, whether it’s through grooming sessions, hand grazing, or simply being present in his presence. Building a strong bond with your horse contributes to his overall happiness and well-being. Not every encounter needs to be a riding session. Mixing things up and pulling him out of his pasture to simply groom him or check him over provides you both with a chance to just enjoy each other’s company. We can get so caught up in achieving goals that we forget the beauty of just being in the presence of our horse.
Make a resolution to prioritize safety in all aspects of horse care. Regularly inspect and maintain fencing, gates, and equipment to prevent accidents and injuries. Also, ensure proper safety measures are in place during riding sessions or other activities involving your horse. It’s easy to put things off that seem minor. But, get ahead of problems before they develop into larger issues by taking care of those minor details when you notice them. Sagging wires, rotting fence posts, and sharp edges can all pose a hazard to your horse. Keep a close eye on his environment and resolve to fix issues as they arise.
Resolve to continue learning and improving your horsemanship skills. This can involve attending clinics, workshops, or lessons to enhance your knowledge and understanding of horse care, training, and communication. We all owe it to our horse to be the best rider we can be. Regardless of how long you’ve been riding, there is always something to learn, and areas where we can grow.
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