Sometimes our horses are limited in terms of what they can do for exercise. If you can’t ride your horse, how else can you ensure that he gets the daily exercise that he needs? Here are 6 ways to give your horse exercise.
Riding your horse is one of the most convenient ways to give him exercise. When you ride your horse for exercise, try to work him over varied terrain to build his strength, surefootedness, and bone development. Make sure that you always consider your horse’s fitness level when deciding on how much and how far you’ll ride your horse.
Turning your horse out into a pasture is another way to give him exercise. Large pastures encourage your horse to move about, helping to promote proper circulation. If your horse is the sedentary type, then consider turning him out with a more active buddy to encourage him to move about.
3. Hand Walk
Hand walking is a useful way to provide exercise to young horses, senior horses, or horses who are injured. Hand walking is a mild-impact activity and can be a valuable step in reintroducing a horse back to riding after some time off.
Lunging allows you to exercise your horse at different paces without having to physically exert yourself, too. Lunging can be stressful on your horse’s joints and muscles, so be sure to gradually introduce it only at slower gaits at first. Include plenty of direction changes, and be sure that you work your horse evenly going in both directions.
Consider ponying your horse off of another horse. When you pony a horse, you can travel a great distance at whichever pace you want. Ponying a horse saves him from carrying your weight – it’s a great technique for conditioning a horse or for exercising a horse who hasn’t yet learned to carry a rider.
Riding isn’t the only way that you can give your horse exercise. If your horse has been taught how to drive, then hooking him up to a cart is a great way to give him a bit of exercise. If your horse doesn’t yet know how to drive, then consider teaching him to ground drive. An added bonus of ground driving is that you don’t need a cart – you just need some basic equipment, like driving reins, and you’ll be ready to go.