After all our horses do for us, it’s important that we take care of them. Here are a few easy ways to return the favor, and help them feel like a million bucks.
Poultice- This one is mainly for equestrians who are in intense training/competition, and are putting a lot of stress on their horses legs, or for horses that have legs that can become easily inflamed. Poultice is a moist, clay-like substance that soothes, cools, and tightens the legs tendons and ligaments. I use poultice after competitions, especially after cross country, when my horses legs have been working and running If you do not know how to apply poultice correctly, or if you want to know if your horse should be getting poulticed from time to time, speak to your trainer or vet to get more information and learn how. It’s a great skill to have, and could help you later on!
Brush their tail- You wouldn’t believe how many people do not brush their horses tails! I brush Watching’s tail every day before I ride. Especially if your horse is turned out in a pasture or field where there is a burr patch, your horses tail can easily become a tangled mess! Brushing their tails in the summer is especially important, so all of their long hairs can reach the flies.
Take care of their hooves- When your horses hooves become dry or cracked, and need moisturizing and conditioning, you should polish/oil them. HELLO PEOPLE—Your horse walks on these babies! You need to take care of them! In the summer, when it is really dry, I condition Watching’s hooves 2-3 times a week. I spread a thin layer of Farrier’s Fix Hoof Oil over the outside of his hoof, and after I’ve picked and cleaned the inside of his hoof, I will spread it over the underside and his heel. Or if your horse is prone to abscesses, or has soft hooves, I would recommend using Keratex hoof hardener. Make sure that you are regularly picking out your horses hooves as well, because if not, fungal infections can occur.
This one may by far be the most important: Correctly fitting tack. I cannot stress how important it is to have equipment that not only works for you, but your horse! Just because you loooovee that saddle you saw in Dover the other day doesn’t mean it’s worth screwing up your horses back for it. It’s a great idea to get your saddle custom fit. Usually the brand that is selling the saddles has representatives that will come out to your barn (i.e. Stübben, Antares, Devoucoux), with an assortment of saddles to ride in, and will custom fit it to your horses back! Obviously, many people do not have the money to do this, or nessecarily need a new saddle! But just in case you’re second guessing your saddle fitting skills, I would strongly suggest watching this very helpful Evention video: