Many horse owners often wonder what's the best way to exercise their horse. Exercising a horse should not just be done to work the horse for show purposes, but to also keep the horse in shape for when the rider wants to ride the horse. Exercising your horse is an easy task and can oftentimes turn into a fun routine that you have with your horse.
- The first thing you must remember before you exercise your horse is to always groom them first. This includes brushing down the horse's entire body, combing the mane and tail, and picking out the hooves. This is also a good time to check the horse's body for spots that might indicate an injury or irritation. Once you've groomed him, you can tack the horse up and mount him for the exercises.
- When you are first starting your horse's exercises, you should start with small increments. Thirty to forty minutes at a time at first is a good starting point. One of the most basic ways to exercise your horse is to walk him around in circles in an arena after first warming up your horse. Then move your horse around in smaller circles and speed him up. You can turn him around and speed him up to a trot. Keep the exercises simple but change them little by little. For example, exercise your horse by walking them in one direction, then turn them and start to trot, halt your horse, and start the process over. You should occasionally let the horse canter, but keep this at a minimum to ensure both you and your horse's safety. This will help your horse exercise different muscles and joints.
- For more experienced riders, a barrels and poles course can be set up after your horse has been warmed up. You can ride your horse at a trot through the course a couple of times to exercise the horse adequately. Before attempting to do this, the rider should research the correct way to set up a course for exercising a horse.
- Once your horse is finished working out on the course, you can take it for a small trail ride. This is not only a good time to cool down for the horse, but also a good way of rewarding your horse for the exercises.
- When you return from the ride, take the tack off your horse and bathe it if it is really sweaty or just groom it well before releasing it to its space.