We have put together a list of fun ideas to try out with your horse during lockdown or when you can’t ride.
20 Fun Tips
1. Take your horse for a walk and explore the area. Let your horse graze, sniff and see new sights.
2. Make up some home made fly spray – This is going to be needed soon. I have made up the following recipe previously and find it works just as well as others you can buy.
- 4 cups raw apple cider vinegar (where to buy raw apple cider vinegar) (you can use white vinegar if you are stuck)
- 20 drops rosemary essential oil – Or you can use Tea Tree or Lavender (or add these as extra)
- Peppermint Essential oil (20 drops)
- Basil – ideally essential oil (20 drops) or use herbs and sieve them through at the end.
- 2 tablespoons liquid oil (olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon dish soap (I use this kind)
3. Sit and hang with your horse whilst they graze
4. Practise plaiting your horse’s mane…… We all know this can be a painful process especially during a stressful show prep. Practising when you have no event to work towards will mean you will have perfect plaits when you really need them!
5. Aim to get your horse to pick their feet up for you by pointing at them. Start with picking up their feet as normal and each time encourage them with positive rewards such as voice and treats but move further away from grabbing they leg as you do it. They will soon learn with repetition to pick up with a point.
6. Set up your worming schedule for the year… if you haven’t done already.
7. Clean your grooming brushes – I find warm soapy (fairy liquid works wonders) is great for this task. Leave them to soak for about 20 minutes, rinse then leave out to dry. Gets rid of the grease and excess hairs too.
8. Desensitise your horse – is your horse spooky towards certain things when out hacking? Why not try and introduce things to them so they become accustomed to them and will be less afraid.
9. Take photos of your horse – This is my favourite past time if you haven’t noticed already. Smartphones take some great shots nowadays. Why not play around with some images and get some collages ready for picture frames!
Get Clean and Tidy
10. Give your horse a make-over. Why not use this time to trim up their manes and tails. Treat yourself to a new Solocomb – order here. Clean up their feathers and treat any old mud fever marks remaining from winter.
11. Carry out stretches with your horse – using treats! Using treats encourage your horse to stretch round to each side of their stomach/rib cage. Get your horse to stretch their head and neck down in between their front feet too.
12. Make An Obstacle Course for Your Horse If you have an arena or field to use, set up some obstacles to guide them through and round. This gets your own step count in and brings focus to an activity for you both.
13. Give your horse a bath. – On a warm sunny day keep their coats clean and shiny. If you have a grey horse I highly recommend ordering yourself some of this from amazon: Colour enhance Shampoo – Carr & Day & Martin
14. Organise your grooming kit. Add this gorgeous grooming kit carrier from LeMieux to your collection – click here to order
15. Practise loading onto a horse box or trailer – If you have access to this at your yard, why not practise during these lockdown times. Allow your horse to explore the horse box and have their dinner in there. Practise until when we can go out again they are perfect at it!
16. Learn the basics of how to give your horse a massage. During this tough lockdown period we may not be able to grant our horses with the luxuries of massages. Why not learn a few basics and bond with your horse at the same time.
17. Teach your horse some manners. If you have a bolshy horse on the ground, why not use this time to re-enforce the behaviour you do want to see.
18. Let your horse play with some new toys – Whilst we can still order online there are some great toys for horse. Check out these ideas here available on Amazon Prime – Carrot Treat Ball or Horse Field Ball
19. Get lunging – Our horses will need to keep up with their exercises to keep their joints and muscles from stiffening up. Lunging can be a great form of exercise and there are some great tools out there to help such as the John Whittaker Training Aid – available on Prime too!
20. Train Your Horse to Move Sideways – encourage your horse to move around the stable when you ask, or moving round the arena in hand.
I hope you enjoy giving these ideas a go…. Stay safe and have fun! (and wash your hands!)
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