Are You Overlooking This?
Many horse keepers nowadays are realizing the importance of trying to create a lifestyle for their horses that resembles a wild horse’s natural lifestyle as much as possible. They are seeing the value of giving their horses access to lots of turnout with other horses, of going barefoot whenever possible, of being very conservative when it comes to blanketing, and many are even making the decision not to ride their horses. However, there is one thing that seems to be consistently overlooked.
Wild horses are extremely fit, and whether horse or human, a fit body is much healthier than an unfit body. There are many health benefits that occur, both while the horse is being exercised, as well as once a good level of fitness is attained and maintained. Unless the horse is turned out on a thousand or so acres of drylands and having to forage for his or her own food, the turnout that domesticated horses have access to does not create a fit body.
A Proper riding program that is preceded by Proper ground preparation for being ridden will bring the horse to the highest level of fitness. However, even if the horse is not going to be ridden, Proper ground preparation can also be applied to the unridden horse. Some of the things that can be done on the ground include, but are not limited to, classical exercises in hand, Long Lining, Ground Driving, Proper Lunging, and simply being led at the walk interspersed with trot for extended periods of time. This can be done in an arena, a field or down the trail either in a halter and lead rope or at liberty if the horse is trained to do so. This would benefit the horse keeper’s level of fitness as well.