It seems like this winter will never end, doesn’t it?! We’ve ALL got cabin fever – including our horses – and being cooped up inside is driving everyone nuts! Here are some ideas for keeping you and your horses from going off the deep end while you wait for spring.

 

 

-Groom your horse until he shines. Grooming not only cleans your horse’s coat, it also stimulates blood flow in the skin and muscles, making it an important part of keeping your horse healthy. And with shedding season on its way, there’s no such thing as too much brushing.

 

-Try clicker training. Teach your horse some new tricks or refine known behaviors using a clicker & treats to motivate your horse. Most horses respond very positively to this training method, and it’s fun for you, too.

 

-Improve your braiding skills. If you compete in a discipline that requires you to braid your horse’s mane or tail, use the winter down-time to practice your technique. You’ll learn a valuable skill that can save you money at show time.

 

-Practice groundwork. During good weather, it’s easy to focus soley on riding and let our horses’ groundwork fall to the wayside. When your arena is covered in snow and ice, take the time to perfect moves like backing up, pivots, and even lateral work on the ground.

 

-Get your horse a small-hole haynet. These nets encourage slow eating, make hay last longer, and keep horses busy!

 

-Try boredom-buster treats & toys. Some horses enjoy having a toy to play with in their stall or paddock, and most will get very excited over a hanging edible treat!

 

-Do some stretches. “Carrot stretches” are a great way to keep horses flexible, and are made fun with treats. Lure your horse into a neck stretch using a carrot or other tasty tidbit, and see how far he can reach to each side and between his front legs.

 

Hang in there, spring is coming soon!