Equestrians know that riding horses is one of the toughest and most rewarding sports out there. Being able to successfully communicate with a large animal to maneuver over jumps and through patterns is, quite frankly, incredible. As athletes, equestrians have to be strong, fit and hard working, and so do their horses and ponies. Keep reading to find out how to keep your sport horse or pony happy, sound, and performing their very best.
Routine exercise and riding will keep your equine partner healthy, fit and at the top of their game. Proper riding involves your horse using their body correctly to develop strong muscles that will help them stay athletic, agile and show-ready. Horses and ponies of all sizes - from a small pony to a large warmblood - can benefit from being ridden correctly and consistently.
Vet and Farrier
Routine vet and farrier appointments are the best ways to keep your best friend healthy and happy. Keeping your horse or pony up-to-date on recommended vaccinations, blood work and body exams is crucial in maintaining a successful equine athlete. Farrier appointments are equally as important - your horse’s hooves support their whole body, don’t they?! So routine trims and shoeing by a professional farrier will keep your horse’s feet solid and healthy and in peak performance condition.
Body Work and Joint Injections
Additional care that will help preserve your mount for years to come includes body work, such as massage, chiropractic, and magna wave treatments; and joint injections. Just like any other athlete, horse’s and pony’s bodies can become sore with regular exercise, training and competition. Treating them to a body work session done by a professional will help keep their body comfortable and strong for years to come. Joint injections can also be beneficial to your equine in promoting a long and healthy show career, by giving their body the boost they need for healthy joints and fluid movement. Call your veterinarian if you think your horse or pony would benefit from injections.
Nutrition and Supplements
Proper nutrition is critical for every athlete - two or four-legged - no matter their age, sport, breed or discipline. High quality grains focused on your horse’s needs, combined with nutritious hay (and some yummy treats!) are essential to your horse’s dietary wellbeing. Supplements can also aid competition horses and ponies by helping their body recover from a heavy workload; they can also give your horse the extra support they may need with their muscle function, nervous system, digestion, a healthy coat and so much more. If you think your horse would benefit from the added assistance of supplements, talk with your veterinarian.
Maintaining a strong, healthy competition horse or pony isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes hard work every single day to ensure they are getting the care they need to perform their best... But walking through the in-gate aboard your best friend makes all of the hard work well worth it!