Raising a horse is time consuming, yes but oh so rewarding!
Most folks like to buy the broke horse so they can ride right away. That’s fine, we’ve all been there but as you learn and grow, in time, you most likely will find that foal you can’t live without. When that time comes we all think the same thing, “I love it but it will be years before I can ride it”. Instead of thinking that way look at it in this perspective. Behind every broke horse there was someone waiting for it to get old enough to ride. Why not be that person to show the little one about life and share in its experiences and laugh at the little quirks. Get to know what makes them unique and help them grow and learn so when the time comes that they become a riding horse you can trust in your bond and relationship that the horse will trust and take care of you.
It’s a feeling like none other. Raising and walking this beautiful animal through life. You’re their mom now they look up to you.
When others see a broke horse and well behaved horse citizen you’ll still see that cute and clumsy little horse you raised. And that will never change 🙂
Horses in boarding facilities or training barns that live in stalls and get worked daily are very healthy and well cared for even if they aren’t allowed on pasture until summer. That being said, hand grazing them around the barn after a workout helps in many ways! They get to enjoy time outside, they are bonding with you, it’s great to get fresh air away from the dry dusty barn and of course they get to enjoy delicious, fresh grass! Too much grass for the stabled horse can cause issues but hand grazing them for up to an hour a day is good for them. The fresh, wet grass helps with stable cough, lubricates their stomach for healthier digestion and provides a treat outside of their usual hay and grain regimen.
If you hand graze your stable horse a few times a week for up to an hour they will be ready for turn out when it dries out without worry.
If your horse is turned out for long periods on spring or fresh fall grass be sure to decrease your proteins and sugars you feed your horse normally. This will help your horse adjust to the elevated levels of sugars in the new grass. Too much fresh grass can easily cause a healthy horse to founder. The first sign of founder is if their hooves are hot or warm to the touch. Remove the horse from pasture immediately and don’t feed it dinner. Keep ample water available and call your vet. If caught in time there will be minimal lasting effects.
Grass is a special treat for the stabled horse. Keep an eye on how your horse is effected and customize your feed plan and how long it’s turned out and you’ll have a happy horse with a happy tummy 🙂
Horses in boarding facilities, on average, stare at their stall walls 22 hours of the day waiting for you. You see you horse everyday and spend about two hours a day with your horse (husband willing). You’re the best thing other than feeding time that your horse gets to experience on the daily.
If more horse owners understood this there would be much stronger bonds with horse and their humans. PERIOD.
Think about this next time you visit your horse. You’re his entire world. You are the sole reason they are healthy and alive. You drop the ball, they are at your mercy. Treat them as such. They can’t say thank you or I miss you. They SHOW it. SHOW them you UNDERSTAND. That’s all they want.
Companionship. That’s what makes them “tick”. Like a clock, they are here because of YOU.
Don’t ride and work them so hard they are sweaty. Sometimes just go spend time with them, bring them out to grace, let them be horses in the pasture with you. Be a herd member be their leader. They love you more than you realize. They love you when you look and smell like a foot. They don’t judge they don’t criticize.
Next time you’re at the barn, tell them about your day. Cry on them when the world seemingly is against you. They are always there.
If you can’t catch your horse you need to do more of these things to show your appreciation. Don’t just ride. Visit them. Be the herd leader and herd member they see you for.
If you’re demanding perfection every time they see you and you only catch them so you can ride it’s basically a one sided relationship.
Visit don’t just ride. Find their favorite itchy spot. Sit with them and just watch them be themselves.
Be the person they need you to be and they, in turn, will be the horse you need them to be. It’s a partnership.