New routines for you and your horse
It is a very strange time for everyone, especially those of us who are used to being so active. Our diaries filled with potential competitions for months ahead and suddenly we must stop.
For many, the season was just beginning and whether you are a professional or amateur rider, your passion and hobby has been halted (excuse the pun).
We have some great ‘at home’ training tips for you and your horse or pony to help you both stay ‘in the zone’. Our very own #TeamGAIN rider, Gemma Tattersall has put together a short clip to show you some exercises to keep the mind motivated. You can find that video here.
While most of the time we are feeding horses to #GAINTheAdvantage, right now, we want to keep them ticking over nicely with the reduced workload. A horse’s diet would be similar to a humans in the sense that the more activity you are doing, the more calories you need. To manage this, there are two options to follow.
- Option 1 – Reduce the amount of hard feed that you are giving to your horse. Alternatively, switch to a lower calorie/energy food.
GAIN Opti-Care Balancer, Easy Go Cubes and Cool N Easy Mix are lower in calories
- Opion 2 – Switch to a lower starch content feed.
GAIN Freedom Mix, Easy Go Cubes and Opti-Care Balancer have an 8% starch content and are suitable for horses prone to EGUS (Equine Gastric Ulcers Syndrome) or tying up.
Any changes to a horses diet should be done gradually over a period of a week so as to not upset the stomach and cause digestive issues.
Click here to see #TeamGAIN rider Anthony Condon’s video on switching his horses onto a high fibre, low starch diet.
If you have decided to keep your horse stabled and in light work, our GAIN experts would recommend providing your horse with ad lib forage (hay/haylage) which may help reduce the likelihood of EGUS and ensure that their digestive system is performing optimally. With a reduced work load and being kept in, a horse may become ‘heated’ or ‘fizzy’, this is where the lower energy feed or a feed with a lower starch content can help.
If you have decided to give your horse a break and turn them out now that the weather is improving, the GAIN experts would recommend feeding the GAIN Opti Care Balancer to ensure that your horse’s daily requirements are being met.
Whether you are keeping your horse in or turning them out, ensure that they have access to clean water.
While it is very important to keep your horses healthy and active at this time, it is also healthy for you to keep to a routine as much as possible. Keeping on top of daily yard duties and perhaps focus on the ones that have been put on the long finger, such as organising the tack or feed room, painting the stables, fixing the back fence etc.
Yard Management & Safety
With schools off and kids having more energy to burn than the horses, they may roam more around yards. It is vital for the safety of both the yard and the children that they are kept away from machinery at all times. Adhere to physical distancing and keep the length of a horse between you and another person. Wash your hands on arrival and departure to the yard.
Whilst we want to remain in a somewhat normal routine, we need to understand that this is not the norm. The equine community have been incredible and flooded social media with feel good campaigns to raise positivity and fun memories for our community to look back on and share.
What is your fondest memory and what are you most looking forward to when routines resume as normal?
What competition are you aiming for?
If you have any funny videos or photos of your horses or ponies, we would love to see them so get tagging and sharing on our Facebook and Instagram.