The other day I spoke with a farmer who said he never had a horse over 20. He would just sell them when they got older, because he couldn’t do anything with them anymore. But there’s actually a lot you can still do with your senior horse! You just have to listen better to his physical boundaries. I know a lot of seniors who still love going on trailrides and working out in the roundpen.
I even think horses who are just left alone in their retirement are getting in worse shape way faster than horses who still get to do something.
Braingames teach your horse problem solving and are very challenging for the horse mentally. After a few minutes of braingames, a horse can feel just as tired as after a few minutes of a physical training. It gives horses a lot of satisfaction to do something like this.
An example of a braingame you could try is letting your horse search for treats between brushes you put in a bucket. In order to do the braingames correctly, you need to introduce the game at chest height first, then on the ground and after that add treats to it. Watch your horse closely. You’re not allowed to intervene his process until he shows signs he’s done with the game.
Go on walks
Going on walks isn’t just a way to keep your horse physically active. Most horses also really enjoy going on little adventures. It’s even more fun to do it together with other people and horses from your barn.
Stay fit with poles
Poles can be used in many different ways. For example, you can lunge your horse over them, legyield over them or go over a mikado of poles. It’s a lot of fun and keeps your horse fit. This is also a great way to improve your horse’s body awareness and proprioception.
Working in hand
Working in hand is a great way to ask your horse exercises for his balance, strength and focus. It’s the perfect ‘elderly gym exercise’ for your senior horse!
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