5 Ways to Treat Your Horse After a Long Show Day

July 27th, 2017 11:00 AM | 2 Comments

cat and zac-1You know how it is at the end of a show day.  You’re tired, sore, and mentally drained.  You can bet if you’re feeling that way, your equine partner is too.  While he may not have any interest in grabbing some margaritas with the team and heading back to the hotel for some much-needed (and often scarce) shut-eye, there are a few ways you can help him take it easy and recover from the demands of the show ring.

  1. Bedding- Just like a hotel room or RV, a stall at a show is never quite as comfortable as at home.  However, you can make it as comfortable as possible so your horse can rest and recuperate after a hard day.  Make sure to put extra bedding in the stall, particularly if you’re stabling on concrete.  When on concrete, we like to use rubber mats under the shavings to give extra cushioning.  Boots like Soft Ride, also give your horse added cushioning and support and lessen the impact hard surfaces can have not only on their feet, but also their legs.
  2. Liniment brace- Riders have been using liniments on their horses for decades because it’s a proven method of easing soreness.  Liniment can be used in either full strength on the legs, sometimes under wraps, or diluted and used as a body wash.  There are an array of liniments that feature different uses and strengths, and it’s important to read the directions before use and talk to your vet with any questions.  Some give the horse a cooling sensation while others can induce a heating effect.  Some liniments also caution against using them under wraps at the risk of blistering or burning the skin, so just take an extra minute and double check the label to know the best use of the product.  
  3. Wrapping legs- As mentioned above, wrapping legs is a good way to provide extra support to the soft tissue of their delicate legs and doesn’t have to be done with liniment.  Many wrap their horses legs with no-bow wraps and track or standing wraps, but many are also using wraps like Back On Track’s Quick Wraps for ease of use and the benefit of the ceramic fibers of the Weltex fabric that actually reflect body heat back into the tissues.  
  4. Hand Grazing/Walking- Some like to give their horses a mental break as much as an added snack by letting their horses hand graze for a few minutes after a long day.  While it isn’t the same as a relaxing day of turnout at home, it provides a nice break from the intensity of the arena.  Taking them out for a leisurely stroll at the end of the day is good for loosening their muscles and other soft tissues, and also giving them that mental break they need.
  5. Treats/Extra Hay- While this can be a controversial one depending on your discipline and barn, a few carrots or other treats dropped in their feed bucket is a nice little icing on the cake for a job well done in the pen.  A lot of people like to give their horses a little extra hay in the evenings just to give them a little extra roughage and keep them busy.
A refreshing bath and liniment brace can help your horse relax after a long day.

A refreshing bath and liniment brace can help your horse relax after a long day.

 

We’re not the only ones with a “bedtime” routine after a long day.  We may be ready for a nice dinner, hot shower, and sleep, and so are our horses.  To keep them performing at their best, it’s crucial to take care of both their mental and physical wellbeing before, during, and after a show no matter the length, no matter the level.

This post was sponsored by Back On Track USA, but all opinions are those of Pleasurehorse.com.

2 Responses to “5 Ways to Treat Your Horse After a Long Show Day”

  1. And if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who is an equine massage therapist, a great message!

  2. Especially when its hot, i put Electrolytes in her water and hose her off after we are done.

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