Enjoying Your Horse On The Ground

I always talk about the problem of how horses in modern society are treated like disposable commodities, when they’re no longer “useful” they’re disposed of. The biggest problem is when they can’t be ridden, for whatever reason, physically or emotionally. Even if they’re young and otherwise healthy, being unable to be ridden often means they are going to struggle to find and maintain a home. So instead of continuing to complain about this problem, today I’m going to discuss ways to help prevent this problem. If we can spread ideas and make it more common to see people enjoying their horses on the ground, it might help normalize the ideas of horses on the ground.

1) Sharing time – Having a horse is about more than just what we get them to do for us, but about the relationship we build. Share time with your horses doing things they like, grazing on a day on the best grass around and rubbing their itchy spots. Just be together and enjoy each other’s company.

3) Agility – a fun way to play with your horse, it’s engaging and helps build connection and communication. It’s a great way to help build your horse’s confidence and keep yourself fit! Build fun and creative obstacles, raid the dollar store for arena decorations, and have a blast!

4) Hikes/packing/trails – Pack your lunch and horse treats and set out on the trail. Go to the woods or the beach, explore somewhere new. You could even bike if you take the time to prepare your horse. Keeping your horse and yourself fit.

5) Trick training – teach your horse fun tricks, everyone’s favorite is a big cheesy smile. Tricks may seem simple and silly, but they’re a great way to bond and work on your communication skills.

6) Brain games – if your horse can’t exercise their body, they can sure exercise their mind. Working on teaching your horse to think for themselves, learning vocabulary words, like names of their groom tools, their toys, or even colors. See how many words you can teach your horse.

7) Horse yoga – even if you can’t do cardio, stretching is always good for the mind and body! Using targeting you can help your horse stretch their whole body, especially if you teach them to target other body parts. Practice walking while bent in both direction, like unmounted dressage.

😎 Reverse round pen – A great way to keep fit and work on your communication with your horse. Helping them learn to balance through their body and exercise is a way that’s healthy bio-mechanically.

9) Vet prep – take the time to help your vet and farrier, prepare your horse for anything they might need to put up with. Practice needles, syringes, hoof care, and so on. You’ll have the best behaved patient your vet has ever met.

10) Dress up/Photoshoots – Enjoy dressing up yourself and in your horse, in fun costume or in beautiful gowns, take romantic and fantastic photos with your magical unicorn

11) Unmounted Challenges/competitions – Miss the glory of competing? There are many unmounted competition online you can participate in for any of the above. Including fun horse fashion shows, clicker competitions and personal challenges you can do with your horse to be graded individually (rather than compared to others). There are so many fun options on EE and all over the internet!

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