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Tips for Winter Horse Riding

Tips for Winter Riding

Maintaining Horse Health while Winter Riding

For those who don't let the cold stop them from some winter horse riding, here are some tips to ensure that your rides don't cause concern for your horse's health and wellness.

There are many reasons that a proper warm up and cool down are necessary for any ride or session. You can check out 12 reasons in a previous post Warm Up & Cool Down Crucial Parts to Equine Fitness.

The focus of this post will be more specific on warm ups and cool downs as they relate to cold weather and winter horse riding.

winter horse riding warm up

Winter Horse Riding Warm Up

For horses that are less mobile and stand in a stall or run, it can be beneficial for joint health and muscle mobility to add some extra lateral work, biosomatic exercises, or stretches before you get moving on to your regular warm up or session. The cold can cause tension and tight spots that may not be present in warmer conditions.

Winter Horse Riding Cool Down

You can make your cold weather cool downs more efficient with the right equipment. Investing in a fleece or wool cooler blanket can promote horse health by speeding up the cool down time and can be a great option for those who regularly ride in the cold and work the horse to a sweat.

Our horse's winter coat is designed to form an insulated layer that warms and protects from the elements, but when saturated with sweat this design is hindered and can leave the horse at risk for health concerns. Making sure your horse is dry prior to putting them away is key to maintaining horse health. Even if you use a turnout sheet or blanket the horse needs to be dry and their body temperature back to their normal range.

winter horse riding cool down

You can begin your cool down, while riding, by walking for 10-15 minutes at the end of your session. After dismount, loosen the cinch, and if you know the horse is comfortable with it place the cooler blanket on over the saddle and hand walk the horse for a few minutes. This can help reduce a wave of cold air hitting the back and causing muscles to spasm or cramp up. You can then remove the saddle and place the cooler blanket back on and continue to hand walk them. If the horse is still wet you can add towel drying, to hand walking, and using a cooler blanket.

If the horse is not returning to a normal body temperature or is continuing to sweat, you may need to consult your veterinarian to check for other possible horse health concerns.

Knowing your horse's baseline can help you determine when your horse is properly cooled down. It will also help you determine when something is off and you need to contact your veterinarian. Use our free vital signs checklist to track and determine your horse’s baseline and maintain your horse's health. You can find our vital signs check list with our FREE PDF Guide, 10 Tell Tale Signs Your Horse May Be Suffering From Dangerous Digestive Problems. Click Here to download your copy today.

I hope you found value in this post. Please share via your favorite social media page to help us on our mission to promote horse health and wellness. You will find share buttons at the bottom of the post.

Life is better when you're horsin’ around!

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Breaking Through Emotional Patterns

Equine Emotions

It doesn't have to been known to be recognized and heard

Just like every person has a story… so does every horse.

It may be that you raised your horse from a foal, or at least know most of their story. Or maybe for some of the horses' in your life or herd their story remains unknown, but that doesn't mean you don't experience the past or see signs of what it might have been like.

Most of my equine career has been spent with rehab horses and rescues, many of them I didn't know the before story and it was my goal to bring a new hope and “after” story for them.

My current herd is about half and half… 2 horses I know a lot about their history and 2 not so much.

For this post I would like to introduce you to my mustang Lonan. He was rounded up from the Jackson Mountains in Neveda, in early July of 2012 according to his papers. Believed to be born in 2011, adopted by his first adopters in late 2016 with not much (positive) human interaction before being transferred to me a year later.

Although he may not have spent much time in the wild, his instincts and innate behavior still ring very true at heart. I recently saw footage of a round up that happened just prior to Lonan's round up and it broke my heart. I knew he had likely be through a lot but to be honest the video really shocked me! You can click here to watch it, but fair warning it is hard to see…

Much of his behavior upon his arrival to my home, told me there were things in his past that skewed his view on people and really life in general. He was aggressive to me, my other horses, and managed to take down multiple fences. To see the side of him that is emerging now, I could not be more humbled and relieved. As I feared that the hope of him accepting and adapting to domestic life might not be possible…

Spotting Emotional Patterns

Maybe your horse didn't have a traumatic past… or maybe you don't know their history at all, but if you find your horse having undesirable behaviors over and over again it's possible they are rooted in an emotional pattern or cycle.

Essential oils and body work in combination are my favorite way to pattern interrupt and clear both physical and emotional memory, allowing breakthrough for your horse to get back to the calm, connected, and collected horse they desire to be. My favorite essential oil options for negative emotion barriers are Trauma Life essential oil blend and Inner Child essential oil blend.

You can check out the video below and see more updates like this in our private Equine Wellness Facebook – click here to join now. It might not look like much… but if you could see where he came from, you would know that Lonan experiences a completely different world than he did when he first arrived. He is like a brand new horse.

The essential oil blends I mentioned and 60 days of ForeCalm Powder to help break his fear cycle and he is ready to move forward being a willing, engaged, ready to learn, equine partner.

Don't Unknowingly Let Dangerous Digestive Problems Linger-

A common question I receive in relation to the topic of emotional patterns, is “how do I know if the behavior is linked to emotions or to physical concerns?”

That is a very important question that needs to be explored, because often times it can be both… and each needs addressed for the possiblity of the horse to return to being their true vibrant, exuberant self! I want to share with you the top 10 signs I have seen over my years working with horses that often get overlooked.

In fact, my mare struggled with #3 on the list for many years and I was told it was a behavior and training issue. I created a free pdf guide that shares 10 Tell Tale Signs Your Horse May Be Suffering From Dangerous Digestive Problems. Click Here to download your copy today.

I hope you found value in this post. Please share via your favorite social media page to help us on our mission to promote horse health and wellness. You will find share buttons at the bottom of the post.

Life is better when you're horsin’ around!

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How Even A Beginner Can Balance The Water Element

Does your horse's health concern fit the following…

  • The horse's symptoms progressed or became present with old age
  • Increased or became stronger in the cold, winter months
  • Deep aching or concern with skeletal and bone health
  • The horse's fear has increased with the current health issue
  • The horse's health concerns include their ears and/or genital areas
  • The horse is conserving their energy more and more in conjunction with additional factors from the list above

If you horse is experiencing some of these issues, it's possible that their Water Element is off balance and could benefit from additional support.

My mare Pokey has had a long health journey and is responsible for most of what I have learned in the horse health field up to this point…

Helping her recover after having multiple vets recommend euthanasia back in 2011, is what led me to Equine Naturopathy, use of essential oils, and now my latest journey – Equine Acupressure.

Pokey aligns with 5 of the factors shared in that list, and at a recent clinic I attended I consulted with Dr. Madalyn Ward about her thoughts on what I could do to further Pokey's health and vitality. Her suggestion was to balance her Water Element.

What the beginner needs to know to get results.

Now to be clear I am in the beginning stages of working through an Equine Acupressure Practitioner Course… and yet with a simple app on my phone and my favorite reference guide (you can easily order and utilize too)… I went to work opening the possibilities of health and balance for my horse.

This post is not about getting into the details of the Five Element Theory or Traditional Chinese Medicine…

My goal is to share with you the fact that any horse owner can bring benefit to their horse with the use of some reference tools, essential oils, and the willingness to get uncomfortable or feel slightly incompetent for awhile 🙂

Your horse's Water Element is governed by their Kidney Meridian and their Bladder Meridian. For Pokey's first acupressure session with me, I chose to focus on the Kidney Meridian while utilizing the benefits of Juniper Essential Oil.

Check out the video below to see how Pokey and I explore the Kidney Meridian together, we ran out of light before I got to address her Bladder Meridian (at least with acupressure), but she had great releases during our session and I saw noticeable effects in her mood, stools, and posture the next day and positively maintained a few days after that before I went out of town…

Reveal More About What The Kidney Meridian Can Do For Your Horse…

Are you ready to unlock the health potential of your horse? If so I've got you covered! To empower you in how to utilize “The Root of Life”, I have designed a free PDF Guide to get you started on the right track to supporting your horse's wellness and vitality. Click Here or the image below to grab you copy now!

I hope you found value in this post. Please share via your favorite social media page to help us on our mission to promote horse health and wellness. You will find share buttons at the bottom of the post.

The Journey To Your Horse's Health Begins Here & Now!

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Promote Horse Health by Re-Homing??

When Should you Think of Selling Your Horse?

Besides times of emergency and lack of means to properly care for a horse, when should you think of selling your horse? And as the title questions, can you improve horse health by selling in some situations?

Top 2 Reasons to Think of Selling Your Horse

  • For your safety or the horse is too much for you to handle
  • Purpose and goals don't match- whether it is your's or the horse's

If your horse is not safe to be around or is beyond what you can handle of course it is in your and the horse's best interest to re-home for the health, wellness, and sanity of you both.

But the second reason listed above can sometimes be overlooked and even downplayed, but can have negative effects on horse health and the owner's horsemanship or desire to have horses!

Selling Your Horse Moving Forward

Often there are two common mismatches with purpose and goals-

  1. The horse has more drive or purpose then the person, or the horse has more ambition then the job or discipline it is chosen for. Which can result in displaced behavior during sessions or even during times when in a pen or pasture. The unused energy can turn into stable vices, aggression, nervousness, etc. These destructive patterns can lead to health concerns such as ulcers, colic, or  other injury.
  2. The human has more drive or purpose then the horse. This can lead to the same behaviors and tendencies as listed above that can negatively effect horse health, but I want to note that there is also the effect on the owner/rider. The frustration and discord can cause horse sessions and time to no longer be enjoyable.

Next Steps to Know if Selling Your Horse is the Right Thing to do?

Consult with a horse profession you trust to help you determine if you need to improve your horsemanship skills or if the horse is not a fit for your needs, or possibly you don't fit the horse's needs. I would recommend one who has a good understanding of horse behavior and psychology.  If you decide that selling you horse is the best option and it is not an emergency, take your time and wait for the right fit to come along for your horse. Find peace in knowing there was a positive purpose for your horsemanship goals or even the horse's health in finding them a new home!

I hope you found value in this information. Please share via your favorite social media page and join us in our mission in promoting horse health and wellness.

Life is better when you're horsin’ around!

PS Are you ready to naturally improve your horse's health? Start by making sure your horse doesn't have dangerous digestive concerns lurking that you have been told are no big deal…Check out our FREE guide 10 Tell Tale Signs Your Horse May Be Suffering From Dangerous Digestive Problems. Click Here or click on the image below to download your copy today.

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Copaiba Essential Oil use with Horses

Copaiba Essential Oil

Promote Horse Health with Copaiba Essential Oil

Copaiba essential oil is a great essential oil to use to promote equine wellness and horse health. “Copaiba has to be one of my favorite oils. With barely any scent or flavor, it is a powerhouse in the animal world. One of the highest anit-inflammatory oils, it replaces Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID's) in my practice regularly.” ~ Melissa Shelton DVM, ADR The Animal Desk Reference Essential Oils for Animals

Inflammation is a key factor in most illness and injury. Utilizing this essential oil to reduce inflammation can help speed up recovery and bring comfort in times of pain. Copaiba essential oil is also known to be a driving oil, meaning it can increase the effects of other essential oils it is used with.


Application Tips and Uses of Copaiba Essential Oil for Horses

  • You can use this essential oil topically at the site of suspected pain or inflammation.
  • Copaiba can be fed on a cookie or in the horse's grain ration by adding 5-7 drops up to twice per day.

For more information and tips for promoting horse health naturally check out:

  1. Effective Essential Oil Liniments for Horses
  2. Promoting Horse Tendon Health
  3. Knowing Your Horse's Normal to Prevent Catastrophe

To be successful in improving your horse's health it is crucial to put your focus on fostering health, not fighting disease. This may sound simple and common but in this day and age it is not. So much time and attention is put on the problems and concerns instead of the solutions.

Get started on supporting your horse to vibrant health right now, by downloading your copy of our FREE PDF guide, The Secrets of Equine Naturopathy, click here or the image below to get this series sent to your inbox today!

How to Naturally Improve the Health of Your Horse

I hope you found value in this post. Please share via your favorite social media page to help us on our mission to promote horse health and wellness. You will find share buttons at the bottom of the post.

The Journey To Your Horse's Health Begins Here & Now!

Disclaimer Notice:

The information contained within this publication is for educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for medical care or to prescribe, treat, or diagnose any specific health condition. We highly encourage readers to do further research and education on the proper use of essential oils prior to application.  If your horse has a health issue, disease, illness, or injury, please contact a qualified veterinarian for care and treatment.