Best Exercises for Horses: Work Smarter, Not Harder

May 04, 2023 2 min read

Horses are athletic, magnificent beasts. In nature, wild horses exercise themselves through grazing and roaming as a herd. However, horses raised around a stable and pasture do not get the opportunity to exercise like wild horses.

If you have a large enough pasture, your horses mostly exercise without intervention. On the other hand, most of us keep our horses in smaller yards and stables, which will demand you to help with the exercise.

Is Natural Movement Enough?

Horses are on their feet almost all day. In the wild, they must move from grazing areas to water to safety when necessary. Indeed, this amount of exercise is enough for a horse. Horses do not travel or run as much in the pasture when domesticated. Therefore, the natural movements of grazing around the stable are not enough to keep your horse healthy. 

What are the Best Exercises for My Horse?

Best Exercises for Horses: Work Smarter, Not HarderThe best exercises for horses mimic the life of a wild horse. Overall, your horse should do most of his exercise at a walk with some bursts of speed. Horses love to run as they play and see other horses. When necessary, a horse can run at top speed to avoid danger.

Exercises to Build Strength

Riding your horse up and down hills at various grades will increase his front and hind strength. A slope changes which muscles are activated and how they are activated. Additionally, asking your horse to walk in reverse will strengthen his hind legs. Benefab’s All Purpose Saddle pads will increase blood flow to the back muscles, aiding in strengthening and recovery as you work these exercises.

Challenge your horse to change his stride to increase his belly strength. Create an obstacle course for your horse so he must pay attention to his steps. It is best to start this exercise at a slow walk to avoid injury. However, great strength and skill can come from this game.

Exercises to Lose Weight

Any exercise is an excellent exercise to help your horse lose weight. You can start with the basic movements to help get him into shape. Ask your horse to perform figure 8s and circle exercises. After he can make these movements without difficulty, you can change the shape of his movements at a walk and trot.

Spirals, snakes, and rectangles are all shapes to challenge your horse’s flexibility and strength. All this movement will help your horse lose weight.

Exercises to Decrease Boredom

The best way to decrease your horse's boredom is to exercise and challenge him often. As a whole, horses are creatures of habit. They enjoy a recognizable routine. Although, this same unchanging routine can lead to boredom.

Make an exercise routine that is consistent for your horse. Find the exercises that he most enjoys. You can vary some exercises to increase the challenge.

Exercises that change his stride or bend his body are excellent choices. You can also challenge his gait transitions. As he masters his gaits, you can improve his cadence at a trot and job.

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