1. Overfeeding – frequently involving the overfeeding of inactive horses 2. Untreated intestinal parasites can contribute to obesity 3. Too much pasture forage (forage can be higher in calorie content than some feeds) 4. Not enough exercise 5. Age-related increases of inflammationExercise and increasing physical activity Appropriate exercise is essential for all horses, but levels of activity must increase gradually without stressing an unfit horse. For a sound and otherwise healthy horse, exercise is one of the best means of assisting weight loss and improving physical health and fitness. Regular exercise should form an active part of the weight loss program. A horse can be exercised in hand, ridden or loose (i.e. freestyle) – to properly exercise a horse loosely, we recommend challenging them in ways beyond doing what they would naturally do in a pasture. Whether riding, working in hand or loosely, challenge the horse to change directions frequently, exercise transitions (upward and downward), practice adjusting their stride length and teach proper lateral movement in both directions. Exercising a horse daily in two shorter sessions rather than one long session helps increase the benefits without straining the animal and maintains interest and variety throughout the day. <<< Those of you who work with youngsters, this is a great tip to building strength while keeping their focus. Once a horse has returned to a good, healthy condition, it is essential to take actions to ensure that the desired weight and condition are maintained so weight gain is avoided. Adopt a sensible management regime that ensures a horse has a suitable, balanced diet with plenty of appropriate exercise. Benefab® by Sore No-More® offers a variety of products for pre- and post- exercise. One of our most popular products is our Rejuvenate SmartScrim– this is a wonderful pre- and post- exercise product to use. The ceramic-infused fabric emits far-infrared rays keeping back muscles warm and relaxed which can be very beneficial in reducing risk of injury pre-ride as well as decreasing overall warmup time. It also features 80 medical grade magnets which have been sewn over pre-determined acupuncture points for a targeted therapy in key areas such as the vertebrae, shoulders, hips and hind gut. It doubles as a fly sheet or therapeutic scrim and can be left on for up to 12 hours in just about any climate. Ultimately, the SmartScrim helps harmonize bodily functions safely and naturally, stimulating recovery time, promoting blood circulation, increasing oxygen flow, and reducing pain and/or stiffness.
No matter a horses’ age or experience, groundwork can increase respect, connection, and safety for both horse and rider.