Thursday, 26 April 2012
How to: Find out more about your horse
Here are some things to do with or around your horse that might give you a bit more insight into their world, or allow you to enjoy their company in a different way.
1. Have a walk around their field. I did this the other night as one of the mares came in injured and I wanted to make sure she hadn't been caught on anything. I found out where their scratching post is, a load of twigs and branches that they've been chewing on and playing with and a bit of the fence they'd smashed. I also noticed that on one side of the field there was a ladybird on every post next to yellowy, orange patches of lichen. I've no idea why they gather there but it was a nice buzz to find out a bit more about the nature in the field.
2. Graze them inhand. The crappy weather means my two are having the odd day inside just to give them a break from being constantly soaked. To keep them sane and happy I take them out to graze on the verge for a few minutes. It's a really nice thing to do and a good way to stop them tying up.
3. Talk to them. I'm sure most horseowners do this anyway but it's one of my favourite things. I ask them how their day's been, what they've been up to and what they'd like to do next. I've never had an answer yet but they do seem to listen and I hope that it translates into them realising that I care about them and love them.
Also, during stressful moments, it always helps me to sing the Eastenders theme tune. Not sure why.
4. Look at how their feet/teeth are wearing. My dentist explains how everything's working and lets me feel their teeth when they're in the Speculum. My physio shows me how muscle problems or nerve damage alter the pressure they place on their feet. Harvey places more weight on his near fore so has more wear and tear in this leg. He does this because of nerve damage in his right side. It's a good indicator of what's going on with them and really interesting if you can get a good professional to explain it clearly.