Sometimes being out of shape is unavoidable. Personally I suffer from severe intractable chronic migraines. They leave me weak, out of breath, and unable to exercise along with a whole host of other neurological symptoms that are completely out of my control. Horses, however, are the one thing that keep me going even on my worst day. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them, and that includes attempting to get back in shape after a series of ten day migraines. I have to get creative though because traditional exercise can trigger a migraine for me. Check out the creative ways I came up with to get in shape and still bond with your horse!
Hand Walk Your Horse in a Sandy Arena
Maybe you can’t ride that day, or you’re horse is on stall rest, or maybe you just want to get in shape faster. If you’re looking to get in shape and still bond with your horse hand walk them in a sandy arena. Good footing can do wonders to not only get your horse in shape but yourself. It’s also a great opportunity to work on your horse’s ground manners as well do some in hand work. Both are wonderful training opportunities and that sandy soil will do great things for both your legs and your stamina.
Hold Your Horse’s Hoof Five to Ten Seconds Longer Than You Need to
If you want to work on your arm strength and easy way to start getting back in the swing of things is to hold your horse’s hooves five to ten seconds longer than you need to when picking out there feet. Not only will this give your arms a little extra workout on something you should be doing daily anyway, but it’s an opportunity to teach your horse good manners and in doing so reinforce your bond with them.
Curry Comb Your Horse Every Time You See Them
Here’s another one we should be doing daily anyway, or at least every time we ride. But I know that I get lazy or in a hurry and settle for a quick brush with a stiff brush. If your looking for an arm workout though giving your horse a good curry is a great way to do it. Not only will improve arm strength it will likely make your horse a happy creature. Currying your horse is good for their skin and their coats and is a great way to bond with your horse.
Sweep The Barn Aisles
This one is surprisingly a whole body workout. Do it right and you engage your core, use your arms and shoulders, and get some purposeful walking in while you are at it. Switch which hand you use as your dominant one for the sweeping and mix things up as well. While this isn’t something that is direct bonding with your horse it’s what I’ve heard called unassuming time (Unfortunately I can’t remember the trainer I first heard it from). Unassuming time is time spent around your horse where nothing is expected of them.