The importance of management

What has management to do with riding problems. Well, a lot actually. There is a difference in the way we keep horses worldwide. In small and wet countries like the Netherlands a lot of horses are stabled 24 hours a day during wintertime. Which is like locking you into your bedroom and only allowing you out once a day. And then you have to work hard for an hour. Can you imagine what this does to a body, let alone a mind?

Horses need three things to be happy: freedom of movement, a constant supply of fiber rich roughage for the health of their intestines but, most of all, company of other horses. If these three things are cared for, you are more likely to have a horse that’s quite happy to listen to you, instead of a time bomb ready to explode.

No friends? That’s really a no go.

If any of those three things needs to be restricted for whatever reason, be creative. Weather too bad to turn them out? Let them run free in an indoor school or a paddock with an all-weather surface, at least a few hours a day. Take them out of their stable as much as possible. Or find a group stable. Too fat? Give low energy hay and spread portions around, so he has to move more. No friends? That’s really a no go. Sometimes a sheep, goat or donkey is used, but it is not the same. He needs other horses.

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