As we begin the new year, many of us horse owners may find that we have some fresh horses on our hands after a quiet Christmas.
It’s not uncommon for our horses to feel fresh during the winter months due to restricted turnout, cold weather and fresh mornings!
For us here at Kabete Lodge our December month is always a bit quieter. We tend to give the horses a well-deserved little break from shows and events during this time of year after a busy time of show jumping.
Although it is quieter for the horses, we do still exercise them by riding, putting them on the walker, lunging and turnout. Exercise is still required so that they can be ready to take on a higher workload in preparation for the jumping season ahead. If they were to completely stop then this could induce the risk of injury. We try to vary their daily routine to reduce boredom. A tip I would always suggest before riding, (especially for young horses) is if they have had a few days off, or a lighter workload, would be to give them a lunge before getting on to stop any freshness or explosive excitability!
Another thing to consider is diet. We tend to reduce any feed that contains starch or classed as too heating, so the horses aren’t getting too much energy. We tend to feed Chop, Fibre-Beet, and a daily dose of TurmerAid to keep them in the best possible condition.
We have started to build the horses back up to their normal routine and workload with jumping using poles and grid work. This will continue over the next few weeks ahead of preparing for our first show of the year at the end of January – watch this space!
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas break and we would like to wish you all the best success for 2024!
Pippa Allen-Crosby – Team Kabete