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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

The Benefits of Allowing Recovery Time for Your Horse

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Just like athletes require adequate time to rest after an intense workout or competition, your horses need rest, too. Maintaining too many high-energy days in a row can lead to burnout—or worse, injuries. However, rest for horses looks much different than a human’s idea of quality rest and relaxation. As you learn about the benefits of allowing recovery time for your horse, consider the enriching needs of the hardworking equine as they spend some time taking a break in the barn.

Rest Allows Your Horse To Come Back Stronger

Burnout, especially related to excessive training, isn’t just a psychological condition—it’s a physical condition as well. Days or weeks where the horse consistently trains will stress out their body, especially when the end goal is a solid performance at an upcoming competition.

A day to a few days of rest will give your horse’s body a chance to recover after giving 110 percent the day before. Fatigued tendons and muscles will heal and become stronger and your horse will bounce back with more energy than they had when they started. Think of rest and recovery as being essential parts of your horse’s regular exercise routine—not just a break or a reward.

Slow Days To Prevent Injuries and Check for Ailments

Resting decreases the likelihood of devastating injuries by giving the horse’s body plenty of time to heal. Consider the body to be much like a rubber band—if it’s stretched too far, it’s more likely to break.

You can also use days of rest to evaluate your horse’s health. Take time to groom and socialize with your equine companion on these important days. Look for health concerns on their legs and body, like open sores or bumps. If you find any issues, you may need to provide them with long-term rest or even stall rest if it’s severe.

Long-Term Rest Provides Horses With a Mental Reset

When humans experience burnout, they take a vacation or take a break from work; when horses suffer from burnout, they want the same sort of things. Horses are highly intelligent creatures—they can feel drained due to mental fatigue and overexertion just like we can. You may notice that your horse seems grumpier than usual. These mood swings are sure signs of mental fatigue.

Luckily, one of the benefits of allowing recovery time for your horse is the allowance for relaxation after a difficult day or week. Give your horse a break with time to socialize at pasture or take an easy walk down a favorite trail and they’ll be rested up and ready to keep training in no time!

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