Ways to Protect Your Horse’s Legs from Injury


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A horse’s legs are thin, long, and vulnerable. Often we put their legs at risk, whether we’re asking them to leap over a solid fence or to step up onto a horse float. If you want to protect your horse’s legs from injury, then think about putting these following tips to work.

Keep Your Horse Fit

One of the common causes of leg strain and injury is asking an unfit horse to perform athletic activity that he’s not ready for. It is important to condition any horse for physical activity, and regular and gradual riding is one way to do this. The more fit your horse is, the more he’ll be able to cope with the demands of running, jumping, and turning without injuring his legs.

Provide Proper Hoof Maintenance

If a horse’s hooves grow long or uneven, this puts additional stress and strain on his legs’ ligaments and tendons. It’s important to ensure that your horse is regularly seen by a farrier, and that his hooves are properly maintained. Uneven or long hooves put your horse at unnecessary risk of tripping or straining his legs, so get your horse on a regular schedule with the farrier.

Massage

Equine massage can help to lessen your horse’s chances of injuring his legs. By massaging your horse’s entire body, you can help to remove muscle knots and tension, increasing your horse’s flexibility. With his muscles relaxed, your horse is better able to recover from trips and stumbles, potentially preventing strains and muscle or ligament tears which would otherwise occur.

Ride On Good Footing

Always take a look at the footing that you will be riding across. Confronting your horse with poor quality footing can increase the chance of a leg injury. If you feel that the footing isn’t safe, then either stick to a walk or avoid riding on the footing entirely.

Cross-Train

Cross-training your horses in different disciplines is a great way to build his agility and to increase his leg strength. If you often ride your horse in a groomed, sand arena, then try heading out on a walking trail ride to teach your horse to cope with uneven and changing ground. Cross-training contributes to your horse’s strength and condition, and leaves him better able to deal with new conditions.

Use Boots and Wraps

Sometimes boots and wraps are necessary to provide a horse’s legs with the extra protection that they need. Jumping high fences or performing reining maneuvers usually requires some extra leg support and protection. Boots and wraps may help to keep your horse protected and safe in these situations.

When riding your horse, always provide him with a long warm-up and cool-down. These practices above can help to protect your horse’s legs from injury.

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