The Process Starts from Day One… Brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products
I heard something over the weekend that really made me think… the statement was “oh I never really start my horses on any type of alternative therapies until I am hauling hard and they are running on a lot of different ground”
I have always looked at this situation the complete opposite, maybe because I have been involved in athletics on and off most of my life, so I know “starting over and getting back in shape” is the hardest part.
We have all taken a step back from time to time, turned the horses out and focused on other things, whether that be our career, our family or other hobbies. Maybe your horse had to take time off from an injury, either way we have all experienced the time it takes to “bring a horse back” to competition shape. Personally this is when I feel like it is the perfect time to utilize alternative therapies in our programs. I know this is when I am the most sore, so the hill work I just put my horse through on week 3 of my program, I am sure he will be sore as well. We can all say “oh they are horses, they will be fine” however if you want your horse to come back strong and want to work, why not take the extra time to help with any aches and pains they may experience.
There are many products available to competitors and I am not suggesting you need any of them. You can just as easily take extra steps to help you horse come back stronger without products, such as actually COOLING your horse out, cold hosing their legs, watching for muscle soreness, not overworking, using poultice, etc. If you do have extra therapies, such as BOT Blankets, quick wraps, PHT products, magnets, these are products you can be using during the conditioning process. These are not products that are only used once your horses in top shape. The other added benefit of using these products/therapies is that you are spending more time with your equine partner. Bonding is so important and this is another important step in the conditioning process. Learning what your horses likes and dislikes all the while putting together a program that works for the both of you.
I have seen many people rush the conditioning process, because they really only care about the time in the arena. They don’t honestly put in the work and then they are disappointed with how their horses perform or much worse they end up injured. This is the behind the scenes work that shows off in the arena… take the time to make it count.
Anne Walkup – OTRR