How do I manage my hot horse?
Managing your hot horse doesn't always mean a lot of work. If you understand why your horse is hot, it becomes easier to manage and keep under control.
There are many factors we need to look at when it comes to a hot horse. One of which is their overall lifestyle. Are they healthy and exercised regularly? Are they in pain? Do they get time to just be horses in a large paddock with space to run? All these things play a part. A horse with poor health, not exercised, in pain or stalled up all the time, will cause it to play up for its rider.
If the horses over all lifestyle is great but they are still tense and full of energy, then its time to look at their nutrition. Avoid feeds with high levels of simple sugars and excess calories. Cool feeds such as Mitivite Xtra-Cool, Hygain Ice and Barastoc Calm Performer paired with a source of grass and/or Rhodes Hay is a great combination for a hot horse.
Building trust between you and your horse will also improve your horses behaviour. Horses have heightened sensitivity to their surroundings, so if they feel threatened, they will choose a "fight or flight" approach. Meaning they will either stand their ground, kick, rear and other various attack methods, or they will flee. In order to build a relationship with your horse, a lot of ground work will need to be done.The horse will need to learn to respect and trust you to promote relaxation in the future. Lunging is great for this, but remember, never use lunging as a method to wear a horse out before riding. The horse will be worn-out from all the cooped up energy used in a short amount of time but their mind will still be going a mile minute. A tired body but an energetic mind results in a horse being in no state to learn.
If you are still dealing with a nervous, stressed, energetic horse, just a simple slow ride with others may do the trick. Long hacks with other well-trained horses can be very beneficial for them. In fact sometimes, that's all they need to relax and unwind.