RBEI MASTER COURSES: EQUINE MANAGEMENT: EXERCISE 4
It is commonly assumed that because horses have been domesticated for so long their inbuilt needs have adapted to it. This is not the case at all and we must cater to their horse specific needs and the way they are built to function.
Ignoring their equine specific needs will not only be to their detriment but yours. Ignoring a horses physical, mental and environmental exercise needs results in pent up anger in horses. This pent up anger is why so many horses misbehave while ridden and if continued it turns into complete rebellion.
It is not natural for a horse to be stationary for long periods of time. Such as when being transported on long trips and such as horses who are stabled or yarded in small yards. Even when they get out to stretch their legs, socialize etc, for an hour or so a day this is not ideal and they will never mentally be content completely in this environment and routine.
This is also the reason horses become very clingy and very affected by what other horses are doing around them. Because they will want to escape from their rider and join a / the 'herd'.
A horse that is kept in a non-social and confined space is not one that can ever be trusted on a ride.
Horses are designed to breathe and be in clean open air, their bodies are designed to function with this optimally via movement. When locked up and isolated they resent being made to stand on and smell their own manure and urine and because they are stationary, their bodies temperature moderating function, which is designed to function with constant exercise, is unable to moderate their bodies effectively and so they end up being normally too hot during the day and too cold overnight.
The ideal setting for optimal horse health is large undulating treed, diverse properties where horses can roam around in herds and separate into mini herds, socialize, explore new things, sights, plants, different dirts etc. Large enough and with enough 'out of vision' corners and nooks, twist and mini zones, that horses who don't like to be around other particular horses can always escape and go and join another group rather than have to fight all the time as they do in a relatively square block paddock where horses get picked on and run into fences and corners etc, and get injured.
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