How to keep your horse in control
Controlled movement is easier said than done. The first weeks are often fine, but eventually the horses will become too energetic to walk calmly in hand. Here are some tips to keep the exercise as controlled as possible:
Don’t give concentrates with too much energy.
Horses that are in rehabilitation usually get enough energy from just the roughage, supplemented with vitamines or minerals. Concentrated gives unnecessary energy. When the horse is allowed to work more, you can give more concentrates again.
Try to walk your horse on quiet moments.
Estimate when it is the most quiet at your barn and use these moments to go for a walk.
Use a bridle or special training halter.
You’ll have more influence on the horse.
Keep your horse ‘working’ while walking.
Ask regularly for transitions (walking-halt, faster-slower) and let your horse do some steps reinback. This way you’ll keep your horse more focused on you and let him use his body more. Does your horse have a very serious injury? Discuss first with your veterinarian if you can savely do these exercises.
Use side reins while walking your horse.
It can have a great effect on the control of your horse. You’ll also keep the topline working the right way. The side reins should not be to too tight!
When you walk your horse under the saddle,
you can keep more control and influence his posture more. However, walking under saddle gives higher loading as well, so discuss with your veterinarian first.
Sedation can help you keep your horse calm.
There are all kinds of sedations which you can administer as an owner. Most sedations are safe to use for a long period of time.