Keeping Your Horse Healthy on the Trail
Ways to prepare for, prevent, and handle potential emergencies
There’s something special about trail riding. On the open road, horse and rider share a sense of freedom, adventure, and bonding. However, a nice ride can quickly become a nightmare if something goes wrong. Knowing horse health care basics, first aid, and how to handle an emergency is important for all who ride, but it’s especially crucial for those who spend time far away from civilization on the trail. In this article our three sources have provided tips for staying safe and handling potential trail emergencies.
“A precursor to any great trail ride is preparation,” says Robert Eversole, a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International instructor, trail riding and camping enthusiast, and owner of TrailMeister.com, based in Spokane, Washington. “Having a good idea of what to expect before arriving at the trailhead is the best way to ensure that memories from the ride are pleasant ones.”
Training and Conditioning First
This preparation begins with physical readiness of both rider and horse for the rigors of trail riding. Lifelong horseman and veterinarian Doug Thal, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, owner of Thal Equine, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and creator of Horse Side Vet Guide, says trail riding can involve long hours in the saddle and more physical exertion for the horse than ring work
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