1Shower him with kisses— unless he tries to bite you!
Then pats on the neck are nice.
2If your horse isn’t really digging the arena lately, take
him on a leisurely trail ride.
3Scratch his favorite itches without him having to
maneuver himself in the cross-ties
to have you hit the right spot. You
already know where they are, no
need to make him beg!
4If it’s cold outside and you have hot water in the barn,
give him a super-scrubby spa bath.
Winter itchies can be brutal.
5Condition his tail with a leave- in conditioner. Warm it in a
microwave if it’s cold in the barn.
Added bonus if it smells nice.
6Buy a massage tool or super- nubby curry and spend some
time giving him a thorough once-over on his major muscle groups.
Watch your horse’s response to
make sure he’s finding it enjoyable.
7Keep a journal to track your progress together. Include
daily rides, lessons, and any
ongoing health issues.
8Buy his favorite treats in bulk so you never run out.
9When it’s hot, bring him in to stand in front of a fan while you
groom him. He may get so spoiled
he’ll prefer being inside to out.
10Wash his brushes so you’re using squeaky-clean tools to
11Go for a trip that doesn’t involve horse showing or
a lesson. Haul over to a friend’s
arena or a local park and have a
hack around, no pressure added.
12Assuming he minds his manners, scratch your
horse’s head when you take o; his
bridle. Sweat under the brow and
nose bands can get itchy. Use a
towel for extra drying power.
13 Make him an extra-special treat of beet pulp or a bran
mash, topped with cut carrots or
apples on top. The slurping sound
he’ll make as he
gets every last drop
14 If you garden, save a space to plant
a row of carrots for your favorite
four-legged friend. It’s added
entertainment to see him crunch
the carrot, then reel in the green
tops like spaghetti.
15 Visit the apple orchard in the fall to see if they have
any “seconds.” These apples are
just as tasty and your horse doesn’t
care if they have blemishes.
16 Add some sweet treat like maple syrup to your horse’s
water bucket to encourage him to
drink well (and be spoiled) in the
winter. Always be sure to leave
out a bucket of fresh water with
nothing added as well,
just in case he doesn’t
17If you’d like to see what else your
horse might like to snack on from
the cookie aisle, taste-test some
more unusual treats. Ginger
snaps, apple-flavored fruit-in-the-middle cookies and rosemary-flavored crackers have been hits.
18 Schedule a chiropractic, massage or acupuncture
appointment—for your horse.
19 Make homemade horse treats. This is a great
project to do with friends when
the weather is too cold or wet
to ride. (Find a video on how to
make Oatmeal Carrot Crunchies
Hand-graze your horse on