If we treat our horses well, we can the reduce (and someday eliminate) the psychological trauma and bodily harm that can cause a horse to be unwanted, transferred from owner to owner, or possibly disposed of.
Start with Welfare
Let's start with a clear view of what a horse needs to be a happy, healthy, well-adjusted individual. Think of at a Blueprint for Success.
A horse-centric lifestyle that includes room to move freely, friends to socialize with, free-choice forage available at all times, and a safe comfortable housing that provides what a horse needs, including a good night's sleep.
A balanced healthy forage-based diet that gives your horse proper nutrition and reduces inflammation in the body. The right diet can prevent and cure a host of behavioral problems and physical ailments. On the other hand, the wrong diet can sure cause a whole lot of problems for your horse.
Regular maintenance such as Neuromuscular Equine Dentistry, regular hoof trims (ideally every 5 weeks), hoof care, wound treatment, worming and vaccinations as needed.
Build confidence by calmly and slowly habituating your horse to the world and requires tasks, such as grooming, hoof cleaning, trailer loading, medical treatment, groundwork, lunging, and riding.
Exercise, handle, and ride your horse in a way keeps emotions calm and content and the body in healthy anatomical balance and alignment.
not that simple
These tasks require thought, effort, and skill in a lot of cases. That may seem daunting, but the first step it to recognize when you're off track so you can make the adjustments that will set things right.
That means you need either working knowledge of important topics like hoof balance, equine behavior, and horse-rider biomechanics, or a reliable resource to guide you.
when all the pieces fit
The magic happens, owning a healthy, happy, athletic, sound, comfortable horse who is eager to interact with you and enthusiastic about going to "work" (we call it all play and fun!), when your horse has everything he or she needs to live the best life possible.
Many horses will do what we want without the benefit of good food, care, and a compassionate environment, but they will not thrive nor will they be willing participants. These horses will cope with the hand they have been dealt, but this type of life experience will take its toll. Why not give our horses what they need? It's easy and the rewards for our horses and for ourselves are immeasurable.
When we do better for our horses, we do better for ourselves.