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How to keep your horse's back healthy?

Horse racing is one of the most ancient sports in the history of men, dating back to 4500 BC. It was probably started by the nomadic tribesmen who were the first ones to domesticate the wild animal. Ever since horse racing has been a popular form of entertainment sport among royalties. As one of the most popular spectator sports in the world, horse racing is quite active in countries like Canada, America, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, and even the Middle East. As far as human history has been recorded, horse racing has always been an organized sport among all the major civilizations. It was even a part of the great Greek Olympics in the form of chariot racing and mounted horse racing. It was further popularized by the Roman Empire later. The modern horse racing that we witness today started back in the 12th century. This was after the Crusades when the English knights returned from their battles with Arab horses. After that, the next 4 centuries witnessed significant growth in the number of Arab stallions being imported. They were bred with English mares to give birth to a new breed of horses that were faster and more durable. Circa 1702, horse racing was promoted furthermore, and multi-horse races were organized. This is the history of the horse racing that we witness today.

Thoroughbred racing: A short history

The British were the ones who first brought horses to America. Circa 1665, the first-ever racetrack was established. Even though it was a very popular local sport even then, the concept of organized racing did not yet exist. In the year 1868, after the first Civil War, and during the time of the Industrial growth, horse racing flourished the most. Approximately 314 tracks were operational in the United States alone at that time, circa 1890. In the year 1894, to legalize the matter more, the biggest track available in the nation, united with all the stable owners in New York and formed an organization modeled under the British concept and organized and restricted the rules of horse racing furthermore. Thoroughbred tracks still exist in almost half of the United States.

Maintenance: Taking care of the back of the horse

Of course, it is understandable, that such a major sport requires the horses to be well-maintained and ready to perform all the time. It is very important to keep your horse’s health checked regularly. A hood back will ensure that the horse performs at the peak of his performance and it is not painful for him. It is important to keep the horses happy as they are the heart and soul of the whole industry. Keep reading the pointers to find out how you can take care of your horses’ back properly.

  • Always use a mounting block

Standing closer to your horse as much as possible and using a mounting block to will help to minimize the risk of twisting the saddle tree. If the saddle tree gets twisted, it gets very uncomfortable for your horse. Instead of using the saddle as a support, you should hold on to the side behind the pommel.

  • Make sure your saddle is not twisting.

If you are riding with someone, then ask them if the saddle is slipping or not, while you are making the horse walk or trot. Also, make sure to get your sitting level checked and that the stirrups are of the same length on both sides. 

  • Always get your horse warmed up beforehand

Make sure to always warm your horse at least 15 minutes prior to walking and trotting because warmed up muscles work at its best.  Calculate this time when you are taking your horse out on a walk.

  • Make sure to help your horse stretch

Allow your horse to lunge at least once a week. This will help him stretch. Stretching adds flexibility to the limbs and makes them less prone to injury. Also, this will give you a chance to see him move and find out any certain changes in his movement as well.

  • The rider needs to take care of his own fitness as well

It’s not just the horse’s health that needs to be taken care of. The rider needs to be on top physical condition as well. It's the rider's balance and fitness that will ensure how he will ride on the horses back without putting too much force into it. It is important to maintain the health of the horse and rider, and for this, they need their core strength at the top of their game. They make sure to thoroughly check the horse’s health and make sure that they do not suffer from any back troubles at all. You can watch it on TVG.

Some easy tips for a quick backcheck

Horses’ backs carry the rider’s weight while they are walking, trotting, jumping or running. So it is understandable, how much important the health of the back is. In order for the horse to perform at its peak performance, it is necessary to maintain the health of the back of the horse. That is how they will be able to perform at their best. There are certain easy back check ways. Such as:

  • Always look for any asymmetry in the body of the horse. You can check if one particular set of muscles are built stronger than the other.
  • Make sure to look into the saddle fit of the horse. It needs to be fitted properly to make the ride for the horse comfortable as well. You can get expert advice from an experienced Master Saddler as well in this regard.
  • Keep his foot balance perfect. Make sure that the horse’s feet are of the right shape and are in healthy condition as they bear the entire weight of the body. In case your horse requires correcting shoeing, you need to get it done.
  • Always get your horse’s health checked up routinely. The placement of the contact near his teeth and mouth can also affect the way the pressure falls on his back.

Along with this few maintenance tips, always keep your horse health well-exercised. They are the sportsmen of the industry, and like any other sportsmen, they need to maintain their health to stay in the game longer. Make sure you have a happy horse, and it will keep giving you results for a long time.


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