Living conditionsTreatment and prevention

Direction instead of goal

Unfortunately we can not offer our horse the living conditions it deserves. Deciding to keep a horse means limiting the freedom and options of the horse by definition. We ride them, have limited space, time and resources available and are never completely able to comprehend the horse’s essence.

What we can do is try to accommodate the horse’s needs as much as possible by changing their living conditions.

The first and easiest thing we can do is to stop thinking of the required changes as an absolute goal. As long as the ultimate goal remains unattainable, we might conclude that it is impossible to achieve and therefore stop making an effort. We will remain satisfied with how we always kept our horses thinking ‘It can’t be that bad’.

When you approach improving your horse’s living conditions as a direction, every little step will be a change for the better. This will be motivating and make you more inclined to persevere and keep your eyes open for new opportunities.

For example, when you aim to give your horse more space, a few hours in a paddock in the morning, instead of being stabled for 23 hours a day is an improvement. Your direction will be to provide even more space and movement but for now you can be happy with the improvement. The next step is to find out how to proceed.

Obviously, permanent paddock access would be the next step. Before you know it, your horse will be out on many acres of land in a naturally composed herd all year round. Or maybe even better than that.

By using your imagination and cooperating with other horse owners, much can be accomplished. Even when you are not able to completely perfect your horse’s living conditions there will be progress as long as you do what you can and remain critical.

When you are truly unable to give your horse what you feel he needs, not even with all the creative solutions you can come up with, it could be better to find your horse another owner or caretaker, temporarily or permanently.

Fortunately, this is hardly ever necessary. In ‘Laminitis : understanding, cure, prevention’  we will show you different ways to improve the way you keep your horse, manage your pasture, provide social interaction and, most importantly, how to feed your horse.