Now that lockdown restrictions are letting up slowly, non-contact sports are back on the table, which is great news for riders! There are a few factors to keep in mind before jumping straight back into the saddle, though. It’s been some time since your horse was ridden, and your horse tack was used. Here are some things to check before your first ride.
Of course, the star of the show needs to be attended to first; make sure that your horse is healthy by checking:
- Behaviour: Abnormal aggression, lethargy or evasion may indicate there is a problem. If your horse is behaving consistently strangely, best to get them checked out by a vet.
- Ears, eyes and nose: Ears should be free of parasites, flicking naturally and clear of excess fluids. Eyes should be clear, with pinkish pale colour around the irises. Nose should be reasonably clean, with minimal excess fluid.
- Skin and coat: Your horse’s skin shouldn’t be saggy or with dry flakes and a dull appearance. These skin issues could mean an underlying issue.
- Hooves: Check all four hooves to ensure shoes are looking correct. Gently dislodge excess stones and hardened dirt with a hoof pick.
Your Horse Tack
While it’s been standing, your horse tack has probably been gathering dust. Although it’s important to always check your tack before tacking up, it’s important to make sure all buckles and straps are in good condition. If you find problems, you can repair it or buy new horse tack.
Your Riding Gear
It’s imperative to look after yourself while you ride, too! Getting the best safety gear for horse-riding is will ensure that you are less hurt should you fall off. Check your helmet for dents and scratches, your gloves for tears and the rest of your riding gear for any pesky holes caused by cupboard moths.
Now, provided we follow Coronavirus safety protocol, you are allowed to visit your favourite horse equipment shop. Pop in and see what we have to offer!