Go For a Walk
Take your horse for a walk with you to lazily explore surroundings outside your property. Let your horse enjoy the exploration and different atmosphere.
Hang out with your horse like two old friends. Go to your horse’s pasture and sit down and relax. Your horse could enjoy this and come over and join you for some bonding time.
Treat Your Horse
Find a treat that your horse particularly enjoys. By doing this you can show your horse just how much you love him/her. The treat can be used for a variety of purposes: for training, a reward, or just a special treat.
Find your horse’s favorite scratching spot. Everyone knows that most horses love to be scratched in a certain spot. It is usually somewhere they can’t reach, such as the top of their neck or their withers. There is scientific research that proves scratching a horse on it’s withers has a calming effect.
Enjoy a picnic with your horse. Take a picnic to your horse’s pasture and bring along with you some of your horse’s favorite treats so he/she can enjoy the occasion as much as you.
Play in the Water
Let your horse play in water. Find a pond or river that is safe for your horse to splash around in. Bring your horse into the water on a long lead line and let them get wet. Most horses will enjoy this, especially in warm weather.
Training Without Restraints
Try training your horse without any restraints, at liberty. To achieve this your training must be fun to make your horse want to stay with you.
Braid The Mane
Braid your horse’s mane. If you are gentle and careful your horse will most likely enjoy this, as most horses enjoy their mane being stroked or brushed.
Five Biggest Mistakes When Building a Horse Arena
If building a horse arena is costly, making mistakes in the process can be painfully costly. A horse arena is a major investment, and getting it right in the earliest planning stages will save you a lot of time, money and heartache. Take the following points into consideration if you’re planning to construct your own arena, and remember than one mistake made can often lead to others.
1. Location by nature, not by aesthetics.
Obviously, drainage is a problem that looms large in arena construction. It is important to locate your arena on a high point of the property; never choose a site that is at the base of hills, or in the path of runoff water. Working with nature rather than against it can cut the drainage battle in half, and will probably reduce the costs as well.
2. Drainage; Get it right the first time.
Water pooling on your arena will lead to a breakdown in expensive arena surface and sub-layers, and create an unstable riding environment. Make sure you design a proper, realistic drainage system based on location, the lie of the land, anticipated annual rainfall, soil type and your own sub-layers. There are a number of methods used for arenas, take the time to investigate which will work best with the above factors. Obviously, building a covered over horse arena will eliminate a lot of the drainage problems, so long as surrounding run-off is properly drained, the arena surface itself won’t have to stand up to downpours and sodden surfaces. Another big advantage of a covered arena is that you can collect and store the water at little cost and with huge lasting benefits.
3. Use the right materials.
It is absolutely essential to spend time and money to ensure you use materials that will work for your arena. There is no across the board ‘rule book’ for sub layers, as materials vary from region to region. Skimping on base layers or choosing the wrong materials can undo the ultimate effectiveness and quality of your arena in a wink. Have a good idea how you want to use the arena when choosing materials, so you can make sure you have the right amount of each layer, and that one layer won’t become too thin after compacting to be effective.
4. Top layer is crucial.
Ideally, a “perfect” riding surface should be cushioned to minimise concussion on horse legs, firm enough to provide traction, not too slick, not too dusty, not overly abrasive to horse hooves, inexpensive to obtain, and easy to maintain. There is a wide range of top fill products available on the market, both natural and commercially produced, and your selection will depend largely on your budget and intended arena use. It would probably pay to make use of some local knowledge, talk to the people who have already done what you are seeking to do.
You can extend the lifetime of your arena by practicing some simple TLC. Harrow the topping regularly to prevent it compacting too much. Removing manure will preserve the quality of your top layer. Watering regularly will keep the dust down, and likewise if the surface is sodden after heavy rain, leave it to dry up a bit before riding. Ongoing maintenance not only saves you time in the long run, but will also save you money in lengthening the time between construction and when your arena is due for a renovation. Once again, building an arena cover will extend the life of your arena a lot by not exposing it to the weather and preserving the surface and below layers.