From the Editor: Your health mat­ters, too.

Horse & Rider - - Table Of Contents -

WE HORSE OWN­ERS ARE HY­PER-AWARE OF OUR stock’s health. At the slight­est sign of a prob­lem, we jump to ac­tion, whether it’s as se­ri­ous as a call to a vet or putting our best home reme­dies to work. We watch for ev­ery “off” step, lethar­gic head-hang, or un­cus­tom­ary stance. Horse health is at the top of our list of con­cerns.

Con­versely, we of­ten put our own health to the side. We eat horse-show and trail-ride junk. We push through aches and pains that de­serve a closer look. We ig­nore colds that get worse in­stead of bet­ter. All so we don’t miss time in the sad­dle. In this “wellness is­sue” of H&R, wd have a lineup of ar­ti­cles to help with both your health and your horse’s.

Fit­ness = Win­ning

Win­ning takes many forms in the horse world—from nab­bing the blue rib­bon to safely cross­ing a stream on a trail. No mat­ter how you de­fine win­ning, you’ll be more apt to achieve your goals if you’re a fit rider.

Take our De­cem­ber 2016 cover girl, bar­rel racer Fal­lon Taylor. She un­der­took a fo­cused, struc­tured fit­ness pro­gram to get in the best shape of her life so she can be lighter on her mount when run­ning bar­rels. A lighter rider means a faster horse, which leads to quicker times. The same goes for any rider: It’s eas­ier for your horse to do his job if you’re fit.

Ad­di­tion­ally, those aches and pains that you push through can be min­i­mized by a solid ex­er­cise and stretch­ing pro­gram. (See page 60 for fit­ness pro Kelly Altschwa­ger’s at-home rider-fit­ness pro­gram that just about any­one can try, and fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on Horse­andRider.com.)

But Back to Horse Health

Be­cause I know that’s mostly why you’re here, read­ing H&R. This is­sue is chock full of help­ful in­for­ma­tion to im­prove your horse’s health, from safe con­di­tion­ing for spring and sum­mer rid­ing (page 44) to the lat­est on vac­ci­na­tions (page 26) to tricks champ Bob Avila uses to care for his horses at home (page 35).

Per­haps most unique, con­tribut­ing vet­eri­nar­ian Barb Crabbe’s “Take the ‘One Health’ Chal­lenge” brings a new look at the in­ter­sec­tion of horse health, hu­man wellness, and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­scious­ness to the scene (page 52). Whether you sign on for the half-year chal­lenge or sim­ply heed a few of her pieces of ad­vice, be sure to let me know about your strides to em­brace the One Health idea. It takes all of us to make the world a bet­ter place for our horses (and hu­mans and other an­i­mals) to keep them in the best health pos­si­ble.

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