From the Editor: Your health matters, too.
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.