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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tips on keeping your roping horse fit through the winter.

It really can be a chore to keep your roping horse legged up during the cold winter. Most ropings are indoors during the winter so roping isn't completely out of the question. But, sometimes it can be overlooked to keep your horse in shape. There is no doubt riding in the cold north winds can be uncomfortable and most of us are not lucky enough to have an indoor arena.

During real bad weather we found that long trotting your horse along side your car can be very beneficial. All our roping horses know the drill and have adapted to this well! We try to trot our horses for at least 2 miles a week. We do prefer to ride them to keep them legged up but if we have bad weather for a large stretch, trotting along side the car is a great fix! Not only can they trot in their blankets, we get to run the heater. It has been a win win situation! 

We have also found keeping them turned out into a large paddock or pasture helps keep them in shape. Horses kept in the barn do not get the exercise they need. Roping horses need to be fit and ready for work. If you keep them in shape you will avoid many problems, like bowed tendons, strains and even mis-alignments. 

Next time you grab your horse to go to a roping consider his shape and how he is going to feel after several runs. If a horse is out of shape it will effect his performance and that effects yours! Think how you would feel if you had to go play a game of football and weren't in shape? 

By keeping your horse in shape you can gain that extra edge above your opponent. Don't be sloppy about your roping! If your really serious and want to win set your self up for success. Keep your horse in shape, whether its cold, hot or just right, find a way to get him some exercise. You'll be glad you did when you draw that really fast cow in the short round and so will he!! 

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