Your Cabarete Healthy Horse Checklist
Knowing your Horse
Before you go on any horseback riding adventure, you need to know if the horse you are given to ride is up to the job of carrying you.
We all know the fantasy. You know, where you’re galloping down a beautiful golden beach, under blue skies and the lightest fluff of cloud cover, hair flying in the wind? Yeah, that one.
Well, to help make that a reality, you’re going to need a healthy horse. There are few things more depressing than sitting on a horse that you worry could drop dead on the mountain path, at any minute.
You don’t have to be a horsey expert to be able to do a basic health assessment of a horse. I’ve made you a checklist and everything!
The main thing is to trust your instincts. If you suspect a horse might not be 100% well-treated, it’s probably not.
Responsible horse owners will never try to make you ride a horse you’re not comfortable with, and they definitely wouldn’t let their horse to go out on a ride it’s not up to. Here are some reputable Cabarete horseriding ranches.
With a little bit of street smarts, you will be well on your way to the Caribbean horse ride your inner 10-year-old girl has always dreamed of.
You can usually tell this, even from a bit of a distance. Is the horse malnourished? Are they underweight? Can you see their ribs and hips poking out clearly?
If the answer is yes, whinny on out of there, that horse is not ready to go.
Eyes are a great indicator of horse health.
A healthy horse’s eyes are bright, clear, open and beautiful. Gaze deeply into your horsey’s eyes. If they are dull, cloudy, gummy, gunky, running, or half-closed, you gotta say nay, nay, nay to that ride.
Horses’ coats, again: solid health indicators.
A healthy horse’s coat is shiny and full. Picture the glossy hair shimmer from shampoo adverts. That’s the kind of condition we’re looking for.
If the horsey’s coat is patchy, damaged, unbrushed, matted, or dull, then trot yourself right out of that paddock.
Look at the way the horse is standing. Is the weight spread evenly over its four legs? (While you’re at it, check it has all four legs, too.) If the horse is consistently taking the weight off one leg, it might be injured.
Sometimes horses will rest one of their front legs when standing, but resting back or hind legs is rare, and usually indicates something’s not right.
Is it limping? Limping is an absolute no-go for riding a horse.
Imagine if you had an injured leg and someone tried to make you carry a preteen around all day. You would likely not be happy.
A horse’s hoof should not be cracked, stinky, chipped, uneven, or oozing anything at all. The shoes should look well-fitted and not too loose, worn, or short for the hoof.
If the horse is well looked-after, its hooves will be in good condition.
Other red flags
- A large man sat atop a small pony
- Piles of runny horse poop
- Visible bruising, scrapes, bleeding wounds, swelling, or punctures on the skin
- An obviously ill-fitting saddle
- Weird horse behaviour, like staggering, coughing, seizing, shivering, or general agitation
Okay, those are all the basics.
Again, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s better to be safe and walk away. It’s also better to pay a bit extra to make sure the horse is cared for and in good health.
With this checklist, hopefully you will only mount the happiest and healthiest horses in all the land, and the wind will blow through your hair on your magical beach gallop.
Take care of Cabarete horses, and they’ll take care of you.