Hilary Moore: Day 20

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I love today's tip about making sure your horse is happy. We just finished a training article with Uta Graf and this top European trainer sent us come great photos of her dressage horses outside ... in a huge field ... in a group. Should I be shocked? Nope! If you come to my house, we have some very happy dressage horses out on multi-acre fields in a group. Since moving my "nicer" dressage horse home, I have been very pleased with the change that has come from him transition from stall board with a few hours of turnout to a group-field-board life. Not only is he more relaxed and interested in work, but the signs of stress he used to exhibit (calling when he was working in the ring alone, dancing for the farrier, looking at everything, digestive issues, etc.)?are no longer problems I manage - they are simply gone. Coming from someone who lost an upper level dressage horse to an accident in turnout, I am happy to tell you that I can see why people want to wrap their horses in bubble wrap. However, not all horses need bubble wrap (I don't want any calls from the accident-prone-horse owner, saying I made Spanky lame because I told you to throw him out in a 30-acre field with a heard of stallions). Instead, decide with your barn owner, trainer and vet what is best for your horse. The key is to keep working at it and find what makes him happiest and healthiest.

Big fields with grazing buddies have been the key to MY horses happiness.

Big fields with grazing buddies have been the key to MY horses happiness.

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