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You cannot make a horse respect you; you can only be the sort of person a horse will respect!
Quote Mark

LATEST THOUGHTS

Mental stimulation challenge

This new challenge is to meet the mental stimulation needs of our equines. Even though at this time of year many equines now have the benefit of being turned out in lovely sunny weather, don’t be fooled, most paddocks are pretty boring environments and even those of you lucky enough to have large open fields with small herds there is always more that can be done to improve the mental welfare of our equines. Think 10,000 acres of Nevada, mixed herds walking 20-30 kilometres a day for food, and how many different choices they have to make. Increasing mental stimulation can help reduce stress, increase problem solving skills and generally create a more relaxed, calm horse. So your mission , should you wish to accept it, is to introduce one new, novel activity or object to your equines environment every day for the next 14 days. Mental stimulation works best if it is new and novel so learning to rotate different activities can be the key to keeping your environment interesting. Mental stimulation can range from new training activities, additional quality time, fresh non poisonous bark covered logs, a pile of sand, changing the paddock fencing to encourage movement and problem solving to hiding a few low energy rewards in the stable, do new and novel scents or inventing toy for them to play with. Even providing two or three different sources of water for your animal or just slowing do the access to food can benefit your equine partner and improve their welfare. All equines are different so discovering what your horses like best is part of the challenge. Imagination is the key, but remember to always think is this safe can it go wrong in any way before leaving your equine alone. I would love you all to post ways you have found to best provide metal stimulation, so everyone else can gain from your personal experiences and meet this new challenge. Good luck Ben

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