Your horse works hard. You work hard. Don’t you both deserve a little pampering and stress relief?
But what if money’s a little tight? No matter! Most things you and your horse can find at a spa can also be done at home and the barn for a fraction of the cost.
Here are some of the horse/human treats you’ll find at a spa. With a little ingenuity, you can incorporate these into your barn or home and get all the benefits of going to a spa without the big expense.
For your horse: If the weather’s warm enough, bathe your horse with the most luxurious equine shampoo and conditioner you can find. When dry, your horse will smell great, look stunning and be the envy of the barn or neighborhood (until he rolls).
For you: Splurge on a lavish shampoo and conditioner. Wash, rinse, repeat. Then apply the conditioner and wrap a soft towel around your head. Read Horse Illustrated while your hair soaks up the nourishment. Rinse.
For your horse: Invest in some good massage therapy books and start massaging your horse. He won’t care if you’re not a pro (but mind the bone structure and keep away from inflamed areas and recent injuries).
For you: Check to see if your city has a massage therapy school. You can often get a superb massage from the students at a great price. Or, indulge yourself and hire a professional. It will be worth every penny.
For your horse: Ask for recommendations from your vet, farrier or riding buddies for a chiropractor certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association.
For you: Some AVCA-certified chiropractors also work on humans. Round up several fellow horse owners and schedule appointments at the barn on a single day. You may even get a group discount.
For your horse: Good equine massage therapy books often have detailed instructions on stretches. Pick a couple stretches and do them after you ride. Your horse will love you (even more) for it. Watch a video of stretches for horses here.
For you: Check out books for equestrian-related stretches. A few are Fitness, Performance and the Female Equestrian (Howell Book House, 1996); Yoga for Equestrians (Trafalgar Square, 2000); and The New Total Rider (Half Halt Pr, 2001).
For your horse: Study an equine acupressure book (one is Equine Acupressure: A Working Manual (Equine Acupressure Inc., 1999) to become familiar with the acupoints. Practice on your horse.
For you: Find a human acupressure book. Gather your riding buddies and have an acupressure session at someone’s home, followed by an evening of equine videos and a potluck.
For your horse: Core and slice one apple. Cut a carrot into bite-sized chunks. Moisten a couple handfuls of raw oatmeal with water. Drizzle all with molasses. Serve to a deserving horse after a quiet massage. Get recipes for homemade horse treats here.
For you: Pick one: slice of cheesecake; chocolate truffle; premium ice-cream bar. Top with your choiceof exotic fruit. Savor and enjoy, then head for bed with freshly laundered sheets, of course.
The author is continually exploring ways to spend time with Final Edition PR, her agreeable Arabian gelding.
I love the article. About once every few weeks I like to totally pamper my horse and theis article gave me some good ideas.
I love this! This is so clever! I’m getting ready for a horse show today, and tommorow I’ll be riding a horse i’ve only ridden twice in some flat classes. I would do jumping except for, He is the clumsiest, weirdest jumping horse I have ever ridden. My friend says he “blops” over the jumps! lol But I am sure he will feel great tommorow once I give him the spa treatment!
More ideas please!!!!
Great ideas! Thank you!
I love the ideas!
I love the ideas!
Every year in the summer, me and my closest barn buddies all get together and have a spa day for our horses and us. This gave me some great new ideas for 2009! Thanks so much!
Spa Saturday here we come! Thanks!
Totally will try it!
This was an awesome article! I’ll definitely try it with my horses sometime!
really great iDEAS I MEAN WHO THOUGHT THIS WOULD HELP I MEAN LETS GO HAVE A SPA SATURDAY DO ALL THE HORSE SPA STUFF THEN DO URSELF AHH RELAXATION AFTER A HARD WEEK OF MUCKING AND BARN WORK YAY!!!!
I like these ideas. For the hair care, Mane ‘N Tail was the first thing to come to my mind. The gourmet treats bothered me a bit because you cannot feed a horse after a massage. Other than that, I really want to apply these ideas with me and Cheerios.
I like how the tips are for the horse and the rider. Riders need so TLC too.
That is great stuff, boy, I do love a good spa day. I think my little mare would too.
Fantastic tips! Always nice to relax 😉
The best horse treats are carrots (cut up) rolled in molasses and sweet feed. Ocaisonally of course.
I have tried this on my 24 year old 14.1 exmoore pony mare who is always sore and bucking me off now she LOVES to be ridden she is definately part of my lesson program again!
My other 13 year old 16.3 gelding also loves the ‘royal’ treatment!
Spa time here we come!!!!!
This sounds fun!I will have to try this!
OOOOOOOH! sounds like the ULTIMATE PLEASURE!