Why winter warm-ups matter *H&H Plus*

  • Easing horses into exercise in colder weather will help them stay injury-free and perform at their peak, explains Dr Susanna Ballinger MRCVS, who investigates the biology behind warming up and how to provide the best post-workout care, too

    Warming up before work is important year-round, whatever the weather, and in simple terms it raises the horse’s body temperature to allow safe, injury-free exercise.

    In winter, when shorter daylight hours can restrict riding time, it may be tempting to condense this vital phase.

    Yet a combination of colder weather and longer periods of stabling, often with little or no field turnout, means that many horses require more careful preparation at this time of year.

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