7 Interesting and Fun Things Bella and I Did This Week
Bella is a smart little horse and she gets bored easily. So I try to add interesting and fun things to her day.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or take a lot of time – we just do simple things we both enjoy.
This is what we did this week…
MONDAY: Played with a new toy
I’d bought a couple of traffic cones from the local hardware store ($8 each). They are heavy duty and made from rubber so they can’t break. Bella enjoyed knocking them over, picking them up and throwing them around. This is also a good way to get her used to objects we might meet when out for our walks.
TUESDAY: Spread out her feed
Bella likes to eat fast! She can finish her hay rations in about 10 mins. That’s not good for her digestion and means that one of her favorite times of day is over too quickly. To make her hay last longer and make it more interesting I placed half of her hay around her paddock – even hiding some bits for her to find later. The other half I put in a slow feed haynet. That increased her hay eating time to over an hour.
WEDNESDAY: Went for a walk
Bella loves to explore. We went for a short walk. I let her decide which way we were going by giving her the choice of left or right when we get to the top of our driveway. I let her sniff and explore interesting objects like logs and rocks. I also let her have a bit of a nibble on a variety of grass.
THURSDAY: Taught her a simple trick
This week we worked on Bella placing her hoof on a plastic mat. This simple trick is the beginning of more advance training such as putting her foot forward onto a hoof stand for the farrier, or putting her foot into a bucket (if it ever needs to be soaked). It is also a really good way to engage her brain as she loves to learn new things.
FRIDAY: Scratched her favorite spot
Her two favorite places to be scratched are her belly and the top of her tail. But sometimes this can change and she might have another spot that needs a scratch. So I tried a few other places. I always scratch her at liberty (she can walk away at any time). That way I know that she is really enjoying the scratch. I also look for signs that I have really hit the spot – her lip quivering, eyes half closed or leaning into the scratch.
SATURDAY: Baked her favorite treats
I use treats to train Bella. (I don’t give her treats at any other time). We usually just use chaff (chopped up hay) and low GI pellets because she can put on weight easily. But when she does something really well I give her a special treat. I bake big batches and store them in an air-tight container in the fridge. They are easy to make, a lot cheaper than store bought ones and she LOVES them!
SUNDAY: Just hung out with her
Sometimes it is really good for our relationship to just do nothing. I like to spend some time each week just hanging out with Bella. She knows that there is no work, expectations or agendas. We just enjoy each others company.
If you want more activities that will help you create a very special bond with your horse, trot over here…