If a horse cannot breathe or does not have enough wind built up through conditioning, he cannot run to the best of his ability. For a horse to truly be conditioned, it takes 45-60 days of daily trotting and loping. The best way to insure that your horse is ready to perform is to mark on your calendar every time that you ride until you have ridden a total of at least 45 days.

    I like to lope a lot of circles since this builds air capacity in a horse’s lungs. Be sure to warm up in a walk and then at a trot for around 10 minutes and cool down at a walk for 10 minutes. Do all the loping you can in between the warm up and cool down. You will have to slowly build your horse up minutes at a time. Ideally you want your horse to be able to lope 10-15 minutes without being excessively winded. Also during your exercise time make sure you back your horse up. Toning muscle along with building wind is important.

    Breathing hard after runs is normal but if a horse continues to blow hard after a run or exercise this could be a sign you horse is having some trouble. Always consult a good equine veterinarian if your horse is conditioned properly and still taking awhile to return to normal breathing. Flair horse strips are a great aid in helping horses breathe properly during a run and helping them recover faster post run. They do this by supporting and holding the sinus passages open. This is critical because a horse only breathes through his nose and as he exercises his lungs work harder trying to pull air through those passages. Because of the immense vacuum the lungs place on that airway, the nasal passages tend to close down somewhat. Flair strips assist by holding them open allowing for maximum air passage into the lungs. Then continuing through the cool down process, increased air flow allows for a faster, easier cool down for the horse.

    Some people may not realize the importance of a horse’s breathing, but it’s crucial to know how your horse recovers after exercise. If your horse normally cools down fast but suddenly seems more winded than usual, be sure to contact a vet as you may possibly catch a respiratory infection early on. Because every tenth of a second during a run matters, every little detail in his preparation, during his run and following his run is important.

    Whether I rodeo or I’m at home, I still want to keep my exercise program consistent. I want to win and I want my horse to have every opportunity. Keep him breathing to win!

Perrijean Prejeant and Dash winning the 2017 Angola rodeos with Flair Strips!