Haakon is getting old. I see a change, a definite change and I am partly to blame for this.
Having had quite a lot of time off this year from riding due to my back, Haakon has lost any of the physical fitness he had. It has done him no favours and getting back his stamina and strength is taking much longer than it used to.
I hate seeing him like this. The usual rides and fun have all gone. He is tired and struggling.
With the winter weather bearing down on us, I have even resorted to rugging, which is not something I do lightly.
But I don’t want Haakon to lose more muscle/weight from the weather and he wouldn’t thank me if I stabled him. That would just make him very stiff and disgruntled so a rug is our compromise.
I am trying to ride Haakon three times a week for short periods (20 minutes maximum) with long reins practising our a long and low tölt in a long. According to Bjørn, our trainer, this will greatly help Haakon’s muscle development.
After this training, Haakon gets a small reward for his efforts.
We will see how we go. Haakon is 24 years old now and, according to an online horse age calculator, that is the equivalent of 75 years old in humans.
What to do for the best? At the moment, we are keeping going. I believe that by exercising Haakon regularly, it will keep his muscles strong, his joints flexible, and gut motility going. Haakon, like BeAnne, has to live forever. He is my rock but it is breaking me seeing him like this. I never wanted him to grow old.