Whether you’re an experienced equestrian or just beginning to learn about the horse world, it’s important to know how to tell if a horse is a rig. Rigs are horses that demonstrate a wide variety of behavioral and physical traits that can be difficult to recognize and can often be confused with other illnesses or issues. By understanding what to look for, you can ensure that your horse remains healthy and happy.
What is a Rig Horse?
A rig horse is a common term used to describe a horse that has been over-treated with steroids or hormones, resulting in changes in behavior, attitude, and even physical appearance. While some of these changes can be beneficial to the horse, such as increased energy and improved muscle tone, others can be dangerous and detrimental to their health. Additionally, some of the physical changes that occur with a rig horse can be permanent and difficult to reverse.
What are the Signs of a Rig Horse?
There are a variety of signs and symptoms that can be used to determine if a horse is a rig. These include both physical and behavioral changes.
Physical Signs of a Rig Horse
When evaluating a horse for potential rig issues, some of the physical signs to look for include:
🔵 Weight gain: A rig horse may gain weight more quickly than normal due to increased appetite and can become overweight.
🔵 Muscle development: Rig horses may have more muscular development than normal, particularly in their hindquarters and neck.
🔵 Increased energy: Rig horses often have an increase in energy, which can be seen in their movement and behavior.
🔵 Skin issues: Rig horses may have skin problems, such as increased shedding or dryness.
Behavioral Signs of a Rig Horse
In addition to the physical signs of a rig horse, there are also behavioral changes that can be indicative of a horse that has been over-treated. These include:
🔵 Aggression: Rig horses may be more aggressive than normal and may respond to stimuli or situations differently than a horse without a rig.
🔵 Hyperactivity: Rig horses may be more active and energetic than normal, and may not be able to settle down.
🔵 Lack of focus: Rig horses may be easily distracted and have difficulty focusing on tasks.
🔵 Nervousness: Rig horses may be more anxious than normal and may be easily spooked or startled.
How to Treat a Rig Horse
If you suspect that your horse is a rig, it’s important to seek veterinary advice to ensure that your horse receives the appropriate treatment. While some of the physical and behavioral changes may be permanent, there are treatments available to help reduce the risk of future issues.
🔵 Diet and exercise: A balanced diet and regular exercise are important for all horses, but particularly for rigs. A veterinarian can help you create a diet plan that is tailored to your horse’s needs.
🔵 Hormone therapy: For horses that have been over-treated with hormones, hormone therapy can help to restore balance and reduce the risk of future issues.
🔵 Medication: Depending on the severity of the rig, medication may be prescribed to help reduce the effects.
🔵 Training: Rig horses may require additional training to help them become more responsive and less reactive.
Rig horses can be difficult to identify, but there are a variety of physical and behavioral signs that can help you determine if your horse is a rig. If you suspect that your horse is a rig, it’s important to seek veterinary advice to ensure that your horse receives the appropriate treatment. With the right care and attention, rigs can lead happy, healthy lives.