This is a time to polish your boots, oil your saddle, ready to enjoy the warm weather!
Before outside your horse a good workout session, ask yourself the following questions: Do I have to modify my diet or exercise regime winter horse? If the answer is yes, then these spring horse care tips in mind. If your answer is no, the following tips will be a little review of:
1. Check For Blanket Rubs.If your horse was constantly bundled during winter, he might have a few new blanket rubs. Before riding, make sure any new rubs aren’t near the saddle. Soothing aloe products, like Bag Balm, can help your horse’s skin heal. It is also a good idea to keep an eye on the temperatures during spring. The temperatures often fluctuate between night and day, so make sure your horse isn’t too cold or hot underneath his spring blankets.
2. Check Hooves.Whether your horse was active all winter or went for a barefoot vacation in the paddock, it is a good idea to have your farrier check his feet extra carefully in the wet spring weather. Make sure his hooves are trimmed and/or shod correctly, before starting any spring training.
3. Call the Dentist, It’s Time to Check Those Chompers.Generally speaking, your horse should have his teeth checked by an equine dentist twice a year. Did you know that dental checkups can also help prevent some training problems? When you are ready to begin riding, arrange for a dentist to visit to make sure your horse’s teeth are ready to have a bit in his mouth.
4. It’s Time for Spring Vaccinations.As soon as the warmer weather arrives, check your immunization records or ask your veterinarian what spring shots your horse will need.Your vet will recommend shots that are based on a variety of equine factors, including: age, location, recent or future travel and any special conditions that might exist in your area. Staying up to date on your horse’s vaccines can help him stay healthy throughout the year.
5. Check Tack and Equipment.Nothing is worse than getting ready to ride, only to discover your tack is missing, broken or damaged. When you are inspecting your tack be sure to look for the following issues:
Worn or cracked leather
Rusted metal parts (especially on bits or buckles)
Worn Velcro (especially on turnout boots)
Any issues with functionality
6. Watch for Over Grazing.Spring is the time of year when the pastures tend to be filled with lush grass. As a result, the spring grass contains a high percentage of moisture and very little fiber. With this in mind, it is easy for horses to eat too much of the sugar-enriched grass. Limit your horse’s turnout time on grass, until it can become accustomed to the new grass.
7. Check Body Condition.This tip goes hand-in-hand with tip six; before you begin a new, rigorous spring riding schedule, check your horse’s body condition. Is he in the correct weight category? Does he have a good muscle base? Has he experienced significant weight gain or loss during winter? Understanding and keeping track of your horse’s body condition can help you to keep him in good health. It can also help you devise an appropriate spring training schedule.
Caring for horses in spring requires horse owners to pay special attention to their equine partner’s body condition, energy levels, feeding schedule and general well-being. Staying organized and diligent in your observations can help you keep your horse happy and healthy this spring.