Preparing your stable equipment and your horse for spring 2015

It may only seem five minutes ago winter arrived, the Christmas chaos begun and you were digging thick coats not only for yourself, but for your horse too.

The nights are now dramatically lighter and the days much preferably warmer, spring will be in full flow before you know it!

The first day of spring charges its way in on March 20th, and before then it may seem that there are a LOT of things to sort out and the way you look after your horse will gradually begin to change.

We’re going to give you a few handy tips on how to care for your horse in the upcoming months leading up to summer and we’ll tell you everything you need to know so the transition from winter to spring will run nice and smoothly.
Grooming in spring

As the warmer months roll in, you will naturally remove your horse’s rug. Similarly, as the spring and summer months draw closer you must assist your horse in the shedding of its natural fur coat.

Not only will this have a positive effect on your horses’ health, nothing looks better than a well-groomed horse!

Throughout the course of the winter, your horses’ fur is likely to have become matted and have mud in every possible place imaginable, including its lovely fur coat.

The sludgy, wet, horrible mud will make a wonderful breeding ground for bacteria, insects and pathogens which naturally will be extremely uncomfortable and irritating for your horse.

By the time spring has sprung, your horses’ coat will be shaggy, long and thick, which will in turn cause your horse to sweat excessively and he may then suffer from heat exhaustion.

Don’t underestimate the power of elbow grease, use a bit of this with a selection of grooming tools and you will have your horse ready to face spring in no time at all.

Firstly, it is recommended you loosen matted hair with a curry comb, and then remove this loosened hair using a body brush. Alternatively, you could remove all hairs with a set of precision trimmers and clippers; this is the most expensive option.

 

Time for a spring clean

So, you may keep putting of the spring clean of your house again and again, but if you are lucky enough to have a horse, you have to just bite the bullet and you should carry out an extensive and thorough cleaning process.

Spring is the ideal time for you to repair and clean your winter blankets and put them in storage so they are fresh and ready for when the winter months race back around.

Most importantly, it’s time to note that eventing season is fast approaching, so now will be the perfect time to inspect your leather work and tack to ensure there is no wear and tear, and if there is, what better chance to repair and get it looking wonderful and new just in time for any events.

Keeping on top of the cleaning process on leather work will help prevent any cracking and splitting in what is hopefully going to be a warm and dry season, as well as making it look aesthetically pleasing, of course. Damaged tack can also be a danger to both you and your horse!
Fence check

As you all know, wood is easily damaged throughout the winter months so it is vital that as spring approaches you inspect all of your fencing for any damage.

If your fencing has started thawing and become extremely damp, this may result in posts sinking, mesh becoming loose that is a hazard for horses as they could end up tangled, and if weather wears away the wood enough, sharp edges could have formed.

It is also a must that you check any electric fencing you have to make sure it is all still in full working order. This will prevent runaway horses is the lush green pastures on the opposing side of the fence just become far too tempting!
Introduce Exercise

Spring is the perfect time for you and your horses to spring into action and get that exercise started! Just like us, your horses may have become slightly unfit during the winter and will need steadily easing back into exercise.

Obviously not through excessive eating of Christmas pudding, chocolate and the likes, mainly because we become a little less active during this period. Therefore, so do our horses.

It is best to gradually introduce your horse into exercise again by starting off with smaller treks a few times a week, making them ever so slightly longer each time.  It is also an option to try them out with some supplements, particularly older horses or ponies to avoid any stiffness.

Introduce vitamins and enzymes into their diet also through the use of Aloe Vera Gel or something similar.

It is also well a known fact that horses are more at risk to infections throughout spring and summer, so maybe think about having your horse vaccinated as soon as possible.