There’s still a chill in the morning air here in North Carolina, but soon the atmosphere will be warm and delightful. Winter will be just a fading memory as spring ushers in a change of temperature. Whether your horse is a pet, a professional racer, or has reached the golden age of retirement doesn’t matter, there are things you need to do to get them ready for the seasonal changes. Here is a list of things you need to do to ensure your equine is in top shape for riding, frolicking in the field, or basking in the rays of the golden sun.
1. Schedule Seasonal Vet Visit
The equine vets are quite busy making house calls to see all their patients. So you need to make sure to call right away to schedule these necessary services. Things like dental care, vaccinations, and a routine examination, are essential for keeping your equine healthy. These check-ups can identify problems that require medical care that you may not notice.
2. Book the Farrier for Hoof-Care
The winter weather is hard on the hooves. Some people prefer to keep their horses barefoot in the winter and only have them shoed in the spring and summer months. Regardless of how you choose to handle things, you need to make sure that the hooves of your equine are healthy. A visit from the farrier will make the spring transition easier on your beloved friend. Make sure to book ahead because these professionals are in high demand.
3. Gather Fly Gear
Nothing is more aggravating to a horse than flies. You want to make sure that you have all your gear together before your horse needs it. Gather all your fly gear and make sure that it’s in good condition and it fits well. Never wait until the pests are a problem before making sure things fit. You don’t want your horse to suffer from the bites of these buzzing annoyances.
4. Use Mineral Salts and Daily Gold
During the winter season, most equine owners fear dehydration and stress. One way to keep them drinking regularly is to give them some crushed rock salt or to use a salt rock on a rope. The salt promotes thirst, which ensures they get their daily allowances. Stress is another problem, especially as the spring training season approaches. Using herbal remedies like Daily gold can help to ease the pangs of anxiety, and it helps them to get ready for fair weather.
5. Wash the Blankets
If you use warm-weather blankets, then you know how hard it is to get them washed when they are in constant use. A trip to the laundromat is to get these large covers cleaned. Plan to spend a few hours washing and drying, so it’s best to grab a good book for the trip.
6. Clean the Tack
The winter season brings about many responsibilities, and the tack often gets a quick once-over, and it doesn’t get the deep cleaning it needs. During the busy season, you won’t have time to get those saddles, breastplates, reins, and stirrups gleaming. So use this time to make sure that everything from the halter to the bridles is sparkling.
While you have all the tack out cleaning it, make sure to shine those horse brushes and other tools too. Make a day of cleaning and get ready for summer.
7. Make A Summer Calendar
Whether you ride your horse competitively or want to make sure to stay on top of their appointments, you need to make a calendar. Make sure to write down training sessions as well as any events you may want to attend during the year. Keeping your goals in plain sight will make it easier to remember all you need to do.
8. Clip the Hair
The summer coat begins to come in at the end of February. All horses should be clipped and ready for spring by the end of January. If you haven’t already done this vital step, then you will need to wait to do any trimming.
9. Get Back in The Saddle
Many athletic horses take time off during the winter to rest. However, they shouldn’t stop training just because of the weather changes. If you have let your horse take their ease due to frigid temperatures, then it’s time to get them out there to ride. Did you know that riding them during the winter keeps them physically fit and can prevent injuries during a competition? It’s why riding is essential all year long.
10. Schedule A Chiropractic Visit
Finally, your horse will thank you for a chiropractic visit. Having proper body alignment can help them to prevent soreness. When the body is in position, they can carry themselves properly, and they won’t have any issues as they strenuously use their muscles. It’s one appointment you don’t want to skip.