Spring Horse Care Guide

Finally, the winter is over and we can enjoy the relief of milder, drier weather through spring! More sunlight hours, warmer weather and the show season on the horizon is definitely a combination that puts a smile on our faces after the long, tiring winter months have passed. Spring does bring it's own challenges - mud, grass, flies, and excitable behaviour will keep you re-evaluating and altering how you manage your horse. Here are some spring care tips and advice to keep your feeling his best this season.

Spring Care Checklist

This is a great chance for us to embrace a "fresh start" and get planning for the rest of the year, while getting on top of any routine health care and checks that may have slackened off towards the end of the winter. Longer daylight hours provide the perfect motivation and opportunity to sort any field maintenance, get spring cleaning done and increase our horse's fitness ready for the summer season of shows and events ahead.

  • Health checks:
    - It's time to check if your horse is up-to-date with his health checks - book your next dentist appointment, make sure vaccinations are up to date and book a health check-up with your vet.
    - Spring worming 
    - Weigh and condition score your horse in February, before the grass comes through

  • Seasonal Conditions
    - Prepare ahead of seasonal irritations such as sweet itch if your horse is prone/sensitive
    - If your horse/pony is already overweight/obese or prone to weight gain, colic, laminitis, EMS etc, it's time to plan how you will restrict their grazing

  • Skin & Coat Care
    - Manage moulting as your horse changes coat with daily grooming. We recommend using a shedding blade if your horse is especially hairy!
    - At the end of winter give your horse a thorough bath to lift out any winter grime, scurf and grease

  • Re-evaluate nutrition:
    - Nutritional demands change in the spring - grass starts coming through, the weather is milder and their workload typically increases
    - Be careful with the influx of grass growth, especially if you have a pony, native type or a "good-doer" - it's time to plan if and how you will restrict grazing
    - Don't forget to support your horse's diet with the required amount of vitamins and minerals, especially if you are restricting grazing
    - For horses increasing in work and fitness, feed for work done not work anticipated - especially if your horse is fizzy

  • Routine changes:
    - If your horse has spent most of winter stabled, change his routine gradually to avoid upset, stress and reduce the risk of colic
    - Build up exercise gradually, especially if your horse has had time off over winter

  • Field management:
    - Rest any muddy areas from winter
    - Plan your field rotation and check for hazards, broken fencing, etc
    - If you need to restrict your horse's grass intake, plan how you'll tackle this before the grass comes through
    - Manage weeds and be cautious of any poisonous plants

  • Prepare your kit:
    - Have your lightweight turnout rugs ready - 100g, 50g and 0g
    - Fiesty and fresh horses enjoying turnout might need overreach boots on in the field!
    - Towards the end of the season (if not before) you'll need your fly masks and rugs at the ready

Summer Care Guides:

Weight Management

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Sweet Itch Management

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Laminitis Prevention

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