_Gearing up for Spring and Summer
As the days start getting longer and the sun starts to shine down more we start feeling the itch of spring. The warm Schnook wind gently blows as all the ice melts and the snow fades away. It is this time when everyone in the horse world takes a collective sigh and wishes for nice days for trail riding a head. Barns where there are pregnant mares prepare for the foaling time and show barns began the yearly process of the show season. Preparing now for the busy spring and summer ahead will make your life easier in the long run. Spring is a great time to go over all your tack, equipment and safety gear.
For those of us who are trail riders, spring brings the promise of nicer days to come. Even if there isn't a show to look forward to you should still check your tack and equipment regularly to ensure everything is in proper working order. You don't want to be two hours away on trail and have your cinch break. Replace worn or heavily used items as well as check on your first aid kit to make sure nothing has expired.
Around the barn there is a lot of work to be done in the spring time. Doors get opened to let in the fresh air. Cobwebs and dust should be cleaned once a year to prevent fire hazards as well as making the barn a clean and nice looking place. Again check medicine kits and first aid kits to make sure that nothing is out of date. Fire extinguishers should also be checked regularly and maintained according to manufacturers instructions. Winter blankets and other heavy winter items need to be washed and stored for the next seasons use.
Horses, like people need to get back into shape following the long, cold winter. Just like you, after to many holiday meals, horses will gain weight in the winter as they are ridden less. Start slowly working you and your horse back in to better shape. Spring is for vet checks as well. Getting your horse up to date on vaccines is not only important but can and will prevent further expenses down the road. Make sure your horse is being wormed appropriately, as the warmer it gets the more flies and other bugs come out. Farrier visits are also needed to put shoes back on and to keep up with the regular trimmings. You should also discuss with the vet your horses feed requirements. As you transition from an inactive winter to an active spring keep in mind you might need to adjust your horses diet accordingly.
While many of these things take minutes or seconds to do, they can save you a lot of time and trouble in the future. Get out and enjoy the nice weather knowing you are prepared for what ever life and nature throws at you.