After a long, cold winter, it often seems that spring can’t come fast enough. Just like us, horses are more than ready for some warmer weather. If your hooved pal has spent the majority of the winter indoors, he’ll probably be kicking his heels up as the temperatures rise. There are some things you’ll want to keep in mind when it comes caring for your horse in spring.
Here are some tips from your Black Hills vet:
Increase Exercise Slowly
If Silver spent most of the winter indoors and wasn’t ridden much, he may be out of shape. He’ll need time to get back in gear, so be careful not to push him too hard at first.
As the warmer weather rolls in, make sure your hooved buddy is up to date on shots and vaccines. Silver will also need worming. Spring is a great time for a veterinary checkup as well!
Some horses blow their winter coats quickly, while others can take some time to lose all that extra fur. Be careful during those first warm days, as your horse could overheat if he still has some winter fur. You may want to consider clipping his coat. A shedding blade might also help him shed more quickly.
Spring is a great time for barn repairs. When those first warm spring days roll in, make time for mending fences and doors, cleaning rafters, and other needed repairs.
Your horse may be eager to taste some fresh green grass, but don’t let him graze too much at first. After several months of eating hay and grain, too much grass too fast can upset your horse’s digestion and can even lead to colic. Ease Silver back into his pasture by limiting his grazing time at first and increasing it gradually.
Temperatures can sometimes fluctuate wildly in spring, and can go from hot to cold to wet within a matter of days. Your horse may still need blanketing on chilly nights. You’ll also want to watch his hooves, as suddenly wet conditions can contribute to hoof problems like thrush. Uneven, muddy ground due to snowmelt can also cause problems.
If your horse is in need of an examination, shots, worming, or other veterinary care, please don’t hesitate to contact us. As your Black Hills vet clinic, we are here to help!