Spring is finally here (or at least almost here…)! For riders, spring means many things – some of them good, some of them not so great. Here are some of the things that we love – and hate – about spring!
Daylight Savings Time
Sometimes Daylight Savings Time is the earliest sign that spring is right around the corner. Who doesn’t love that extra hour of daylight, which means that we might be able to see when we ride our horses after work? While it might mean feeding horses in the dark in the morning, Daylight Savings Time can’t help but hint of usable outdoor riding rings, late afternoon lessons, and even horse shows.
Let’s face it – there’s nothing cuter than new foals playing in the pasture. Just watching them makes you smile. And if one of them is yours, well, you already know how lucky you are.
Nothing says spring more than your hairy horse suddenly becoming not so hairy. Every rider can commiserate about shedding season – the rug that is left beneath your horse after a grooming, how you can endlessly run a shedding comb over your horse with no end to the hair in sight, and the hair that follows you home from the barn in the car no matter how hard you try to leave it at the barn.
When it comes to shedding your horse out, we advise that you use a light jacket or pullover to keep as much hair off of you as possible, and keep a lint roller nearby for good measure. Leave the hair outside for birds to use in their nests. And oh – NEVER put on lip gloss before a trip to the barn in the spring.
If you have allergies to anything, this is when you’ll feel it the most. Grass, dust, mold, flowers – there are many things that can set off a bout of sneezing or watery eyes. Talk to your doctor about antihistamines that can help alleviate some of the symptoms.
Typically spring is when most of the necessary shots for your horse are due – tetanus, rabies E/W Equine Encephalitis, flu/rhino, etc. Which ones you give can depend on where you and your horse live, how much traveling you do and other factors. Check with your veterinarian on what he/she recommends for your horse. Whether you chose a few or a whole flight of vaccinations, they can be expensive. Be sure to budget for these to keep your horse healthy all year round.
Does your horse feel like he’s on springs when you first get on him again after the winter? Maybe you’re lucky enough to have an indoor riding arena, but haven’t quite kept up in your riding routine this winter. Regardless of the reason, know that many other riders are also riding out the “spring sillies” and are hoping that their horses settle back into their work routines – soon!
Ahh, mud. Your horse loves it, but you don’t feel the same. Thanks to the mud, your grey comes in from the pasture looking like a chestnut on a regular basis. Shoes are sucked off to the depths where they will never be found again, and hoof abscesses and soft hoof soles abound. Fighting the mud is often a losing battle unless you take serious measures such as installing a Stable-Ity Grid. Hopefully the spring showers stop and let the mud dry up.
The First of the Flies
Do we even say it? Spring, unfortunately brings with it the first of the flies. Sure, they’re just the little ones that get into your eyes and ears, and aren’t yet the full-blown blood suckers that we know are coming, but still. Late spring will have us thinking of fly prevention before you know it, so enjoy the minimal fly presence while it lasts.
Spring! We love the fact that it’s finally here, but we don’t love all of the fun that it brings. Just remember, only nine months til winter……