Spring has officially hit and with that, there are several important things for horse owners to be aware of to ensure the best care as possible for their equine partners during this transition.
As a horse owner, I know how much we love to see our equine pals grazing on fresh grass, but Spring grass can be too good for your horse. Due to the grass being new and fresh after the Winter months has passed, the blades contain higher amounts of sugar than normal. This can cause a negative reaction in some horses, which can lead to founder, which is inflammation in the hoof and can cause painful separation of the cannon bone from the hoof wall, which can lead to permanent lameness if not caught. To prevent this, many horse owners put their horses on limited grazing times in the Spring and/or give them hay before hand to help fill them up.
We all know that with warmer weather come bugs. There are many alternatives to fly control, which include maintaining a clean paddock or stall, setting up fly traps, purchasing your horse a fly mask and/or fly sheet or dosing them with fly spray. There are many natural fly sprays that will not you’re your horses skin, but if you are still concerned or your horse has sensitive skin, you can also look into adding a small amount vinegar and garlic to their horses meals to prevent flies from bothering them.
Maintaining a consistent deworming schedule is an important factor in equine health in order to ensure your horses health is not being constricted by worms or parasites. While not every horse owner goes by the same schedule, but a good rule of thumb is at the beginning of a new season.
Just because the weather has warmed up, doesn’t mean your horse won’t need a blanket. Horses who have been blanketed all Winter, may still get chills overnight and should be blanketed if the temperature dips. Additionally, with Spring weather comes Spring rain so don’t forget to keep your horses dry in damper climates to prevent rain rot or rain scald, which is a bacterial skin infection caused if horses don’t have a chance to dry out in a stall or have shelter from the elements, such as a lean-to or a blanket.
By keeping these four simple (yet important!) things in mind, you can ensure a much easier transition for your horse.