E had a good portion of the winter off due to weather and the barn closure. She is a maturing horse and when we got back to work + spending time together, here is what we focused on:
ONE // GROOMING
Grooming, grooming, and more grooming! Horses shed their winter coat in the spring so regular spring grooming is critical for healthy skin and coat. With E, every time I groom her I give her a nice curry followed by vigorous brushing. Although being a mare, she can be sensitive and usually prefers a body brush (typically the last step in a grooming routine) as opposed to a dandy brush with its stiffer bristles. That said, I still use a dandy brush on her hindquarters + hocks, etc. I also have a very small and soft face brush which she likes.
If horses have not shed their winter coats they can overheat on a hot day and take longer to cool/dry out on a cool day. Consider clipping your horse, as needed but remember you will likely still need to blanket on cooler nights. With E, provided that I spend proper time thoroughly grooming her, she sheds out nicely and there is no need to clip. I also give periodic baths weather permitting. My current horse shampoo + conditioner of choice: Cowboy Magic with Rosewater. Cowboy Magic products are high quality, smell great, with a good price point. I also use the shampoo + conditioner on our dogs. Grooming gloves are also a great option for more sensitive horses.
For fly control: I use a bit of clear SWAT in her ears, lower face, under chin, and belly. My preferred fly spray: sweat-proof Endure. There are some natural options, as well.
TWO // CONDITIONING
E had several months off so I began my riding schedule while frequent, slowly. Lots of walking and trotting to warm up plus hill work in the fields to condition and build up her muscles and strength. E can get bored in the ring so being out in the fields is also a nice change.
THREE // VACCINATIONS
Spring is the time for vaccinations and a good opportunity to assess overall health. This year, with E maturing, we had our veterinarian, in addition to normal vaccinations, assess any supplements that we could give her to maximize her movement and ensure that she is feeling her best. What we settled on: Adequan and Legend IV to help with her joints and a dose of a multi-vitamin complex to help with her immune system.
FOUR // FEED + HOOF SUPPLEMENTS
A lot of horses have issues with the lush spring grass in the spring. Luckily, E does very well on grass. We are also going to use a hoof supplement with Biotin to maintain moisture levels in her feet. As the ground gets hard and fly season starts, hoof wall cracking and flakiness can increase.
Thanks for stopping by, X.