Here it is British Summer Time – the long awaited time of lengthy evenings, no mud, and shows. We can’t wait! But before you pile into to enjoying your time with your horse, make sure you are ready. We have complied our top 5 tips for enjoying the Spring time with your horses.
1) Beware the spring grass! Spring grass is notoriously loaded with sugars, this can give our previously sedate steeds a spring in their toes, but can also have serious health implications for those prone to laminitis, Cushings, or other metabolic disorders. We love turning our horses out after the long winter, but make sure you keep an eye on them, and consider restricting their grazing or using a grazing muzzle. This will give them all the benefit of the outside, without the spring grass risk!
2) Check your horse’s saddle due to weight change. Our horses’ shapes change over the winter, their muscle mass decreases due to less work and their weight can often drop. It is advisable to get a professional saddler to check your horse’s saddle before you start increasing their work load.
3) Don’t go from 0-60 build up your horse’s workload gradually. Don’t suddenly start riding your horse for hours at a time, make sure you build up his work gradually to ensure he stays healthy and sound. Make sure he is up to date with his teeth, feet and consider getting a physio out for a once over before you start to increase his workload.
4) Make sure all your rugs are washed and reproofed ready for next winter. Have a good sort out in the sunshine, and then you are all prepared for next winter. Also you can often pick up some good bargains for next winter in the spring sales.
5) Don’t just think about your horse, make sure you are fit to ride after the winter. Have you been active all winter? Or have you been sat on the sofa eating chocolate biscuits? (Guilty as charged!) Make sure you are fit to increase your riding. Try and walk every day, even 30 minutes does wonders for your base fitness.
Enjoy it! And if you are not enjoying your time with your horse, please ask a respected professional for help, after all horses are meant to be a source of joy, not stress!
For more information and top tips visit http://www.thehorsephysio.co.uk/w.thehorsephysio.co.uk and sign up to our newsletter. Sue Palmer is a Chartered Physiotherapist, an Intelligent Horsemanship Recommended Associate and a BHSAI.