Apr 19, 2013

Spring has sprung!

Warmer weather is nearing and that usually drives up the interest to ride outdoors, perhaps take your horse to shows and on hacks, and of course, bathing your horse more often. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

It may take your horse some time to build up the stamina s/he had at fall's end last year when it comes to working outdoors. You may be working in deeper sand than your indoor arena or harder ground and going up and down hills. Pay attention to your horse's breathing both by listening for any huffing and puffing and by heaving of the lungs. Going for endless canter outdoors on a horse can feel so great to you that you may forget to check in on how your horse is doing. Mind the time you spend on hard terrain if your horse doesn't wear shoes and pick your horse's hooves upon return.

Work your equitation in the outdoors by opening and closing gates while mounted or try out your lateral work without any "help" from walls or fences.

When it comes to bathing your horse, it's best if your horse's heart rate has been brought up, even if you're bathing with warm water or it's warm outside to avoid colic. If you plan to bathe your horse without having ridden first, take him/her out on the longe line for at least five to ten minutes first to get the body temperature up. Better safe than sorry.