Spring Is Finally Here
As warmer weather beckons, it’s time to break out all the stored tack & get ready to ride again!!
First off, a thorough clean/condition of saddles & bridles will get you off to a great start. Check all buckle & billet attachments for any signs of wear & cracking. Better to send them out for repairs now than to lose time during the height of riding season. Make sure that your billet holes have not stretched unevenly, as this can be very uncomfortable for your horse & set the stage for chiropractic issues.
When you launder your pads, check for any seam lumps, bumps or un-raveling…a stitch in time will extend the life of your pads. In some parts of the country, rodents like to make nests in the warm, fleecy materials pads provide, so check for any holes/thinned areas that may have come up.
Spring is a crucial time to re-assess saddle fit. Like many of us, horses too can gain weight & become out of shape during the winter months. Care needs to be taken especially with treed saddles, to ensure that the tree fork still fits WITH your padding system AND the rider on board. A too tight tree fork will restrict the way your horse can move creating structural & behavioral issues. It will also prevent your horse from developing balanced muscling.
Sometimes thin foam or felt shims may be needed for a time in your padding system to fill in areas atrophied from lack of work until proper muscles can be built again.
Also assess the fit of the panels to see if they may need to be re-flocked or spot flocked..or if you can perhaps get away with using a thin memory foam padding system instead of your normal pad until your horse gets back into shape.
Incorporating TTEAM or Connected Riding ground work can go a long way to helping your horse develop a well muscled, balanced topline & is much easier on the joints than lunging……and more fun for all concerned.
Because many areas have very rich spring grasses coming up, adding a daily pro-biotic such as Advanced Biological Concepts, “ABC Plus” can help to normalize intestinal flora minimizing the risk of founder or colic.
With many horses spending the winter months eating hay, cubes or pellets rather than time outside grazing, the incidence of developing uncomfortable hooks & points on the teeth increases. Having your horse’s dental work done now will be most welcomed by your equine companion and will help also help with digestion & elimination.