Spring Health Preparations

Check all these tasks off your list as you transition your horse into the spring riding season.
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Spring Health Preparations
A springtime examination is a great time to consult with your vet on all your horse health matters. | Photo: Stephanie L. Church/The Horse

Check all these tasks off your list as you transition your horse into spring riding season

Pack up those winter blankets and dust off your riding boots! Spring is the season for pursuing equestrian passions, both for leisure and sport. Extended daylight hours and improved weather conditions tempt riders to get back in the saddle and return their horses to consistent work. But before you head out on the trail or to the showgrounds, there are some seasonal steps to follow to ensure your horse is healthy and well-prepared for the active season ahead.

Wellness Exams & Preventive Care

Doug Thal, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, owner of Thal Equine, in Santa Fe, N.M., believes springtime preparation is the key to ensuring your horse gets off on the right hoof heading into the busy riding season. “Excellent general health is critical for a horse to maintain optimal energy and immunity,” he says. “Good health is boosted by quality nutrition and general husbandry (offering stabling, shelter, and water supply), consistent exercise, and appropriate parasite control.”

He also stresses the importance of allowing your horse to “live like a horse,” providing regular turnout and the ability to socialize with a herd, these being huge factors for equine physical and mental health

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Written by:

Nancy S. Loving, DVM, owns Loving Equine Clinic in Boulder, Colorado, and has a special interest in managing the care of sport horses. Her book, All Horse Systems Go, is a comprehensive veterinary care and conditioning resource in full color that covers all facets of horse care. She has also authored the books Go the Distance as a resource for endurance horse owners, Conformation and Performance, and First Aid for Horse and Rider in addition to many veterinary articles for both horse owner and professional audiences.

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