I don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready for spring! After two late-winter snow storms in the past month, there’s nothing I’d rather see more than green grass sprouting and the sun shining in a bright blue sky. But, here in Kentucky and many other parts of the country, with spring comes mud. Lots of it. And most equestrians know that mud can be dangerous for both horse and handler.

I’ve been fortunate that the most mud-related damage Dorado has done to himself (knock on wood) relates to the amount of time it takes me to scrape him off to ride, but the slippery and sticky substance can prove problematic for any horseÑespecially older ones that don’t get around quite as easily as they used to.

Not only is mud annoying to scrape off a horse prior to a ride, it can also prove problematic for senior horses.

Photo: Erica Larson

For instance, last week, the 31-year-old Morgan gelding my good friend cares for, Royal, appeared lethargic as he wandered in for dinnerÑa far cry from his usual “I-must-get-to-my-stall-as-fast-as-possible-for-food” attitude. Upon closer inspection, my friend noticed he was mud-covered É under his blanket. She took a few precautionary measures and returned to the barn to check on him later that night, but he seemed fairly comfortable in his stall.

When Royal’s condition had only improved a bit the next day,