Spring has sprung, and summer is fast approaching! And while most of us cannot wait to enjoy riding (and showing!) outdoors again, there are a few things to think about to get yourself and your horse ready for the warmer months…
*First and foremost, touch base with your vet and make sure you are both on the same page in terms of your horse’s abilities and health, so that everyone has corresponding expectations.
*Reintroducing your horse to the lush summer grass is one of the most important things you can do to avoid colic in the springtime. By taking your horse to graze periodically you will reintroduce his system to the rich grass that died during the winter. This way his system will once again become accustom to the grass, avoiding any dangerous intestinal situations! While you’re thinking about getting your horse out to enjoy the springtime, you may want to think of taking yourself outside too!
*With summer comes show season, and although it is crucial for your horse to be in tip top shape, it’s also crucial that you are in shape as well! Competing is tough, so by adding 10-15 minutes of walking or running to your daily schedule, you can help yourself perform at an optimal level!
You never know what might happen when you combine horse and travel, and head into the competition season, so another good thing to do while preparing yourself and your horse is to make sure your Equine and Human First Aid Kit are up to date.
The United States Pony Club recommends that you have the following items in an Equestrian First Aid Kit:
- Petroleum Jelly
- Veterinary Thermometer
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Antimicrobial/Antiseptic scrub
- Topical antibacterial/antimicrobial/antibiotic agent
- 4″ sterile wound dressings
- 1 roll gauze (at least 2″ wide)
- 1 lb roll of 12″ absorbent practical cotton
- 2 flexible stretch adhesive/cohesive bandages
- 1 roll adhesive tape (1″ minimum width)
- Bandage scissors
- 4 leg bandages with appropriate padding for four (4) stable wraps
The Pony Club recommends that a Human First Aid Kit include:
- Instant cold compresses
- Human digital thermometer
- Antiseptic wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Aloe Vera cream/sunburn cream
- Blister bandages
While preparing for show season, make sure that these items haven’t expired, and that you still have sufficient amounts of all of them. This may mean making some time to get down to the bottom of that tack trunk and clean out the remnants of last year’s show season….and although something many of us dread, it is the best way to stay organized, healthy and on track for both you and your horse!
Hopefully these tips help you prepare for show season so you and your horse are ready to hit the circuit and compete well. Keeping your horse healthy is one of the primary ingredients for a successful show season, and doing just a bit of preparation beforehand can save you a lot of headaches down the road.
Happy Summer & Happy Horseshowing!!!!!!
(Photos courtesy of Carasco Photography, Nancy Qutub and some of the riders of Canterbury Farm!)