It’s that time of year here in Nova Scotia; the time for mud, shedding horses, conditioning, and maintaining all the things! In a recent podcast episode of Canada Horse Podcast you can hear all about how the change in weather affects our routines, as well as our horses.
We are both excited for the changes that come along with the new season, especially the change in our personal horse time, but we did discover some very important reminders that all horse owners need to be aware of as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer!
Here are 5 reminders for spring maintenance as an equestrian that we hope helps you better prepare for summer:
- Spring Conditioning of your Equine Partners
If you are looking for some tips on how to get your horse in tip top physical cognition this spring, check out episode 8 of the Canada Horse Podcast with Canadian Endurance Trainer and Coach Ashley Tomaszewski. She takes conditioning very seriously, almost like it is her job! But seriously, whether you are conditioning for an endurance race or just more regular riding it is important to take your horse’s current condition into consideration as you get back into the saddle this spring. We recommend lots of walking and shorter rides to begin with.
Winter storms, deer, and snow can wreak havoc on our fencing! When the ground is finally dried up, don’t forget to take a quick trip around your fences to fix any broken insulators and look for downed fencing. It is an easy job to miss with all of our spring to-do’s, but it will save you a call from your neighbor down the road. This also is a great time to decide if your pasture itself needs any help to grow quality grass this coming summer for your horses to thrive on.
- Personal Conditioning
An important part of becoming the best rider we can be to communicate as clearly as possible with our horses is our physical health and fitness. While others are focusing on getting the beach bodies ready, we at Informed Equestrian are more concerned with the fit of our show clothes and our strength and balance for riding. Great ways for riders to work on their strength and balance is through yoga and pilates. The great thing about life as we know it, is there are SO many free resources online to help create a healthy habit of prioritizing your physical health.
- All the renewals!
Consider this your official reminder to check all your trucks, trailers, memberships, and insurances for renewals. Due to COVID our horse trailer sat all of 2020 and now needs a new safety, insurance, and new wheels. Here at Informed Equestrian, we both have our provincial equine insurance and NRHA memberships to ensure they are current. There are so many things to keep track of when you think of insurance, memberships, safety inspections, etc that we suggest blocking out some time on one day soon to check on them all and begin the process asap to handle everything that needs your attention before clinics and shows begin in full force.
- Facility assessment
If you are like us and have your horses at home, spring is a great time to assess how your facility is functioning for each season to have you working smarter not harder. It is helpful to look at how your barn routine is set up and to look for any ways that you could invest in making small (or big) changes to make your life easier each new season. For example, if you feed round bales and curse the amount of wasted hay, you could check out round bale nets like the ones available through HayChix to help cut down waste and save money. When Nikki was working at a barn during her university life, she and the owner discovered a super easy way to cut back on mess and time that hadn’t been thought of for 10 or more years! What they noticed is the three horses stalled in the six stall barn were all in the stalls farthest from the shavings bin and at the opposite end of the barn to the manure pile. By moving each horse down to the other end of the barn, they cut down on time.