Spring is a fantastic season for horse riding. As the harsher weather leaves and warmer, more comfortable temperatures commence, there are many activities that you can complete to ensure you are prepared for the upcoming horse season. Throughout this article, we will discuss the top equestrian activities, preparation, and things to consider in the Spring season.
Exercise & Stretch Routine
It is very common for many passionate horse riders to relax and enjoy their offseason. Although, during a relaxing offseason, many horse riders may become stiff and unfit. It is imperative for all horse riders to complete an efficient exercise and stretching routine to avoid injury. It is recommended to complete an exercise and stretch routine when commencing your horse-riding training in Spring after a long Winter. There are many online resources that can be followed specifically designed to improve horse riders’ physical capabilities. A plethora of exercises and stretches can be found inside these routines. Examples of common stretches and exercises are groundwork core exercises, balance and leg strength exercises, and equestrian pilates.
As the weather great improves in the Spring and flowers start to bloom, it is a great idea to take your horse out into nature. It is essential to socialize your horse, especially after a long winter of isolation. Therefore, it is a good idea to contact some friends and arrange to adventure out on a trail ride into a valley with a group of fellow riders. This will help improve the horse’s ability to be around others and improve everyone’s overall mood. If you would prefer something other than a generic trail ride, we recommend researching competitive trails, endurance riding, or mounted orienteering.
If you are a competitor at an equestrian show, you must commence your training in Spring. Show preparation can be a time-consuming procedure. Therefore it is always important to give yourself as much room as possible. Vigorously work towards your competition goals and ensure you have entered in time before any closing dates. To prepare for a horse show, ensure you have a clean tack, a clean horse, and tight, properly fitting clothes.
Try-On Old Clothes
In winter, it is common for a rider to put on a small amount of extra weight. Equestrian clothing for competitions can be tight-fitting. It is important to ensure the clothes still fit properly. We recommend trying on your clothing in advance of any competition. There are many local service providers that are happy to refit show clothing for a small fee.
Renew Club Memberships
It is very common for equestrian clubs, equestrian competitions, and equestrian associates to renew their membership in Spring. We recommend keeping track of all your membership renewal dates and ensuring no outstanding fees are present. Depending on your location and club, you may need to pay an additional showjumping fee. Keep this in mind when renewing your membership.
The perfect time of the year to clear all your horse-riding clutter from your house and stables. We recommend removing any unusable items that are beyond being fixed. Spring is the perfect time to deep clean your stables. It is the perfect temperature to move your horse out of the stables and allow for power washing, clearing old heigh etc.
Complete Shedding Process
Over the winter months, it is very common for horses to shed their coat. This is natural for most horse breeds to go through for short periods of time. Sometimes horses have not completed their shedding process by spring. This can be extremely challenging for any equestrian rider who requires to start training. To increase the rate of a shedding coat, use a curry comb or shedding block gently on the horse’s coat.
Repair Winter Blankets
It is very common for horses to destroy their winter blankets. These blankets can be very costly therefore it is advised that any rider should patch any rips in the patchwork. Repair packs can be found online for relatively cheap prices. It is also important to store these bags and ensure they are kept dry to avoid dangerous bacteria production. We recommend using airtight large zip lock bags.
Horse Exercise Plan
After a long winter, your horse is likely to be unfit. It is important to gradually increase exercises in your horse’s routine. Do not drastically increase the amount of exercise your horse is doing. This can cause serious problems as a horse must be gradually re-introduced to extensive training. It is always advised to work on stamina training before any more complex training is incorporated into your horse’s schedule. As a side note, remember to increase your horse’s calorie intake if they are not commencing more extensive activities.
Things To Consider for Summer
There are many things that a horse rider can do to prepare for summer. We will list a range of key activities that will help improve your horse’s wellbeing and presentation.
Ensure your horse is dewormed. It is important to ensure your horses are always dewormed to avoid sickness. This illness can commonly spread throughout a stable to multiple horses, creating a serious dietary issue. Keep track of your deworming with a logbook or an online app. Log book applications can be purchased relatively cheap on the Appstore.
Avoid laminitis. This is a common metabolic disorder found in horses. Spring grazing is commonly associated with laminitis. For horses that would be classified as higher risk due to illness or old age, dry lots or grazing muzzles are advised.
Ensure your horse’s mud is removed. Mud can dry and irritate a horse’s skin. Overtime becoming a genuine issue.
Present your horse in the correct manner. Clean and trim the bridle path as well as its muzzle. Ensure your horse is washed and does not have any overgrown hair.
Overall, there are many ways in which a rider can prepare for the upcoming season. If you follow the tips and tricks discussed above your equestrian journey is guaranteed to be an enjoyable experience.