Spring is in the air! How to prep your horse for the spring and season ahead.

A long and grueling winter is finally coming to an end, and spring is finally upon us! But before we can all go crazy and start enjoying all the wonderful things and activities this new season with your horse has to offer, there's some stuff that needs to be in order. The more effort you put into proper preparation now, the smaller chance for any bumps in the road later on. We have compiled a list of things you can do to best prepare for this transition so that you and your horse can take full advantage and make this spring and season your most enjoyable yet!

1. Give your stable and paddock a ''spring cleaning''.

A good place to start this spring reset would be to give the stall and paddock a good ol' cleaning. Your horse has spent a lot of time in the stable this winter, so giving the stall a proper reset might not be the worst of ideas. Thoroughly strip the stall, carry out mats and other objects you might have had in there and give the whole thing a proper scrub. It's also important that you disinfect the entire stall and mats.
Just make sure that you are keeping the stable well ventilated and are airing out while you are cleaning, as you don't want a build-up of ammonia in enclosed areas like your stable. This can be dangerous and can cause respiratory damage to your horse.
Once the inside is all clean and shiny it's time to turn the attention to the outside surroundings. Start by walking around the pasture area and check the fences and any outside equipment for any winter damage, and that everything is working as intended. I
t's also important that you assess the surface area within the fences and make sure that there aren't any holes or ruts as a consequence of the rain and winter cold that could cause any unwanted events or injury.

2. Get your tack and equipment in order.

Now that the stable and paddock is all taken care of and ready to be utilized to their full potential, it's time to shift the attention over to the tack and equipment department. Months of cold temperatures and moist air can definitely have a negative impact on leather and other various materials. Like drying it out and even make them crack or flake.
Start by looking over all tack and equipment and look for any wear, tear, or damages. Pay especially attention to any signs of rotting or potential weak spots that could compromise the structure of the equipment, thus making it unsafe. Take all your tack and properly wash with warm water and a good saddle soap, and finish off by applying conditioner to the leather. Don't forget the little things like cleaning your bits, and washing your brushes with warm soapy water as well.

Speaking of warm soapy water! Now would be an opportune time to give you Equine Fusion hoof boots a makeover too. Clean of the material the best you can and make sure you scratch off and wash away old dirt that has been gathered underneith the sole.
Once you're done you could leave them outside in the sun to air dry. Once completely dry you could gather them up and place them in our own dedicated shoe bag and hang it up beside your other tack and equipment.
You can find the shoe bag in question by clicking here

3. Schedule a pre-season check up at the vet.

Winter has finally released its icy grip, so now is the time for a pre-season check-up at the veterinarian. Since you've been so good and awesome completing the two previous steps above, and now know that your stable and equipment are good and up to speed, it's time to make sure the same goes for your horse.
Unlike mid-season exams, where veterinarians tend to be called for a specific problem or injury, the pre-season check-up involves generally the broader and more general view of your horse's health. Both physical and oral health(don't forget those teeth). The spring transition your horse is about to go through brings a lot of change, both in terms of activity but also the environment, so it's important to get the confirmation that your horse is ready for all those amazing adventures I'm sure you have planned for these coming months.
This would also be an ideal time to get up to speed on all relevant vaccines and renew your Coggins test. If you plan to travel around with your horse to shows, or other horse gathering events you might be required an up-to-date vaccination record, along with negative Coggins. The Coggins test particularly could take up to 1-3 weeks to get an answer, so make sure you plan a while in advance of any planned trips or gatherings.

4. Care for those hoofs.

Goes without saying, but we have an above-average interest in the importance of hoof health. Now with spring coming up, it is a good time to get your horse's hoofs a fresh trim. This will also allow you to get a closer look at how the horse's feet are looking so that he can move around freely and comfortably this season.
An imbalanced hoof can cause damage to ligaments and supporting joints, and we don't want any of that! If you notice any signs of splits or roughage you should have your farrier come out a little earlier than perhaps originally planned. Identifying this early can prevent these from turning into more serious cracks that could put your horse on the sideline for several weeks while waiting for new growth.
Making sure that the hoofs are properly trimmed and healthy is key before resuming your training and activity schedule so that your horse can be moving pain-free for the entire season of riding. Should there turn out to be any problems or concern regarding you horses hoof health, we offer what we think is the best solution. Not only to treat and heal the hoof but also to make sure it is constantly being taking care of by allowing it to function the way nature intended it. 
 This company was founded when a dedicated horse owner had a horse that always seemed uncomfortable, and despite veterinary checks and treatment it never seemed to get better. As a last resort, the traditional metal shoes were removed. Horses often get sore and uncomfortable when metal shoes are first removed as the hooves have to go through a rehabilitation period. Without additional protection the wear of the hoof can exceed the growth, causing sore hooves.This horse needed a shoe that did not put any restriction on the biomechanical function of the hooves. Equine Fusion was founded to develop a shoe that would work with the anatomy of the hoof, safeguard the natural balance, stability, cushioning, blood flow, and rollover motion.
The goal was to make a shoe that could give hoof protection most naturally and comfortably for the horse. 
The key features of the shoes that we make are to give the horse comfort and the rider ease of mind through a flexible shoe that works with the hoof giving it support, cushioning, and grip. The shoe conforms to the individual hoof and ground surface (sink in and allow for movement sideways/ forward), giving the horse the most natural step possible and allows the horse to feel the ground.The hoof mechanism works inside the Jogging Shoe (contact between hoof and sole) unlike any other design, and the hoof works independently of the surface friction. This promotes the natural function of the hoof and enhances the horse’s welfare, soundness, and performance.
Nothing beats the feeling we get when we receive messages from people thanking us for having a horse that can move around freely and pain-free again. With healthy hoofs comes a happy horse and performing horse, so don't forget to show those hoofs some love this spring
If you want to treat your horse with some fresh looking boots for this new season, we are for a limited time only running a 10% discount on our two newest releases, the ''Trekking'' and ''Recovery'' model. If you want to take advantage of the opportunity you can do so by clicking here.

5. Prepary for flies and insects, and how to fight back:

Although flies and insects serve a purpose and a significant role in our world's ecosystem, they are not something you want around your horse.
Flies will make themselves welcome by nourishing on your horse's blood, sweat, and tears. These biting insects are not only very annoying and uncomfortable for your horse, but they could also carry nasty diseases that you would rather not your horse catch, like West Nile or  Encephalomyelitis
Now that the weather is getting warmer you must do everything you can to keep the population of these flying pests to a minimum. And there is luckily several things you can do to.
The best place to start is by getting rid of their breeding sites. So disposing of manure, keeping your stalls, pasture, and pens as clean as possible will go a long way. Elimination of moist areas is also a good tip, as that attracts flying insects. Hanging up fly repellents and using fly spray will also go along way in limiting this problem.  
There are many other ways of going about this, but hopefully, these tips were helpful in giving you an idea of where to start.

6. And finally, start out slow and ease into it.

Bravo, you!
Now that you have done your best to have to prepare your horse, equipment, and the surrounding environment, you are ready to take full advantage and get your horses out there going and active again. If we can leave you with one last tip, that would be to start slow and ease your horses back into it. Especially if they have been taking it easy during these cold winter months. This will let your horse's muscles, bones ligaments, and cardiovascular system be conditioned and built back up gradually, minimizing the risk of injuries. Start out letting them get some exercise by having brief walks and then progressing over to longer and faster rides.

So there you have it, folks! You and your horse are now ready to take on the world. Even though we just scratched the surface of this topic, we hope you stillfound at least some of these tips helpful
May you and your happy and performing horse have the best spring season yet!

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