Spring Checklist for Getting Your Horses Ready for Extended Turnout

March 11th, 2010

RAMM Flex-Fence at the RAMM Equine Research & Development Farm

The birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and spring is in the air! Warmer weather and more sunshine mean more energy for our horses, extended time in pasture and preparation for the show season or busy summer of riding. Use our checklist to help get your farm, horses and yourself ready for what the next season brings along.

Before giving your horses that extended time in pasture, take some time to check your fence lines. Spring is full of beautiful days, so use one of them as an excuse to take a ride around your fences. Look for any areas that are in need of repair and mark them with a flag. That way, you can easily spot them when you’re ready to fix them. Check for protruding nails, loose rails, fence that needs tensioned, broken insulators, etc. Repair anything that needs fixed before you turn your horses out again to help avoid accidents. Make sure turnouts are equipped with clean water troughs or automatic waterers.

With horses out in pasture for longer periods of time, this frees up stalls for maintenance and repairs. Make sure all feeders, waterers and buckets are clean and in good working order. Check mats to make sure edges aren’t curling. Look for any boards that need replaced, and install post edging and/or wall capping if you see signs of chewing or cribbing.

The phrase ”spring cleaning” didn’t happen on accident! Spring is a great time to organize the tack room. While you’re in there, don’t forget to clean and condition your tack, as well. Regularly conditioning leather keeps it soft, supple and looking great. It also extends the life of your tack. Shining up the silver on your show tack will make a great impression in the ring and show that you take pride in your appearance and equipment.

With the warmer weather, your horses will need some spring-cleaning, too to help them shed that winter coat. Groom often and keep hoofs picked out. Mud, stones and other debris can collect, especially when horses are receiving ample turnout time. If you’ve let manes and tails grow through the winter, get them in show shape with a good washing, detangling and trimming.


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