​Supporting Your Horse This Spring

Posted by wormers-direct on 1st Mar 2024

​Supporting Your Horse This Spring

While the Spring weather hasn’t quite appeared yet, we are heading towards longer days and fresh Spring grass. It is really important to think about how changes in both the environment and management can affect your horse. Here are some of the key considerations around supporting your horse in Spring to ensure their nutritional needs are met, helping to promote good health.

Forage & Pasture Management

Hopefully if the ground starts to dry up soon your horse will be turned out for longer periods of time, so it is important your horse is prepared for the dietary change from hay to grass. Remember just like introducing hard feed slowly, you shouldn’t turn your horse out for long periods at a time straight away. Their digestive system needs to adapt to the increase in grass, otherwise the risk of colic can increase.

Water soluble carbohydrate (WSC) levels are always higher in spring/summer when the grass is exposed to sunlight, warmth and dry conditions. Plants produce sugars when exposed to sunlight, which are usually used for growth. However, without rain growth is limited and the WSC are then stored in the grass - readily accessible to horses that are grazing. These fermented sugars then pass to the large intestine, disrupting the hindgut environment which can also lead to colic.

Nutritional Supplements

Gut health is incredibly important in horses all year round, not just in Spring. A yeast supplement is ideal to feed to horses to maintain a healthy gut, and is always a good idea to introduce at times of change - stress, moving to new pasture etc.

Brewers Yeast

As the weather starts to warm up it is also a good idea to introduce an electrolyte supplement as if you are riding in the heat they will be sweating more. Alternatively, providing a salt lick in your horse’s stable will ensure they have access to everything they need to balance their own electrolytes.

NAF Electro Salts

General Tips For Keeping Your Horse Healthy

1. Dental care & vaccinations

Spring is a great time to give your horse an overall health check and make sure they are up-to-date with dental care, vaccinations and more. If you think your horse hasn’t come through winter as well as normal, it may be an idea to schedule a vet check-up to discuss any health concerns and any preventative measures you could be taking.

2. Parasite control

With warmer weather comes increased parasite activity. Follow a regular worming programme recommended by your vet, and be sure to include faecal egg counts to help reduce resistance to wormers.

3. Grooming routine

Horses will moult their winter coats in spring so make sure you keep on top of that grooming routine. Regular grooming not only helps to remove the loose hair, but also stimulates circulation and improves overall skin health.

4. Hoof care

You should always keep your horse’s farrier routine going through winter, but when spring comes around it is time to think about added extras like stud holes & road nails if your horse’s exercise is going to increase. Spring also tends to bring with it wetter conditions (although hopefully not this year!), so regular hoof care is essential to prevent things like abscesses.

5. Mental stimulation

In theory your horse will be a lot happier as it starts to have access to grazing for longer periods during the day. However, it is still really important to keep their routine consistent and keep them mentally stimulated with regular, varied rides.

By proactively addressing these aspects of horse care, you can support your horse in transitioning smoothly into the spring season in a healthy way.