This Article is About
riding a horse
proper vaccinations
vet check
typical places
green grass
tender feet
medical reason
first horse
Tips For Riding A Horse Come Spring
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

If you're like me and live where the winters are cold and long, you're chomping at the bit (pun intended) to get back in the saddle again. If - like me - you don't have an indoor arena allowing you to avoid cold rains, ice and snow you have not been able to work with your horse very much at all this past winter season.

Well, frankly, not only am I a little out of shape but my now chubby gelding is as well! Whether or not you and your horse are looking a bit flabby in all the typical places, you can bet your horse is likely not ready to do a long training or riding workout. Your first horse riding lesson needs to be slow and easy, and not too aerobically-intensive just yet.

Okay, so you will want to go easy on your horse, but you will also want to keep a close eye on his/her eating habits and general over-all health. First, we'll discuss the eating-habits and over-all health tips.

Horse Health and Feeding:

What you need for a horse come spring is a complete vet check. While getting back to riding boot-camp, be sure to have your horse vet-checked in the spring as soon as possible. Your horse will need the proper vaccinations, boosters, and an updated coggins if you are trucking him/her to trails or shows.

You'll also want the farrier to now apply shoes (if your horse needs to be shod). Getting back to riding again means rough, rocky terrain. You don't want your horse to become lame because of tender feet. Remember, he or she hasn't had to carry your weight all winter.

With the return of warmer weather also comes of a horse's favorite past-time; eating fresh, green grass! Be sure to allow your horse this enjoyment, but make sure that fresh grass grazing time is allowed gradually. Too much fresh grass too soon can cause founder, and the last thing you want after a long break from riding is a lame horse!

Okay, now back to the tips for spring riding:

Because I am not a big fan of blanketing a horse unless there is a medical reason, no shelter from the element, or a horse is being trailered in cold weather, my horses grow lots of winter coat! That means they are always furry little woolly mammoths by the time spring finally rolls around. Once again - if your horses are like mine - they will overheat very quickly when you start doing ground work to prepare them for riding again. In fact, my gelding is always so eager to please me in the spring I really have to cut back and go very easy with him. He's one of those "easy keepers" who always runs a bit overweight and - even though he has 24/7 use of his pasture and shelter - usually packs on a few pounds over winter. For helping a horse to shed a winter coat, do lots of brushing. Your horse will love it and horse people seem to love doing it.

Make sure you adhere to a regular schedule of no less than 3 to 5 days a week. It's best to have the days you work with your horse run consecutively rather than skipping a day or more in between lessons. The first ride can often feel as though you're riding a new horse. They tend to be a bit on the fresh side, have a bit of an attitude, and just may not really feel up to "working" after a long break. If you've had a horse in a stable for most of the cold season - a situation I don't recommend for a horse's overall well-being - the horse will have a lot of penned-up energy to work off. Either way, just take it one step at a time, take it slow and make sure every step of your training is applied at a gradient. I highly recommend lots of ground work before you get back up in the saddle.

Remember, you AND your horse are likely out of shape. Muscles will be stiff, sore and achy. Allow your horse to become more flexible and accustomed to being worked again. Be keenly aware of what is legitimate getting-back-into-shape phenomenon, and what is just plain bad attitude you will need to correct right away.

Okay, there's a great deal more we can - and will - talk about regarding preparing your horse for spring. But let's hone-in on these points first. Spring is always looked upon with eager eyes, but it also demands we get ourselves and our horses back on schedule - so we'll take it in increments.

So, here's the recap:

What You Need For A Horse Come Spring

1. Get your horse vet-checked as early in the spring as possible 2. Make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date 3. Make sure you have an up-to-date coggins so you can begin transporting your horse to shows, etc. 4. Have your farrier examine your horse and, if necessary, apply shoes. 5. Monitor your horse's grazing time on fresh, green, spring grass.

Tips for Riding a Horse Come Spring

1. Start out slow and steady, keeping a regular schedule of 3 to 5 days a week minimum. 2. Begin with ground work until your horse's mind is in the right place for working under saddle. 3. Watch for signs of sore and stiff muscles. 4. Allow time for your horse to become more flexible. 5. If your horse is overweight, or otherwise out of shape, avoid working him/her too hard when you first start. 6. Remember; slow and steady is better than going gang-busters and exhausting your horse.

Spring is a long-awaited season for those of us who have not been able to enjoy our horse-riding during winter. Make sure you get back to it as smoothly and as injury-free as possible. As always, happy trails!


Street Talk

Love the advice!!! And groundwork, groundwork, groundwork after winter. I usually don't get on my horses, (and I have trained them all from the start) for at least 3-4 days when I start in the spring or an extended period of time off. Better safe then sorry and I have never had a problem. I listen to the horse and let them tell me when they are ready and again in the frame of mind for working and being ridden.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
You May Also Like
How To Tame A Horse - An Overview
Reading this article will not make you a horse trainer. It will not make you an expert in understanding the body language of a horse. The question, "How to tame a horse" will not be answered in this one article. But this article will - it is hoped - open…
By:  in  Pets  >  Horses   May 12, 2011  
1
  Likes: 0

Mama's Mink
And that’s when my head hit the tree. And I mean hard. Seeing stars hard. Bad headache hard. Hard! Lying there—face to the ground—head hurting—I remembered thinking that this bad idea started a year earlier. I could not have been more than fourteen. A girl just a few streets away…
By: James Voerg in  Self Improvement  >  Motivation   Apr 23, 2013  
0
  Likes: 0

Is Your Dog at Risk for Canine Influenza?
It seems like everyone is getting the flu these days. Even birds! But, did you know that your dog can contact the flu? I know it sounds crazy but, it's true. Canine Influenza. Canine influenza is highly contagious. It's caused by a new virus so your dog has no natural…
By: firecrow67 in  Pets  >  Dogs   Mar 27, 2011  
1
  Likes: 3

What Vaccinations Do You Need For Your Horse?
If you are a horse owner, you are highly likely a horse lover as well. As a horse owner you also know the expense of acquiring a good horse, as well as the expenses involved in providing quality food and board. On top of these costs is the necessity to…
By:  in  Pets  >  Horses   Mar 31, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

The Barefoot Horse
The conversation about barefoot horses has gone on for years, it is one of those subjects which has many advocates as well many protesters. I am in fact a true advocate in every since of the word. My opinion comes from knowing people that have experienced huge benefits to their…
By: sharon18 in  Recreation and Sports  >  Equestrian   Jan 22, 2015  
0
  Likes: 0

Should You Get Involved In Horse Racing Epsom?
If you have been thinking about making a smart investment that will allow you to earn money on a regular basis, you should consider getting involved in Horse Racing Epsom. Interesting enough, it is recommended that you consider the race horse a business instead of a pet that you can…
By: Johny Danes in  Recreation and Sports  >  Equestrian   Feb 02, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Choosing A Horse Saddle
The saddle is such an important piece of "kit" for riders that it is vital that you give thought to the type of saddle you will choose.  Do not rush into buying one.  This should not be an inpulse buy, so think carefully and do your research.  The right kind…
By: Suzanne Barrett in  Recreation and Sports  >  Equestrian   Oct 14, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

How To Tame A Horse - A Guide For The Novice Horse Trainer
Okay, so horse training is a great skill and it takes the best horse trainers spending a lot of time and experience working with horses and developing that uncanny level of feel, timing and know-how. I am no professional horse trainer. I have high admiration for them. I hold them…
By:  in  Recreation and Sports  >  Equestrian   May 04, 2011  
1
  Likes: 3

Body Protectors for Horse Riding – Safely Enjoy the Ride
Body protectors for horse riding provide an extra level of protection in the event that you fall from your horse. Usually associated with the sport of Eventing, body protectors provide additional protection against potential injury from either falling on an object or being stepped on by the horse should the…
By: M.J. Cantrell in  Recreation and Sports  >  Equestrian   Aug 21, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

Why Book Horse Riding Lessons Mansfield Specialists Provide
Curious about horse riding? Interested in attending specialised show jump training? Then, it means you must contact a team specialized in equestrian services Mansfield located for further information. Highly qualified personnel, modern facilities and a wide range of services recommend a company such as AC Equestrian Services when it comes…
By: Johny Deanes in  Recreation and Sports  >  Equestrian   Dec 13, 2015  
0
  Likes: 0

Disabled People Can Ride Horses Too
It's His Birthday For my son’s 9th birthday, we surprised him by taking him to an auction. This was pretty boring for him because livestock auctions can go on into the middle of the night. What Josh didn’t know was that we planned to get him a horse for his…
By: Kali Webb in  Recreation and Sports  >  Equestrian   Jun 03, 2013  
3
  Likes: 1

How To Keep A Horse Well Broke
So now that you have learned how to buy a horse and have attained the horse of your dreams, do you know how to keep a horse well broke? It's an important question if you want to maintain or improve the level of training your horse has. Pasture Ornaments Too…
By:  in  Recreation and Sports  >  Equestrian   May 25, 2011  
1
  Likes: 1

Being Over Horsed – Cheap Or Free Horses Are Usually Problem Horses
Being over horsed is the biggest reason that big name trainers such as Clinton Anderson, Pat Parelli and Chris Cox are all in business. You shouldn’t hold a grudge against their success as they are simply fulfilling the demand that is created by the inexperienced horse person who purchases a…
By: M.J. Cantrell in  Recreation and Sports  >  Equestrian   Aug 22, 2012  
1
  Likes: 3

Tips for Horse Riding With Other Riders
Now that your search for a horse has been met with success, you are now ready to be with your horse as much as possible. So let's say you enjoy trail riding. You are likely very eager to go on some horseback riding trail rides with other riders. Well, here…
By:  in  Recreation and Sports  >  Equestrian   Jul 27, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

World Of Horses
Today I intend to start a series of articles about an equestrian world. And I would like to share my own experience in entering this world. I think everyone once saw a horse. And everyone once sat horseback or even rode horseback. But it was just a moment in your…
By: Sergey4 in  Recreation and Sports  >  Equestrian   Jun 26, 2012  
0
  Likes: 1

Article Views: 5170    Report this Article