Warmer weather is coming. Are you and your horse chomping at the bit to get out and enjoy the green grass and blue skies? Let us suggest a few things you can do to prepare your horse for this seasonal transition.
Wellness Program, Equine Vaccination
Schedule your annual wellness exam as soon as possible. This will give our equine veterinarians: Dr. Amy McGee, Dr. Amanda Chaney and Dr. Emily Bartlett, an opportunity to assess how your horse fared through the winter and discuss next steps.
The Hometown Vet Equine Wellness Program includes: farm call; examination; updated health status; dental exam or annual float with sedation; and fecal test for sand/fecal egg count. We can discuss a proper deworming schedule based upon these results.
We’ll vaccinate for appropriate diseases such as Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis, Rabies, West Nile, Tetanus and Flu. Spring is the time to vaccinate. This insures your horse’s immunity is at a maximum when mosquito activity begins in early summer. It also protects your horses from rabies as raccoons, skunks and other critters get more active in early spring.
We can administer a Coggins Test should you wish to travel out of state with your horse.
Water and Nutrition
Spring pasture provides higher nutrients than any other time of year. Gradually acclimate your horse a few hours at a time, providing a turnout where your horse can be out of the stall without being tempted to eat. This a good idea. Should your horse have weight issues or other chronic conditions a discussion on how best to manage their consumption of green pasture is in order.
Hay needs your attention too. Keep an eye out for mold as you get to the bottom of your hay bales. If hay dust makes you cough, it will likely do the same for your horse. You can agitate and soak it in freshwater or choose not to feed it to your horse. When new hay is delivered clean out the storage area of any mold or debris.
Finally, fresh water is always important. As temperatures rise, fresh water will replenish the losses from increased sweat activity. Electrolytes and mineral replacement may be necessary but let’s talk first.
Spring brings longer days and more sunshine, which leads to the shedding of your horse’s protective winter coat. Help it along with full body grooming sessions over the course of a few weeks. Lack of nutrients can negatively affect the shedding process and the quality of your horse’s coat. We can help you assess your horse’s nutritional status on our farm visit.
Wet spring conditions are the biggest cause of hoof issues. Thrush and abscesses can be quite common. We recommend daily cleaning and an anti-thrush topical treatment until mud season ends and soggy pastures dry out.
Spring is a good time to call your farrier to shoe and trim hooves for the coming outdoor season.
Do you plan on buying a mare with the intent of breeding? We can help you make an informed decision with a thorough examination of the prospective mare to determine reproductive capabilities.
The best time to evaluate your mare is before the start of the breeding season, which is typically mid-April. This allows us to prevent or manage potential complications.
We can also facilitate Artificial Insemination. We ask you to obtain viable semen and we will breed the mare accordingly.