Finally, the good weather looks like it’s here to stay. 

How summer-ready is your horse though? Follow these tips to help prepare your horse for long days of warm sun and enjoyable riding!

Your horse will be shedding a lot of hair, so make sure to wear the right clothing when you groom him at the end of winter. If you are particularly sensitive, it may pay even to wear a face-mask and glasses to protect yourself. Manes and tails should be washed, brushed out and trimmed if required. You can clip the brow-band area of your horse’s mane and trim the hair around his legs.

SUMMER HORSE
PREPARATION CHECKLIST

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When your horse is clean you can evaluate his condition. It can be hard to gauge his condition when he has a long winter coat, but after a thorough groom this should be made much easier.

Once you understand how your horse is condition wise, you can talk to your vet about any concerns. Does he need any routine vaccinations? Is his tetanus vaccine up to date?
If you are planning to ride or compete at shows in different parts of the country, your horse will have to have a valid negative Coggins test to show he doesn’t have equine infectious anemia.

In the western United States, you must travel with proper brand inspection papers to prove ownership too, so make sure all of these are organized before the season starts.

As the old-wives-tale says, ‘no foot, no horse’, and we’ve all heard–and believed–that quote in one form or another. Many of us are guilty of neglecting hoof care over the winter. A farrier or trimmer will clean up your horses’ hooves and prepare them for work.
The hard ground of spring and summer can easily cause bruising to unprepared hooves. Many horses need to be outfitted with hoof pads as protection. These layers of rubber or leather fit between the hoof and the shoe.

Dentistry is also important. For a horse to properly chew his food, he must have teeth that function properly. Schedule a visit with your dentist once a year to ensure his mouth is in good condition– because if he can’t eat properly, he will quickly lose condition when you start working him. A healthy mouth is also important when it’s time to carry a bit and bridle again.

Another good idea is to book an appointment with your horses ‘chiropractor and saddle fitter. Evaluate your horse before you bring him back to work to make doubly sure his body is aligned correctly and whether his saddle is fitting properly.


Take your time getting your horse ready for work. If you take care of your horses, they will take care of you!