5 horsey jobs to do in March
Spring is (nearly) here and all equestrians' thoughts are turning to longer days and more riding! With that in mind, here are my five horsey jobs to do during March...
Don’t let the spring grass catch you out…again
You know three key facts about spring: (1) the spring grass comes through every year, (2) it catches you by surprise every year, and (3) you need to restrict grazing as quickly as possible once it starts to come through! This means you need to be ready to erect the temporary fencing, more or less, on the day you discover it’s arrived but you won’t be able to do so if your tape is all knotted up. So allow some time to unravel last year’s tape ahead of when you think you’ll need it.
Brace yourself for March Winds
Most of us have heard of “March winds” and “April showers” but did you know that they form part of an old proverb “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers" which was first recorded in 1886? The phrase is even mentioned in the Prologue of the Canterbury Tales. That aside, March does seem to be windy, so brace yourself and take precautions where you can to avoid injury in fields or out riding. Horses seem to get a bit sharper when it’s windy so, if you must hack, wear hi-viz clothing for you and hi-viz for your horse and try to avoid the road if possible. If you have to turn out, consider limiting turn-out time or, even better, keep him in if you’re able to get him out of his stable and exercise him at some stage during the day.
Get fit for it!
If you want to enjoy your riding and improve, you need to work on your own fitness in the same way that you do with your horses. And to get fit, you don’t need to splash out on an expensive gym membership. Simply review the work-out that you get at the yard every day to ensure that it contains all of the following elements: warm up, cardio, strength & conditioning, and a cool down. If your yard work-out is missing any of these, there’s room for improvement.
Remember that being fitter often helps to prevent injuries from occurring, and if you suffer from a re-occurring condition, it can be helped with regular exercise off your horse on the yard.
Get your saddle checked
Your horse’s diet can be very different in the winter months as he probably eats more hay than he does grass. So he may very well have changed shape. With the hacking and competition season looming, it’s a good idea to get your saddle checked to ensure he’s comfortable and ready for the all the riding ahead.
Lighten the Layers
In the winter months you probably opt for thermal layers but, dare I say it, you may find these too warm for March. Still go for layers but try lighter weight ones, otherwise you’ll be forever stripping off your layers!
Have I missed anything off? Let everyone know in the comments below!