Your spring horse­keep­ing strat­egy

As you cel­e­brate the ar­rival of warmer weather, be mind­ful of the sea­son-spe­cific horse-care chal­lenges that spring can bring. Here are 14 tips for han­dling them.

EQUUS - - Equus - By Chris­tine Barakat

As you cel­e­brate the ar­rival of warmer weather, be mind­ful of the sea­son-spe­cific horse-care chal­lenges that spring can bring. Here are 14 tips for han­dling them.

Noth­ing lifts the spir­its more than the prom­ise of spring. Whether you’re emerg­ing from a win­ter of snow and ice or a sea­son of rain and mud, the day you no­tice buds on a tree or a robin on a fence line, you know that life around the barn is bound to get a bit eas­ier. That doesn’t mean that spring horse­keep­ing isn’t with­out chal­lenges. In fact, in some ways the sea­son re­quires more vig­i­lance than oth­ers to keep horses healthy and safe. From lamini­tis preven­tion to skin care to vac­ci­na­tions, you’ll want to pay par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to cer­tain horse-care ar­eas as the weather warms. Here’s a run­down of spring-spe­cific horse­keep­ing chal­lenges and how best to meet them in the months ahead.

CHAL­LENGE: DIS­EASE PREVEN­TION

1. Re­view your horse’s vac­ci­na­tion needs. The like­li­hood of ex­po­sure to var­i­ous pathogens de­pends in part on a horse’s lo­ca­tion and life­style. For in­stance, if your horse will be spend­ing a week this sum­mer at a show or clinic in a bug­gier cli­mate than usual, he may need a Po­tomac horse fever vac­ci­na­tion this year. Or, if you’ll be adding more group trail rides or

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