Is your horse feeling the joys of spring? Managing sharp horses in the spring can bring plenty of challenges, but fortunately, our Equine Marketing Team have some valuable tips and advice, which might help you through the next few months until warmer weather arrives!
If your horse tends to be sharper in the winter/spring, it makes sense to review your ridden activities. Incorporating lunging and long reining can be valuable exercises for both of you. Before you get onboard, lunging before you ride to allow your horse to let off steam is also an option.
If bad weather is forecast, a risk assessment might mean you work your horse on alternative days rather than battle with a fire breathing dragon! Choose riding clothing that isn’t noisy or flappy and limit your opportunities for trouble by planning your horse’s training. For example, hacking out on bin collection day may not be you!
Diet & Exercise
Diet and exercise can be a tricky balance, especially when bad weather stops play (and riding). However, it is worth reviewing your horse’s diet seasonally to see if they may be a few tweaks that could be adding your horse’s exuberance. Factors such as limited turnout or fluctuations in grass quality can also come into play. It’s worth speaking to a nutritionist to get their expert advice, should you be looking to change your horses’ diet. Don’t forget that your rider fitness also plays a huge part in your balance and ability.
It’s always worth looking at your horse’s stable management to see if you can make any improvements. For example, is it possible for your horse to go out in the field overnight over the winter months? Riding after your horse has been turned out in the field can also help a more relaxed horse. Free schooling your horse once or twice a week (if safe to do so) in a lunge or round pen will allow a horse that doesn’t get turnout to release some of that contained energy. Planning your schooling sessions down to the exact detail can help focus you and your horse on the job. Have a plan every time you school your sharp horse to ensure you both concentrate on the schooling exercises. Pole work and complex jump grids are great exercises for getting your horse to focus and improve athleticism.
Some equestrians report that they have great success with calmer supplements. It’s worth researching this area and asking friends and forums to get some product names to look into. If your horse is unusually sharp, it is worth ruling out any pain or discomfort in the first instance as this can present itself as ‘sharp’ behaviour.
Whatever your plans this spring, stay safe and look forward to those warm balmy summer days!
Need To Get A Grip On Rider Nerves? Read Our Useful Tips & Advice In 6 Positive Visualisation Techniques For Nervous Horse Riders.