Springtime at the Stables

Although the horse look a little shaggy as they shed their winter coats, soon their sleek undercoats will shine in the springtime sun. The tulips and daffodils will appear in the gardens, and the riders will dream of springtime adventures.

T and Kid

“Shedding is not triggered by temperature. It’s linked to photoperiods: As the hours of daylight increase, a horse’s winter coat begins to loosen and shed.” according to Equus. By noting your horses shed pattern and schedule, you will have another indicator of your horse’s health.

Boarders take advantage of the the longer days to take longer rides on the trails surrounding the paddocks at Rocky Run Stables. As evening approaches, the wood frogs and spring peepers call from the wetlands near the trout stream. The marsh marigolds add a golden glow to the ground below the horse’s hooves.

Spring is the time for cleaning paddocks and outside water tanks. It is a time for turning the compost piles. And each spring, avid gardeners haul away this compost to enrich their gardens.

In the spring, the horses are introduced to grazing outdoors slowly and thoughtfully. After eating hay all winter, the horses are anxious to enjoy the green grasses of spring. But eating too much, too fast, is not healthy for the the horse or the pasture. At Rocky Run Stables, our method is to increase the grazing time each day by a few minutes until the horses graze five consecutive hours as recommended by the University of Minnesota-Extension.

The lush green grasses of spring are high in carbohydrates. The winter hindgut’s microorganisms are not ready to break down these substances yet. So, although the horse loves to eat the grasses in the spring pasture, we acclimate them slowly to insure a healthy spring turnout.

At Rocky Run Stables, the horses feel the warmth of spring.