Yesterday afternoon, after a long day of work, I arrived home, changed into my barn cloths, slid on my barn boots, grabbed my vest, hat and gloves and headed for the barn for evening chores. I hadn’t really paid much attention to the temperature since I’d been inside all day, but it seemed like a dreary, damp, overcast day – another March day that appeared more like winter than spring. To my surprise, once I was actually outside, it was fairly warm (if you all consider 45 degrees warm). And, even though the only place on my property that was free of snow and ice was the driveway, I couldn’t talk myself out of saddling up and making the best out of what otherwise could have been considered a day not tailor made for riding.
Flash, my lovely and sweet gelding, seemed quite surprised to see the saddle being hauled out of the tack room and I’m certain he thought I was just joking or maybe that I had finally lost my mind. But, he’s a trooper and once tacked up, seems rather excited to walk out the front door and see what fun I had in store for us. I’m pretty sure his excitement fizzled out after the third circle around the driveway – there’s only so much to see and we’d seen it all on the first go round. We both got a little bored after 10 minutes and called it quits, but it sure felt good to be in the saddle after the long, cold, snowy winter we’ve had in Western NY!
That short ride got me thinking about all the preparation we horse people do in the spring. Tack needs to be cleaned and checked for safety, trail packs need to be sorted out and restocked, fences need to be checked, trailers need to be serviced and restocked with supplies, barns need to be checked for needed repairs, horses need to be brought back into condition… the list goes on and on and on. While all of these items on our check lists are important to complete, I think it’s essential to remember that how we care for our horses over those long winter months will make a big difference when it comes to readying them for spring and summer riding. Maintaining healthy winter horses means starting riding season out with less worry. We at Hay Hoarder realize the importance of keeping our horses healthy and part of how we do that is by providing good quality hay 24/7 using our slow feeding system – The Hay Hoarder. While our horses have hay in front of them all the time, the slow feed hay net helps to prevent them from over eating and gaining too much excess weight. It also keeps them busy without causing undo frustration. They are happy and healthy and ready to start spring conditioning. The only issue we face now… spring that doesn’t seem to want to actually arrive in Western NY! The 15 day forecast doesn’t look promising for more loops around the drive way, let alone making our way to the woods! Spring, we’re impatiently awaiting your arrival! Please come soon!