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Preparing your horse for the spring

Preparing your horse for the spring
Preparing your horse for the springPhoto by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

By the end of winter you are probably tired of looking at the inside of your barn. But take a few hours on a free weekend to do some spring cleaning. This is a good time to get those small repairs done, before the busy summer season ahead and the problems are still fresh in your mind. Winter snow and ice can leave your pastures looking tired and ground pollution seems to grow under the snow. Here's how to get your pastures cleaned up after a long winter. Gates take a lot of abuse. Snow load, wind, ice and horses that lean can all cause your pasture gates to sag. Ideally, spring would come gently and gradually. More likely though, the weather goes from frigid to tropical within a few weeks.

Anhidrosis is also known as 'drycoat syndrome' or 'non-sweating disease'. Its symptoms may not be apparent until the weather turns warmer. Grease heel appears on lower legs as patches of scurf beneath hair that looks matted or staring. Under the scurf the skin will be red, and oozing. Grease heel is also called mud fever, scratches, or greasy heel. Under the scurf, the skin will be itchy, irritated, red, cracked, and oozing a thick, mucous-like or ‘greasy’ fluid. It may not be as obvious on horses with a lot of feathering. The lesions may become crusty as the fluid dries on the affected areas. I hope you find this information helpful in preparing your horse for the spring.

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