Mar 18

The Check In

Spring Preventative Care

Written by: Carly Terwilliger, Equine Specialist and Trainer

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin

Summer is feeling a lot closer on this side of daylight saving time, am I right? Warm weather, late sunsets and long evening rides are just around the corner. Spring is also the perfect time for checking in on your horse’s health and wellness. Here are some preventative care pro tips from the experts at CHR.

First of all, when was the last time you touched base with your veterinarian and farrier? Maybe you haven’t taken your horse anywhere, or she was barefoot over the winter, and you haven’t had her trimmed. Busy equine professionals can book up weeks or months in advance, so it’s worth maintaining a relationship with the doc and the farrier.

Whether you have a young, healthy riding horse or a retired pasture buddy, an annual wellness and dental exam is an excellent place to start. Does your horse need to have his teeth floated? Is she looking a little ribby and in need of a nutrition adjustment? These are both good questions for the vet. A wellness exam should include the vet listening to the heart and lungs, a tip-to-tail inspection for scary surprises like melanoma (especially in light-colored horses), and a weight check. No worries if you don’t have access to a stock scale – weight tape is a delightfully low-tech solution.

The vet can also help you out with a soundness exam and trimming/shoeing recommendations. On that note, it’s always a good idea to have your horse trimmed on a regular basis – even if he’s not working. Remember: “No Hoof, No Horse!”


On to the routine stuff – vaccinations and deworming. Horses require annual vaccinations. CHR vaccinates in May, but your vet may recommend splitting the doses between spring and fall. Either way, make sure you protect your friend! This is also the time to get rid of creepy-crawlies. If you are able to obtain a Fecal Egg Count (FEC) – ask your vet – this number will be your guidance for the type of dewormer and cadence your horse requires. We deworm our herd in the spring, with additional fall doses for our babies and extra-wormy residents.

Now you’re ready to enjoy the warm weather with your extraordinary equine. Grab your halter, slap on some sunscreen, and get out there!


Hang tight while we go get your horse!