Alas! 'tis the season of Muddy legs, dreadlock tails and awful tasting dust clouds.
I honestly can’t tell weather my pony has shoes on or not without wiping half an inch thick of mud from around his hooves and I seem to be spending most of my time with an incredibly achy arm from brushing out the dry mud from the noble steeds mane whilst looking like i have had a dust bath myself!!.... can anyone else relate? - Probably majority of horse owners at the moment
So whilst we go through the motions of being superhuman keeping our furry four legged friends healthy & happy, here are my 6 tips from mud busting to boredom breaking that I have picked up along the way: 1- Oil them up!! Pig Oil is a brilliant way to help keep the wet mud off their legs, so get those gloves on and oil those legs up!
2- Use a hair brush- yes you read correctly, the same style brush you would use at home, the good old paddle brush is a brilliant way to detangle those muddy locks and ringlets and it only takes a fraction of the time - think of all that extra riding time!
3- Bobbing Apples! - if your pony is getting bored being in the stable, Chuck a few apples in his/her water bucket, that should keep them entertained for a bit (until he works out a great technique), another boredom breaker is to attach a plastic mirror to the stable wall so they don’t feel so lonely and/or hang a Likit in the stable!
4- Keep a stack of nappies handy- now we know that hoof problems can occur any season but it is more common in winter due to the amount of moisture they are stood in, invest in some cheap nappies (around size 5’s) they act as a brilliant poultice and are great for soaking up the yucky stuff whilst keeping a barrier and they fit really well around the hoof.
5-Turnout Boots- these are a lifesaver!! Invest in some turnout boots for when you plan to hack out the next day, they save so much time instead of having to wait for their legs to dry off after a hose down before putting their exercise boots on, the Equilibrium range are great as they come in various sizes and are contoured beautifully to the leg allowing no restriction in movement
6- if your not lucky enough to have a stable for your horse to escape to, consider having a field shelter put in the field, these are usually made of wood or steel, the difference is that the base is made up of framework which mean they can also be moved around (obviously using a tractor) and it is a place where you horse can go when the weather gets rough, they are also great for putting salt licks in which you know aren't going to just wash away in the rain but help your horse instead!
If you have any other ways that you find help you and your horse during this wet and wonderful season please do share your hints and tips in the comments below - we would love to hear them!