Horses in spring can be a hand full. After a long winter of not much riding and now filling up on the first, young, sweet green grass, riders often are faced with misbehaving, spooky or frisky horses in the arena or on the trails. This situation is not only quite dangerous, but is although not much fun either. So, what can we do to get through this as safe as possible. Here are some tricks which have worked for us in the past.
Regulate the sugar intake
By sugar I mean the energy in feed. Limit the grazing time per day and supplement with hay only. Oats, cubes or other prepared feed will undermine your efforts and are not helpful. By offering hay, best served in a slow feeder, horses can eat the whole day (keeps the stomach acid low) and get enough energy to maintain a healthy body weight. Unless your horse works for many hours per day, than it would need more protein. In that case, check the overall conditions of your horse regularly and have a feeding plan place.
Mental and physical fitness
It is a good advise specially for female riders, to always empty the bladder before riding. Although stretching excersises on the ground help to warm up the muscles and makes the body more flexible. Start your riding season on days when you feel very good. Your horse picks up on negative energy right and copies your feelings.
Ask for help
A riding partner with an experienced, older horse accompanying you on your first few trail rides, will calm your horse and helps you to get your confidence back.
Specially young horses learn lots from older horses on the trails or in the pasture. If you don’t have a friend who can come ride with you, you may like to pony the frisky horse and ride an older, calmer horse yourself. You’ll see, this “buddy” trick works great for rider and horses.
A certified riding instructor is experienced to help you and your horse get over the initial spring time anxiety. Positive advice and guidance will help you get your groove back and makes it easier for your horse to accept a frequent work schedule. Although, I find it wonderful to get together with like minded horse lovers and have a good time.
Last but not least, since the most of us horse lovers can look back on a short or very long time collecting experiences with horses, I find it always helpful to talk about problems and receive ideas and advice which are helpful to over come problems safely and efficient. If you feel at this point, that there are important tips missing or if you like to share some of your experiences, drop us a note a we are happy to publish what has worked for you dealing with frisky horses in the spring. We like to hear from you.