Have the Vet Out
Schedule a time for your vet to come out and give your horse his spring shots. Don't forget to have your vet pull a Coggins if you will be traveling off-farm with your horse. This springtime vet visit is also a great time to have your vet assess whether your horse's teeth need attention. To really get bang for your buck, try to gather a fecal sample from your horse to give to the vet to be checked for a worm count. Checking a fecal sample can give you valuable information about what type of a deworming program your horse should be on.
Evaluate Your Feeding Program
Take a look at your horse's feeding program to make sure that you're providing your horse with the nutrition that he needs. It's a good idea to ask the vet to assign your horse a body condition score, and to compare that score to where you think your horse should be on the scale. Remember that your horse's body condition will change as he transitions back into regular work, but also remember that you will need to increase his feed unless he is on pasture.
Check Your Saddle Fit
The shape and build of your horse's back changes depending on the physical shape and condition that he is in, so your saddle which fits your horse when he's in a training program may not fit him the same when he is out of work. You should check your saddle fit on a regular basis, but it's particularly important to do so in the spring when your horse is returning to work. If the saddle isn't a perfect fit, you may need to use correctional saddle pads to fill in the gaps until your horse regains his condition again.
Walk Your Pastures
Spring causes many plants and weeds to crop up in your horse's pasture. Before you turn your horse out on the pasture this spring, take a day to go through the pasture carefully to make sure that none of the plants are toxic to horses. If you need help determining which local plants and weeds are toxic to horses, consult your local Department of Agriculture.
In addition to checking for toxic weeds and plants, pay attention to the pasture fencing. Winter takes a toll on fences, and boards may need to be re-hammered or wires may need to be tightened. If you're using an electric fence, then take a fence tester out and make sure that all sections and areas of the fence are live.
As you get ready to ride, be sure to take care of these spring tasks around the barn, too.