First, let’s start with the basics. In order for your horse to get back in the game and stay there, you will need to make sure his healthcare needs are taken care of. The easiest way to do that is with one of my all-inclusive Wellness Plans. Not only do they cover all of your horse’s routine medical care like vaccines, dentals, and Coggins, but they also offer peace of mind in the form of No Emergency Fees should your horse meet with an unexpected illness or injury this year.
Whether your goal is trail riding or racing, or somewhere in between, your horse can’t be expected to do his best if he isn’t feeling well. Each Wellness Plan comes with 2 complete physical exams each year to catch the little problems before they become a big deal. These visits are also a great opportunity to check in with one of our vets, and discuss any concerns you may have with your horse’s performance. If there is an underlying medical problem, you will certainly need to get that taken care of before you can move up to the next level in your sport. I realize that this advice would have more clout coming from someone who actually participated in sports, which I decidedly do not.
Resolution #2: Have that nagging, super-minor, only-sometimes, usually-works-out-of-it lameness checked out
Just because a judge wouldn’t necessarily notice it in the show ring doesn’t mean it’s not there. If you feel your horse is off, even if it’s only a little hitch when he comes around that 3rd barrel and it only happens when he’s tired, you should really have one of my amazing vets look into it.
There are a few reasons you should have a mild lameness worked up sooner rather than later. First, even a minor lameness could be a sign of a serious injury, and continuing to work your horse could make the injury worse. Second, the lameness could be an early sign of a disease that can be prevented. For example, if your horse is diagnosed with early arthritis, there are medications you could start him on now that are proven to protect his joints from further damage. Third, and most importantly, that nagging, barely-there lameness could be affecting your horse’s performance, and getting it properly treated could make the difference between first and last place at your next competition. Wouldn’t you love to know if something as simple as a shoeing change could make him feel—and thus perform—10 times better?
Resolution #3: Achieve my competition goals
Once you have your horse’s health in order, this third step will be easy! With the help of my splendid team of vets, techs, and staff, your horse will be looking and feeling his best. I like to offer our clients the total package – from nutrition to dentistry, from farriers to trainers, rest assured someone at Springhill can point you in the right direction. Remember, a healthy horse is a happy horse, and happy horses win prizes!
I’m afraid the only competition I have to look forward to this year is the occasional cat fight between myself and Teanie over someone’s tuna sandwich. So, I must live vicariously through all of you and your horses. Your New Years resolutions are truly important to me, and I want to see you stick to all of them!
WishIng you and your horse the best of luck and a Happy New Year!!!!