Another reason to delay letting the horses once again graze your pasture is an
insufficient grass height. Additionally, if your pasture is still very muddy
from recently melted snow or persistent spring rains, wait until the ground has
dried out a bit before allowing the horses to form holes and ruts in the soil
with their hooves. Take the time to walk around your pasture before turning out
the animals for the spring. If you notice some areas that may not have dried off
yet, do not let your horses go there. Additionally, you will want to check on
the fencing. It is possible that the poles or wires have loosened during the
winter, in large part because of the repeated freezes and thaws. This may also
cause wooden boards to have come loose while electric tape can also have
loosened. You also want to check your gates to make sure they open properly, and
that no nails or other sharp edges are protruding and presenting a possibility
for the horses to become injured.
Check fence posts to ensure that they are still anchored solidly in the
ground. Sometimes they can come loose when the soil changes due to excessive
moisture. Keep an eye out for anything that may have come loose and somehow
ended up on the pasture itself. Of course, you also want to keep an eye out for
potentially poisonous plants that could harm your horses, such as wild cherries,
red maples and also persimmon trees. Verify that the horses’ water supply has
defrosted and the animals can now drink at will, while also making sure that
there is a free-choice mineral block available to them.
This is also the time to consider performing maintenance on the run-in shed,
where a thorough cleaning will be indicated in cases where the horses have used
it all winter.