Horse Care

Horses are hoofed creatures that have coexisted with humans for millennia, making them great companions and extremely interesting animals. Even if you never got a chance to ride one, you could study them for the rest of your life and still find new things to discover! If you feel tempted to buy or lease a horse because of your passion for them, you should be aware of the realities of horse care, from stall mucking to daily feeding, when to call the vet and schedule the farrier, and how to groom your precious and large pet. Working with horses is more of a way of life than a job, but for those who are devoted to horses and have the motivation to work with them regardless of the weather or time of day, this provides its distinct rewards. Before getting a horse, you should understand how much work and effort goes into caring for them. To thrive, horses require both basic and specialized care. The below mentioned are the most important aspects of horse care:

1) Food

Horse bodies have evolved over millions of years to accommodate a specific way of eating. Horses are known as trickle feeders, which means they are designed to consume food continuously throughout the day. Forage must be the foundation of his diet. Every day, your horse should drink 1-2 percent of his body weight in forage. If your horse does not have adequate access to fresh pasture, or if you have dietary restrictions that require you to limit his pasture intake, providing high-quality hay is an excellent way to ensure he meets his forage requirements. If your horse can maintain a healthy body condition and energy level solely on forage, you should think about adding a multivitamin supplement.

2) Water

Hydration is critical to your horse’s overall health and happiness. Horses average 5-15 gallons of water daily, so every horse should have constant access to clean, fresh water. All year long, your horse’s water source should be checked several times per day – in the warmer months, your horse may drink more due to the heat, while your horse’s water source may freeze over in the coldest months. If your horse is a heavy sweater or a poor drinker, having access to clean water may not be enough. For those horses, a daily electrolyte supplement is an excellent way to replace salt and other minerals lost through sweat while encouraging your horse to drink.

3) Shelter

Horses are a tough breed. They deal with heat and cold well by regulating their body temperature. However, every horse requires a haven away from the elements. A safe and sturdy shelter will allow your horse to find shade and escape the heat of the summer sun and protection from harsh winter winds, snow, or freezing rain. While being bundled up in a clean, dry stall may appear to be preferable for you, your horse was built to roam, and spending too much time cooped up in a stall can be stressful in various ways. Increased stall time has been shown to increase a horse’s risk of colic, and standing still for long periods can harm long-term joint health. Make every effort to maximize the amount of time your horse can spend in turnout, and he’ll be much happier.

4) Training

Working with your horse one-on-one can be extremely rewarding, but you don’t have to do it alone. Working with a professional, reputable trainer can make your horse safer, more productive, less stressful, and more enjoyable for both of you!

5) Supplements

Supplements may be an important piece of the puzzle in helping your horse thrive. Supplements can help with everything from healthy hooves to resilient joints, proper digestion, and a gleaming coat. However, not every horse requires every supplement – horses are individuals, and one horse may benefit from additional support in key areas due to nature and nurture.

6) Professional Care

Keeping a regular maintenance and wellness schedule with your horse’s veterinarian and farrier is critical. Your horse should have at least one wellness exam with your veterinarian every year. Your veterinarian can also assist you in developing an appropriate dental, vaccination, and deworming schedule for your horse. Working with your farrier to establish a consistent maintenance schedule – and then sticking to it – is essential for optimal hoof health. You’ll be able to support your horse better and avoid future problems if you have a good working relationship with these two professionals.

Final Thoughts

One of the most rewarding aspects of horse ownership is that you never stop learning. Planning a daily routine and understanding the horse care requirements of your equine can help you effectively care for your horse.

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