Sharing your life with a horse includes one of the best and most rewarding experiences. However, it also includes the responsibility of maintaining and caring for your equine companion consistently. Your horse usually depends on your commitment, care and love for its welfare. This can be shown through occasional treats, riding, petting and grooming. Your horse can live for up to 35 years.
Below are some tips and guidelines to help care for your horse better.
Veterinary Care and Hoof Maintenance
Your horse requires shoeing or hoof trimming frequently. You should hire a farrier every six to eight weeks for hoof maintenance, especially if you cannot do it yourself.
On the other hand, your horse requires vaccines for tetanus and other illnesses at least once per year. Your veterinarian can also help you out with a workable dental care routine. Keep some emergency funds aside, as there is also an unfortunate possibility of medical emergencies.
Horses Require Exercises
While you can take your horse for rides to help them exercise, this might not always be possible. You can be caught up with other things, or you could be experiencing harsh weather conditions. But your horse still requires exercise to remain healthy and keep fit. The good news is that you can utilize a horse exerciser machine to supplement riding or other forms of exercise. Your horse should not be confined to a stable or stall the entire day.
You can also invest in a pasture or paddock to help the horse stroll and relax. The pasture must be safely bordered using a sturdy fence to keep the horse safe and secure. Avoid using barbed wire for fencing as it may cause numerous severe injuries to the horse.
Be Aware of Parasites
Like other animals, horses are usually exposed to intestinal worms from grazing on the ground. Therefore, you must put them on an anti-parasite regimen your equine practitioner prescribes. Parasite infestation in a horse can cause severe disease, which might be fatal.
Facilitate Regular Food and Water Supply
Often, horses need to have pasture or hay throughout the day. Also, they will need extra grain feedings at least twice per day. Ensure you provide the right amount of food and water for a healthy horse. Horses have a delicate digestive system that requires them to feed small amounts constantly rather than huge meals twice a day.
The following are some tips for proper feeding
- Provide roughages in plenty
- Feed grains frequently and in small amounts
- Change feed schedules and feeds gradually
- Measure feed accurately
- Avoid feeding immediately after exercise
- Stick to a specific routine
Take Care of Their Shelter
Horses require constant access to a comfortable, safe and dry stable to protect them from hazards like snow and rain. Your shelter should offer the horse protection from biting insects and shade during the warm and sunny weather. Also, you must clean the shelter frequently and remove manure daily.
At a minimum, your horse’s shelter should be three sides and well-constructed, allowing the horse to retreat at all times.