People take care of horses for various reasons, such as a company or to use the horse in riding and other activities. Regardless of why you own a horse, they should receive proper care and attention to be healthy. If you intend or already have a horse, here are important things to consider when caring for them.
1. Horses Require a Balanced Diet
Horses are grazers and need access to grass or hay several times a day. This means that horses should always have access to feed. Their diet needs to be primarily made up of roughage, such as hay and grass. You can also provide haylage or a substitute to resemble their natural grazing patterns.
However, these should be good quality, clean, smell fresh, and be untainted by dirt, molds, and other contaminants. Moreover, you may supplement their hay-based diet plan with concentrated feeds like grain mixes or pellets that contain nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and healthy protein.
The quantity of concentrate feed must be adjusted based on the horse’s activity level, age, and size. Feeding requirements also vary, depending on the weather conditions and the time of the year. In addition, feeding them forage at a floor level, provided that the underlying ground is clean.
2. Grooming Horses Is Important
Combing your horse’s coat helps remove dirt, burrs, and other debris that can accumulate on their fur and stimulate blood circulation in their skin. This also prevents mats from developing, which can rub and irritate your horse’s skin.
It is also vital to regularly trim their hooves to prevent them from breaking, splitting, or wearing down. Also, wash your horse with a light shampoo and cool water every few weeks. This will keep the layer clean and free of dirt, pests, and debris.
3. Regular Exercise Is Essential For Horses
Exercising your horse is essential in maintaining its overall health and fitness level. It prevents them from becoming bored, tense, or overweight, which can cause behavioral issues like cribbing or weaving. An appropriate exercise plan should be customized to your horse’s needs and fitness level.
Their exercise should include walking, trotting, cantering, and galloping at various speeds. In addition, it is essential to have some variety in their exercise program by offering activities, such as obstacle courses or cross-country jumping. Doing so helps maintain their joints flexible and muscles strong.
4. Horses Need Adequate Shelter
Given that horses are kept outside, you need to provide suitable housing for them in stormy weather or extreme temperatures. A small barn or shelter should protect them from sunlight, wind, rainfall, and snow. The structure should be huge enough to provide shade in hot weather and insulation in cold weather. It should also have good ventilation and a dry flooring material such as dust or sand that can absorb moisture.
5. Vaccinations and Deworming Are Important
Like cats and dogs, horses need to be immunized against certain diseases, such as tetanus, encephalomyelitis, and rabies. Vaccines must be administered following your pet veterinarian advice or the local government guidelines. Deworming is also crucial because it helps protect horses from parasites that can cause health problems.
6. Horses Need Regular Veterinary Care
Routine vet checkups are essential for preserving your horse’s health. Veterinary care must incorporate regular physical examinations, vaccinations, oral exams, and preventative care such as hoof trimming or deworming.
In addition, if you see any particular behavior in your horse or suspected illness, contact a vet immediately to have it checked out and treated. Similar to small pets like dogs and cats, they may also need surgery or medication.
Finally, horses should also be monitored for indicators of stress and anxiety, such as too much pawing or daydreaming. If you notice any changes in their behavior, contact your vet at once. On the other hand, if you have a small pet like a bunny or guinea pig, you may find it helpful to read about issues related to exotic pet care online in addition to horse veterinarian care.
7. An Equine Veterinarian Is Needed
When choosing an equine veterinarian, look for one who is trained and experienced in the field. Find a horse veterinarian that can offer top-quality care, listen to your concerns, and clearly answer your questions. It’s also best to look into the clinic or hospital where the vet works.
Ensure they have proper facilities and equipment, such as an in-house diagnostic lab, ultrasound machine, and X-ray machine. They must also be up-to-date with current industry standards. Additionally, always ask for recommendations from other horse owners before deciding on a particular veterinarian.
Caring for a horse requires knowledge, dedication, and patience. It is very important to provide your horse with routine exercise, nutrition, grooming, vet care, and shelter. Additionally, choose a qualified, experienced, and knowledgeable animal medical practitioner to provide quality care. They will be your partner in helping your horse stay healthy and happy.