For many individuals, owning a horse has always been a dream. Horses make excellent companions and develop close relationships with their guardians. Whether you wish to ride your horse or work with them on the ground, they are a source of exercise. They can also serve as a basis for family ties and serve to instil responsibility in younger family members. Here are things you should know if you’re thinking about getting a horse:
- Type of Horse
While buying a horse, take into account the breed and size. Horses come in a wide variety of varieties and are utilised in numerous sports and disciplines. Learn about the various types of horse breeds. If you want a horse for riding, size is crucial to take into account because a healthy horse can carry 20% of its weight. The price of a horse is heavily influenced by its current skill and previous training. For any potential owner, especially a first-time buyer, placing a high value on a horse’s safety and experience is crucial.
- Where to Keep the Horse
Horse owners can keep their animals at home or pay to board them elsewhere. A horse should have access to clean, covered shelter, fresh water, and high-quality hay or grass, at the least.
Even if a house has adequate land to keep a horse, maintaining the property and taking care of the animal takes a lot of labour. The cost to board a horse varies according to where you reside geographically and the facility where the horse is sheltered. The level of care offered by the facility will also affect the price. Daily feeding and stall cleaning are provided in full-service barns, which are more expensive than barns where owners handle these duties.
The health of the horse depends on maintaining a clean stable. Horses must live in a sanitary environment. If they are in a stall, the stall should be cleaned twice a day at the very least to remove any urine-related manure or damp patches.
While horses can nap while standing, they prefer to lie down for deep slumber. Materials for bedding, like shavings or straw, absorb urine and offer a comfortable sleeping surface. Black walnut shavings and corn cobs are hazardous bedding items that must be avoided.
Enrichment supplies can assist in preventing boredom in horses that don’t get enough turnout (access to a pasture or dry lot for play). Horses are content in turnout, especially after socialisation, but it’s crucial to gradually integrate new herd members to prevent injury when the pecking order is established.
Roughage, which can be found in the form of hay or pasture, makes up the majority of a horse’s diet. Horses need between one and two per cent of their body weight in grass each day to maintain their weight. They may be shielded against gastrointestinal colic or discomfort by small, frequent meals mixed with a mare in season supplement.
The majority of meadows don’t provide enough year-round for a horse to eat, so premium hay is typically required. If accessible, the pasture should be inspected to make sure there are no poisonous plants present. Also, some horses get overweight on rich pastures and are more susceptible to diseases like a founder, so talk to your veterinarian about diet.
Also, all horses must have access to clean water and a mineral lick. A horse drinks 5 to 10 gallons of water every day, and if it’s hot outside or the horse is exercising, it may need more. If hay alone is insufficient for calories, grains are added. As cattle feed contains hazardous compounds that could be fatal to a horse, it is crucial to give grain prepared specifically for horses.
- Foot Care
You can decide whether the horse needs shoes with the help of the farrier. Similar to human fingernails, a horse’s hooves require trimming every six to eight weeks. Depending on the expected work and shape of the horse, the farrier may need to put the horseshoes.
- Dental Care
A vet can examine if the horse’s teeth need to be floated. Horses consume food by crushing up hay, grass, or grain. They have evolved teeth that change shape and continue to grow throughout life as a result. Painful hooks and points result from uneven wear, especially on the molars. This may affect the horse’s eating capacity and potentially shorten its lifespan. Every horse should have their teeth examined by a veterinarian once a year, and if necessary, the points should be rasped down (floated).
Thus, above mentioned are the things to know as a horse owner. Provide them with good care, love, healthy feed and mare in season supplement. You should also need to get legal ownership documents for your horse, if necessary, in your region.