People look after horses for different reasons, such as for company or to use the horse in riding and other tasks. Regardless of why you own a horse, they need to receive proper care and attention to remain healthy. If you intend or already have a horse, listed here are important things to consider when caring for them.
1. Horses Require a Balanced Diet
Horses are grazers and require grass or hay access numerous times daily. This signifies that horses should always have easy access to feed. Their diet must primarily consist of roughage, such as hay and grass. You can also give them haylage or a substitute to resemble their natural grazing patterns.
However, these should be good quality, clean, smell fresh, and be free of dirt, molds, and other contaminants. Furthermore, 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 amount of concentrate feed must be adjusted based on the horse’s activity level, age, and overall size. Feeding needs 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 well-maintained.
2. Grooming Horses Is Important
Combing your horse’s coating helps remove dirt, burrs, and other debris that can accumulate on their hair and stimulate blood flow in their skin. This also prevents mats from forming, which can rub and irritate your horse’s skin.
It is also important to frequently cut 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 coat tidy and free of dirt, pests, and debris.
3. Regular Exercise Is Essential For Horses
Exercising your horse on a regular basis is crucial for taking care of their overall health and fitness level. It prevents them from getting bored, tense, or overweight, which can lead to behavioral issues like cribbing or weaving. An appropriate exercise plan must be tailored to your horse’s demands and fitness level.
Their physical exercise should include walking, trotting, cantering, and galloping at different speeds. In addition, it is vital to have some variety in their exercise program by introducing 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 a suitable shelter for them in stormy weather or extreme temperatures. A small barn or shelter should give protection to them from sunlight, wind, rain, and snow. The structure must be huge enough to provide shade in hot weather and insulation in cold weather. It should also have good airflow and 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. Vaccinations should be conducted following your vet in Hohenwald, TN recommendations or the local government regulations. Deworming is also crucial because it helps protect horses from parasites that can lead to health problems.
6. Horses Need Regular Veterinary Care
Regular vet checkups are essential for preserving your horse’s health. Veterinary care should incorporate regular physical examinations, vaccinations, oral exams, and preventive care such as hoof trimming or deworming.
Additionally, if you notice any particular behavior in your horse or suspected illness, contact a veterinarian right away to have it checked out and treated. Similar to small pets like dogs and cats, they may also need surgical treatment or medication.
Finally, horses should also be supervised 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. Aside from horse veterinary care, if you have a pet bunny and are unsure of how to care for it, you can always contact a rabbit veterinarian for assistance.
7. An Equine Veterinarian Is Needed
When choosing an equine vet, look for one who is qualified and experienced in the field. Find a veterinarian who can offer quality care, listen to your concerns, and clearly address your questions. It’s also best to research the clinic or hospital where the veterinarian works.
Ensure they have proper facilities and machinery, such as an in-house diagnostic lab, ultrasound machine, and X-ray device. They must also be up-to-date with current industry standards. Furthermore, always ask for references from other horse owners before deciding on a particular veterinarian. You can get advice from other horse owners to learn more about how to find the proper vet to care for your horse in case of health issues.
Caring for a horse involves knowledge, dedication, and patience. Giving regular exercise, nutrition, grooming, vet care, and shelter are very important as well. At the same time, choose a qualified, experienced, and knowledgeable animal medical practitioner to provide quality care. They will be your partner in aiding your horse to stay healthy and happy.