People look after horses for different reasons, such as for company or to use the horse in riding and other activities. Regardless of why you own a horse, they need proper care and attention to be healthy and balanced. If you plan or already have a horse, here are essential 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 must always have easy access to feed. Their diet mainly needs roughage, such as hay and grass. You can also provide haylage or a replacement to resemble their natural grazing habits.
However, these should be good quality, clean, smell fresh, and be free of dirt, molds, and other impurities. Furthermore, you may supplement their hay-based diet 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 can also differ depending on the climate 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 particles that can accumulate on their fur and stimulate blood flow in their skin. This also prevents mats from developing, which can rub and irritate your horse’s skin.
It is also vital to frequently trim their hooves to prevent them from cracking, splitting, or wearing down. Also, bathe your horse with mild shampoo and cool water every few weeks. This will help keep the coat clean and free of dirt, pests, and debris.
3. Regular Exercise Is Essential For Horses
Exercising your horse on a regular basis is essential for maintaining their general health and fitness level. It prevents them from becoming bored, tense, or overweight, which can lead to behavioral issues like cribbing or weaving. A suitable exercise plan should be customized to your horse’s needs and physical fitness level.
Their physical exercise includes walking, trotting, cantering, and galloping at various 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 keep their joints flexible and muscles strong.
4. Horses Need Adequate Shelter
Since horses are kept outside, provide suitable housing for them in inclement 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 airflow and dry flooring material, such as dirt 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 must be conducted following your vet’s recommendations or the city government guidelines. Deworming is also crucial because it helps protect horses from parasites that can cause health problems. On the other hand, if you have farm animals and don’t know how to keep them from getting sick, you can talk to a cow veterinarian for assistance.
6. Horses Need Regular Veterinary Care
Routine vet examinations are essential for maintaining your horse’s health. Veterinary care should incorporate regular physical checkups, vaccinations, dental exams, and preventative care such as hoof trimming or deworming.
In addition, if you see any particular behavior in your horse or suspected health problem, contact a veterinarian immediately to have it checked out and treated. Similar to small animals like dogs and cats, they may also require surgery or medication.
Finally, horses should also be monitored for signs of stress and anxiety, such as too much pawing or daydreaming. If you notice any changes in their behavior, call your veterinarian immediately. Meanwhile, get in touch with a small mammal vet expert if you’re looking for advice on properly caring for exotic pets like rabbits or guinea pigs.
7. An Equine Veterinarian Is Needed
When deciding on an equine veterinarian, search for one who is trained and experienced. Find a veterinarian in Hohenwald that can offer quality care, listen to your worries, and clearly address your inquiries. It’s also best to research 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. Furthermore, always ask for references from other horse owners prior to deciding on a particular veterinarian.
Caring for a horse requires knowledge, dedication, and patience. It is very important to give your horse regular exercise, nutrition, grooming, veterinary care, and shelter. Additionally, choose a qualified, experienced, and knowledgeable veterinarian to provide quality care. They will be your partner in helping your horse remain healthy and happy.