Caring for Your Horse the Right Way
Buying a horse is a dream of many. However, while many people love the idea of horse-ownership, they are unaware of the best ways to care for a horse. By maintaining good health of the horse, an owner can spare himself considerable expense in veterinary bills. Horse maintenance is easy if it is done regularly.
At least twice a week, horse owners should groom the horse even if they do not intend to ride it. Grooming should involve brushing the coat, mane and tail. Horses enjoy this process, and it also allows owners to check and treat the horse for any injuries that may have occurred while the horse was out in the field.
As an important part of grooming, horse owners should check their horses’ feet. A horse is a very large animal balanced on four relatively small feet. Hoof and foot care is crucial to the health of the animal. The hooves should be cleaned when they are dirty with a hoof brush and hoof pick.
Owners should learn how a properly trimmed horse hoof should look, and call the farrier when the hooves begin to grow too long. Having a horse shod by a farrier is only necessary if the horse will be walking on paved or stony ground. Otherwise, natural hooves are fine.
Grazing, Grain and Minerals
Horses require a large amount of food, and most of it should be high-quality hay or fresh, green grass. Rotating the pasture will allow the grass to recover before being bitten down again by the horse’s sharp teeth. Because horses nip grass with their teeth, they can be hard on a pasture. Therefore, several smaller paddocks used rotationally are better than one large field.
No one would feed a child only candy and cake. However, many horse owners feed their horses the equivalent of candy when they supplement solely with molasses-laced grains. Sweet feed should be an occasional treat for a horse, not a daily ration. Horse owners should instead feed a balanced, pelleted grain ration.
Horse owners should always provide their animals with free-choice salt and minerals. These supplements are crucial to the health of a horse. Click here for great deals on these essential vitamins.
As horses graze, they can pick up intestinal parasites. Wise horse owners will de-worm their horses every six to eight weeks. Rotating different types of these medications will keep the parasites from becoming resistant to the de-worming products. Horse suppliers offer multiple brands of de-wormers to help horse owners in their de-worming rotation.
Every horse needs annual healthcare work. At least once a year, horses need to be seen by a veterinarian. The vet should give it tetanus and other vaccinations. Additionally, horses need dental care each year, so if the veterinarian does not work on horse teeth, an equine dentist should be called.
Owning a horse is a tremendous responsibility and, at times, can be a bit costly. However, owning and riding a horse is a pleasure like no other. By maintaining the health of a these amazing animals, horse owners will be repaid in friendship and loyalty.