Horses are beautiful creatures and buying your first one is sure to be one of the most exciting moments of your life, but you shouldn’t let your giddiness stop you from thinking about the needs of your horses.
If you’ve never owned a horse before, here are some key horse care tips to help you on your way:
As soon as you become a horse owner, you will be bombarded with a whole host of new words referring to your new companion. If you want to be able to chat with other horse owners, vets and other professionals, knowing your horse terminology is a must. It will make your life easier, and you’ll be more able to express any concerns you have regarding your horse.
Even if you are planning to stable your horse at a facility that takes care of all their needs, it is important that you get to grips with the basics of equine nutrition.
Horses are natural grazers, who when left in the field will continue to much throughout the day. If you are keeping your horse in a stall and fed only one or two meals of concentrated horse food, they can develop digestive problems. In order to avoid this, you need to do what you can to ensure your horse always has a little bit of food in his digestive tract throughout the day.
You can achieve this by feeding your horse hay before you give him any grain. Horses tend to wolf down grain, but if they’ve quelled their hunger with a nice bit of hay, they are less likely to do so and will be less likely to develop digestive problems as a result.
Additionally, you should also try to feed your horse little and often, to mimic his natural grazing tendencies. Feeding grain around four times a day will reduce the likelihood of colic developing and help your horse’s gut to maintain constant levels of important bacteria.
It is essential that you take out an equine insurance policy on your horse as soon as you become his owner. Emergency vet treatments can be very expensive, so you need to take out a policy to ensure you can meet your horse’s health needs whatever they may be, and without delay. There is nothing worse than having to put a much-loved animal to sleep simply because you can’t afford the treatment they need. Don’t put yourself, or your horse through this when taking out a policy has never been easier.
Learn First Aid
No matter how careful you are and how well you look after your horse, accidents can and do happen, and you need to be able to look after your horse when they do. Luckily, there are quite a few horse first aid and equine health courses, which will not only teach you what to do in an emergency but which will also show you how to spot the tell-tale signs of a sick animal. Attending one of these courses is one of the best things you can do for your horse.
Enjoy your horse, but be mindful of your actions and you will have lots of great new experiences together.