Horse Care: Important Things to Know If you Own This Magnificent Animal

Horses are without a doubt one of the most beautiful animals. It is important that horse owners take note of this list of things to do to ensure that their horses are well-cared for. So, if you want to know more, keep on reading!

horses standing on field

1.  Understand The Basics Of Horse Care

Horses are very delicate creatures, so it’s significant to understand what they need and how to properly care for them. In caring for a horse, it is important to always remember that they are prey animals – this means that they have a tendency to always be on the lookout for predators because in the wild, their lives depend on it. To ensure a horse is comfortable and safe at all times, a pen has to be built properly. The fences of an enclosure need to be secure and there should not be any sharp or protruding objects around as these can make horses feel uneasy and cause them harm. You can visit Equestrian Magazine, which gives a lot of tips for horse care. Experience is also something crucial when it comes to taking care of horses – if you aren’t experienced with horses already, don’t go out and buy one! Always consult professionals before doing anything on your own, as this will help reduce the chances of hurting your horse.

2.  Understand Horse Behavior

Horses are also herd animals, so in order to ensure that they feel safe and comfortable around their owners, it is important to understand how horses interact with each other within a herd. Horses can become very stressed if placed in isolation for long periods of time because in the wild, horses depend on each other for security when predators are nearby. For this reason, caretakers should always keep in mind that when establishing dominance over one’s horse, it has to be done without causing harm or stress for the animal. Also, never try to walk up behind a horse as this will cause them anxiety. Instead, approach them from the side or from directly in front. In terms of activity, horses require a lot of physical exercise and mental stimulation to be healthy and happy. If you own a horse, it is important that they receive some form of exercise daily – if not, then they will become bored and stressed, which could manifest itself into destructive behavior.

3.  Know What To Feed Your Horse

In a horse’s natural habitat, they would continuously graze on grass throughout the day. This means that if you own a horse, providing them with access to grass at all times is very important. Also, horses should always have an available supply of fresh water. This can be achieved by building water troughs near where you keep your horse so that he or she has access to it no matter where they are in their enclosure. It is also very important that horses receive the proper amount of food every day – for this reason, daily grazing alongside their other needs is ideal. If possible, it’s best to grow hay yourself because you’ll know exactly what went into growing it and its quality will be higher than store-bought hay, which could be more expensive. If a horse is fed a balanced diet of hay and proper food, they should be able to live up to twenty years of age. A mash diet can be very beneficial for horses who suffer from health problems such as digestive diseases and obesity. Owners should also avoid feeding their horses too much fruit, which can lead to colic or diarrhea.

woman standing by white horse

4.  Make Sure Your Horse Is Properly Vet-Inspected

Horses are more than just animals, they’re living beings that require proper care and attention in order to stay healthy. As horse caretakers, it’s imperative to keep track of their health so that any issues can be dealt with early on before they get worse. However, this cannot be done if the horses aren’t receiving regular checkups from a veterinarian, so it is absolutely crucial that your horse is taken to the vet for an annual checkup at least once per year. During this time, the vet will inspect your horse’s teeth and check for any issues like dental disease or tooth decay. The hooves of your horse should also be carefully inspected during these visits because horses that don’t get their feet checked regularly could end up developing conditions such as laminitis or hoof abscesses. The veterinarian should also look for any visible signs of injury,  illness, or lameness when inspecting your horse’s body to determine whether anything is wrong. In addition, the vet should check the eyes, ears, and nose of your horse for any signs of abnormalities or infection.

5.  Learn How To Train Your Horse

When training your horse, you should always establish yourself as the dominant one in the herd. Horses are naturally inclined to follow directions from others, so this means that if someone other than the owner tells them to do something, chances are they will listen. When first training horses, it is important to be extremely patient with them because if their spirit is broken too early on, then they could end up becoming fearful and untrusting of humans – which would make training nearly impossible. It’s also very important to provide your horse with plenty of positive reinforcement throughout their training sessions so that they know what they’re doing is right. If corrections are made during a session but no rewards or praise is given afterwards, then the horse will not understand why he was punished and will therefore be much less likely to listen in the future. It will also be much more difficult to train your horse if they don’t respect you or understand that you’re the one making the decisions.

horse in stable

6.  You Need To Know About Horse Grooming

Taking care of a horse’s grooming needs is very important because horses that aren’t well-groomed will end up with hair loss, crusty patches of skin, and damaged hooves. It’s also very difficult to ride on a horse who isn’t clean and brushed because they don’t look their best, which can lessen their performance. When brushing your horse for the first time, it’s crucial that you brush in the direction that the hair is growing or layering in order to avoid mats or tangles. If you’re using a curry comb on your horse, only use enough pressure to remove dirt—do not be rough with him/her by scrubbing excessively hard because this could injure his skin! In addition, when bathing your horse, the process should only take about 15 minutes to avoid drying out his skin. This is especially important for thoroughbreds or horses that produce a large amount of sweat because bathing them too will often cause their skin to become dry and itchy. Finally, you should always brush your horse’s teeth at least twice per week so that he doesn’t begin losing weight or developing dental problems such as gingivitis.

7.  They Have To Be Vaccinated

Horses need to be vaccinated against several diseases because it is very easy for them to catch illnesses, especially contagious ones. Whenever you purchase a new horse, they should be vaccinated for common equine diseases such as rhinopneumonitis, influenza, herpesvirus, and tetanus before he/she steps foot inside your property. Once at home, however, you will need to continue vaccinating your horse every year so that they don’t develop life-threatening conditions like strangles or West Nile Virus. It’s also important that horses receive vaccinations  before entering into any horse shows or competitions because this will prevent them from carrying diseases onto the property. This is especially important for young horses because they generally haven’t yet built up any immunity against these diseases and could end up contracting them very easily. Even if you plan on keeping your horse indoors, it’s still necessary to vaccinate them at least twice a year in order to prevent illnesses from occurring.

Mother and Baby Horse

8.  If You Own A Stallion, Then You Need To Know The Basics Of Breeding

If you own a stallion, then it’s very important to know how to breed a mare because this will require you to have intimate knowledge of the horse reproductive system. In order to get your mare pregnant, she needs to be in estrus, which is when her ovaries produce eggs, and she releases them into the fallopian tubes where they can be fertilized by a sperm. You’ll need to take your mare into a breeding shed that has been cleaned and disinfected beforehand so that semen doesn’t come into contact with other horses, who could possibly contract an illness from it. There are two types of breeding: artificial insemination (AI) and natural mating (NM). With AI, a veterinarian or trained technician must artificially inseminate the mare with semen that has been collected from a breeding stallion so that they don’t have to deal with all the risks of natural mating. NM is when you bring your stallion into the shed and allow him to breed with your mare naturally without assistance. Either way, the process is not that complicated and your vet can always help you with everything.

As you can see, owning a horse takes up a very large time commitment because they require just as much care as having your own child. While it can be difficult at first to keep up with all of their needs, the benefits that owning one brings are well worth it. Not only does this majestic animal provide you with companionship, but they can also be a reliable partner when you go on long trail rides together or even compete in horse shows!

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