Horses are amazing creatures, and it’s no surprise that so many people love and admire them. However, owning a horse is a massive responsibility, as it will be far needier than your typical dog or house cat. These needs can quickly become overwhelming if you haven’t properly prepared beforehand or simply don’t know about a horse’s needs. So let’s talk about what you should know about caring for horses.
Nutrition and Hygiene
Unlike humans that often eat three full meals a day, horses instead digest small, frequent meals throughout the day in the form of roughage like hay and grass. You want to prevent dust, mold, and other contaminants from getting into the food. So supply your horse with a hay feeder to keep its food safe and nutritious. Similarly, your horse needs a clean, unfrozen water source.
As for hygiene needs, you must be diligent about trimming your horse’s hooves every six to eight weeks. Depending on your horse’s activities, its size, and the environment it lives in, it may need horseshoes. You should also note that a horse’s teeth grow indefinitely. If left alone, its teeth may wear into sharp or uncomfortable shapes. So you should have a professional veterinarian file them at least annually.
Vaccinations and Deworming
The next most crucial thing you should know about caring for horses is that all horses require vaccinations and regular deworming without exception. The kinds of vaccinations your horse will need vary on a case-by-case basis. Consequently, you’ll need to consult your veterinarian about what vaccinations your horse needs.
Signs that your horse has worms include weight loss, a poor coat, and colic. Veterinarians perform a fecal egg count test and will advise you on which de-wormers to use throughout the year. The hay feeder you provide your horse with will reduce its exposure to parasites.
Shelter and Exercise
Horses are surprisingly social and thrive best when they can move around and interact with other horses. If you don’t have a large space for your horse to roam on your property, make sure you regularly take it out and provide opportunities for it to stretch its legs. Furthermore, owning more than one horse is expensive. So, if you only have one, you should find ways to let it meet other horses from other horse owners. This will keep your horse physiologically sound and happy.