Horses are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful animals in the world. Caring for these animals can be an extremely rewarding experience but it is also important to consider the huge responsibility that comes with this care. Your horse will be completely reliant on you as an owner if you are keeping it in a paddock or small pasture, so it is vital that you know how to care for him.
Horses need an unlimited fresh water supply so you will need to fill their water trough once or twice a day. Water is just as important for a horse’s health during winter, as it is during summer. During summer horses cool their bodies through sweating whereas during the winter horses lack the water they need in their hay and food.
You may not be able to provide the plentiful pasture for your horse all year round but it doesn’t mean you can’t offer lots of food for your horse to eat. Pasture rotation will help the grass grow but if you really cannot offer sufficient pasture, you can feed your horse with extra food like hay or a pellet complete feed mix. Hay is fairly cheap and feed mix can be found at local farm stores. Just remember to feed your horse with the required amount of calories it needs a day to keep him happy and healthy.
At least once a week your horse will need grooming. Benefits of grooming go beyond just keeping your horse clean. You should also be making sure that your horse is inspected for cuts and wounds. You and your horse will also enjoy the bonding experience that grooming builds between you. It is also essential that you hose down your horse on a monthly basis but particularly when it is hot during the summer months. Giving your horse a cool wash with horse shampoo will help keep his coat clean from elements like dirt, sweat and fly spray, that all contribute to heat entrapment within his hair. If your horse does need further treatment in the future however it’s a good idea to take out some insurance cover.
During the summer especially, horses need their shelter to stay cool. In winter however your horse will need shelter from the cold and bitter winds. Adequate shelter is also necessary for protection from any predators so make sure that you keep any feed stored safely away to stop other animals eating it. Inside the shelter it should also be safe and free from internal damage, farm tools and anything else that could be potentially dangerous. To keep your horse’s stall clean, give it a thorough clean out at least once a week. This will minimise the amount of flies that are drawn to the shelter.
By following this simple guide you will be on your way to making a better life for your beloved horse or horses. The hard work will certainly pay off when you see your animal living a fuller and happier life.