If you’ll soon be entering your first foray into horse ownership, it’s important to understand that caring for these animals is a tremendous responsibility. Compared to many traditional pets and farm animals, horses require a considerable amount of attention. Purchasing a horse without understanding the basics of good care can spell trouble for both you and the animal. Conversely, taking the time to educate yourself on the tenets of responsible horse care can ensure that you’re well-prepared for your new role. In the interest of keeping your horse happy and healthy, take care to heed the following tips.
Good Feeding Practices
Providing sustenance for a horse is a multi-pronged task. For starters, caretakers need meticulously measure serving sizes, particularly for horses who engage in a fair amount of physical activity. Secondly, they need to provide the animals with a steady stream of roughage – i.e., grasses or hay. Horses are natural grazers, and a lack of roughage can make them bored, restless and lethargic. Furthermore, instead of giving your horse all of its daily grain at once, it’s recommended that you split it up into two or three servings. Lastly, since horses are creatures of habit, they should be fed at the same time(s) each day.
Insuring your animal can help ease the financial burden associated with horse ownership. This is particularly true in the case of equine liability insurance. Purchasing a good policy ensures that you’ll be covered in the event that your horse accidentally injures someone.
Horses require a great deal of grooming. In order to remove dirt, insects and assorted grime from their coats, horses need to be curried and brushed on a daily basis. To prevent matting and clumps, they should also receive regular baths and haircuts. Depending on your horse’s temperament and your level of horse care expertise, it may be in your best interest to farm these tasks out to a seasoned groomer. Additionally, in order to keep your horse’s hoofs trimmed and free of infection, you’ll need to enlist the aid of a skilled farrier.
Horse ownership is not something that should be approached lightly. In addition to living long lives, horses require a substantial amount of daily attention. As such, anyone considering the prospect of purchasing a horse should familiarize themselves with the tenets of responsible care. Engaging in the recommended feeding practices, purchasing comprehensive insurance and keeping up with your horse’s grooming can help ensure that the animal’s long-term health and happiness.