Basic Horse Care

Every horse is unique and has its own specific requirements, although the following basic necessities should be met if you want to keep your companion content and in perfect health.

1) Diet

The average horse drinks between 5 and 10 gallons of water every day, so it’s essential to have a fresh, clean supply readily available, especially during warmer periods. They should be given as much opportunity as possible for grazing on good quality forage or hay, and only require supplements if there is a deficit in nutrition. Be careful not to over feed your horse, specifically when young, and make sure his pasture is free of toxic weeds.

2) Shelter

Horses are by nature hardy animals, and can survive out in the wild in a range of conditions. However, they do need a place to shelter from the elements throughout the seasons to provide protection from the scorching sun, driving wind or freezing snow. Try to avoid keeping your horse stabled for too long, and muck out his stall on a daily basis.

3) Companionship

Being sociable animals, it’s much better to nurture a horse’s herd mentality by supplying him with at least one buddy. Horses can become depressed and experience loneliness when living alone, particularly if you are unable to spend as much time with him as he would like. If cost is a concern, consider pairing your with horse with a goat!

4) Grooming

Daily grooming is vital, not only for maintaining a healthy coat, but also for cementing the bond between horse and handler, and for reducing the risk of skin problems. This routine task will also allow you to check the animal for any changes in appearance or temperament, which could indicate potential illness.

5) Professional Care

Your horse’s hooves should be trimmed by a registered farrier, generally every four to six weeks. Dental inspections should also occur once a year, or more frequently if your horse is young or old. An annual visit by the vet for an examination and any necessary vaccinations will ensure the animal remains in tip top shape.

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