People look after horses for different reasons, such as for company or to use the horse in riding and other activities. Regardless of why you own a horse, they should receive proper care and attention to be healthy. If you plan or already have a horse, here are important things to consider when caring for them.
1. Horses Require a Balanced Diet
Horses are grazers and need access to grass or hay several times a day. This means that horses should always have access to feed. Their diet must primarily consist of roughage, such as hay and grass. You can also give them haylage or a replacement to mimic their natural grazing habits.
However, these should be good quality, clean, smell fresh, and be untainted by dirt, molds, and other impurities. Furthermore, you may supplement their hay-based diet with concentrated feeds like grain mixes or pellets that contain nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and protein.
The quantity of concentrate feed should be adjusted based on the horse’s activity level, age, and overall size. Feeding requirements also vary, depending on the weather conditions and the time of the year. In addition, feeding them forage at a floor level, provided that the underlying ground is well-maintained.
2. Grooming Horses Is Important
Brushing your horse’s coating helps get rid of dirt, burrs, and other particles that can build up on their hair and boost blood flow in their skin. This also prevents mats from developing, which can rub and irritate your horse’s skin.
Regularly cutting their hooves is also important to prevent them from cracking, splitting, or wearing down. Also, bathe your horse with mild shampoo and cool water every few weeks. This will help keep the coat tidy and free of dirt, pests, and debris.
3. Regular Exercise Is Essential For Horses
Exercising your horse regularly is essential for maintaining their overall fitness and health level. It prevents them from getting bored, tense, or obese, which can cause behavioral problems like cribbing or weaving. An appropriate workout plan must be tailored to your horse’s needs and fitness level.
Their exercise has to include strolling, trotting, cantering, and galloping at various speeds. In addition, it is vital to include some variety in their exercise program by offering activities, such as obstacle courses or cross-country jumping. Doing so helps keep their joints flexible and muscles strong.
4. Horses Need Adequate Shelter
Given that horses are kept outside, you need to provide a suitable shelter for them in inclement weather or extreme temperatures. A small barn or shelter should protect them from sun, wind, rainfall, and snow. The structure should be huge enough to provide shade in hot weather and insulation in cold weather. It should also have good ventilation and a dry flooring material such as dust or sand that can absorb moisture.
5. Vaccinations and Deworming Are Important
Like cats and dogs, horses need to be vaccinated against certain diseases, such as tetanus, encephalomyelitis, and rabies. Vaccines must be conducted following your exotic pets vet‘s advice or the city government guidelines. Deworming is also crucial because it helps protect horses from parasites that can cause health issues. Meanwhile, if you own a hamster or other small pet that has been acting strangely, it may be time to visit an exotic pets vet facility to treat their health problems.
6. Horses Need Regular Veterinary Care
Routine vet examinations are essential for preserving your horse’s wellness. Veterinary care should incorporate regular physical examinations, vaccinations, dental exams, and preventive care such as hoof trimming or deworming.
In addition, if you see any unusual behavior in your horse or a suspected health problem, contact a veterinarian right away to have it checked out and treated. Similar to small animals like dogs and cats, they may also need surgery or medication.
Finally, horses should also be monitored for indicators of stress and anxiety, such as too much pawing or daydreaming. If you notice any changes in their behavior, contact your vet immediately. In addition to horse veterinary care, if you need veterinary help for pets like dogs, cats, and exotic animals, you can ask your vet for assistance on how to properly look after them.
7. An Equine Veterinarian Is Needed
When deciding on an equine vet, look for one who is trained and experienced in the field. Find a veterinarian that can offer quality care, listen to your concerns, and clearly answer your questions. It’s also best to research the clinic or hospital where the veterinarian works.
Ensure they have proper facilities and machinery, such as an in-house diagnostic laboratory, ultrasound machine, and X-ray device. They should also be up-to-date with current industry standards. Additionally, always ask for recommendations from other horse owners prior to choosing a particular vet. On the other hand, if you have livestock animals like cows or cattle and don’t know how to keep them healthy, you can ask for help from a large animal vet.
Caring for a horse requires knowledge, dedication, and perseverance. Giving your horse a routine workout, nutrition, grooming, vet care, and shelter is very important. Additionally, choose a certified, experienced, and knowledgeable animal medical practitioner to provide quality care. They will be your partner in aiding your horse to remain healthy and happy.