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Equine Care 101: Taking Care of Your Horse

January 18, 2018

Taking care of a horse is a huge responsibility. It’s not like taking care of any other domesticated animals. Therefore, specific care plan should be followed.

Regardless if you’re planning on bringing home an equine friend or just wanting to improve your horse care skills, these tips below will definitely help you out.

Housing

Contrary to most people’s beliefs, straight stalls are as good as box stalls if you are planning to keep your horses together and if they are spending most of their days outside.

However, if you are planning to keep one horse, box stalls can make them feel isolated. Isolated horses can develop behavioral problems from lack of exercise, mental stimulation, and lack of companionship. That’s why, it’s very important to give your horses some freedom and allow them to run free with other horses every day.

Rest

Horses usually lock their legs so they can effortlessly stand while they are sleeping light. In order for them to achieve REM or deep sleep, they must lie flat. There’s no record on how many hours a horse need to sleep, but make sure that you are taking note of any changes in your horse’s sleeping pattern.

Exercise

Horses love to move. In their natural habitat, they usually walk many miles in a single day. They sometimes trot, but they don’t usually gallop, unless they really have to.

Daily exercises are required, but if you are planning on building up your horses’ strength, you need to gradually do it and create a sensible plan.

Nutrition

Your horse’s digestive system can process huge amount of grass, which is high in water and fiber. The basic diet of a horse includes grass and a good quality hay – free of mold and dust.

Though horses only drink water once or twice a day, it’s nice to keep plenty of fresh, clean water at all times.

Vaccinations

All horses should have a tetanus shot. Other vaccines are also available like Western and Eastern equine encephalomyelitis, rhinopneumonitis, rabies, and equine influenza. You need to speak with an equine veterinarian about your horse’s vaccinations.

Deworming

Though some vaccinations are a must for horses, deworming isn’t required unless needed. It’s best to have your horse tested if deworming is required. Worms can cause colic, poor coat, and weight loss.

 

Hoof Care

Your horse’s hooves should be trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks. Most horses do not need shoes, especially if their hooves are naturally strengthen.

Though some problems are normally related to shoeing, always consult an expert before deciding on what to do with your horse’s hooves.

 

Teeth Care

Have your horse’s teeth checked once or twice a year. Since their teeth continuously grow, make sure that they are also floated – a process to make horse’s teeth smoother, otherwise, the sharp points and edges will cause pain and difficulty in chewing.

 




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