In 2017, there were an estimated 9.2 million horses in America, with just under half of those horses owned by recreational riders. Are you getting ready to join the ranks of these equine enthusiasts with a pony of your very own? If yes, you’re probably furiously researching how to take care of a horse.
Below, we offer a brief 101 on the ins and outs of horse care. You’ll be trotting along with confidence in no time!
What to Feed Your Horse
One of the best-known facts about horses is that they graze on the grass. But the horses we own might not have access to grass. If your horse is stabled, you’ll need to provide them with roughage (horse feed), quality hay (not all hay is made equal), and fresh water at a bare minimum.
There is a wide range of equine supplements reported to do everything from improving a horse’s diet to keeping its coat shiny and hooves strong. For example, here’s what you need to know about CBD for horses. However, always consult with your veterinarian before giving any OTC supplements to your horse.
Where to Keep Your Horse
Wild horses spend all their time outside, roaming the pasturelands of places like Idaho, Montana, and Utah. However, your new pony is far less hardened to the driving rain, icy snow, harsh sun, and brisk winds of the outdoors.
Part of caring for a horse means providing it with suitable shelter. Locate your horse’s clean, warm, and dry stall or run-in inside a purpose-built barn, shed, or stable. If you don’t have your own property, you’ll need to find a suitable border stable nearby.
Grooming Your Horse
Grooming is one of the lengthiest chapters in any horse care guide. Horses require grooming before and after every ride.
Grooming a horse typically entails:
- Brushing their entire body
- Picking out dirt and stones from their hooves
- Combing their mane and tail
- Checking for parasites like bot fly eggs
- Cleaning horse tack
Many riders enjoy grooming their horses because it offers a chance to check for health issues and quality bonding time.
Keeping Your Horse Healthy
While there are many types of horses, they all have one thing in common. When it comes to knowing how to care for a horse, you need to pay careful attention to its health.
Educate yourself on the symptoms of common equine ailments. Prepare a horse first aid kit, update it regularly, and keep it in an easy-to-reach location. Schedule farrier visits every four to six weeks and vet checkups annually.
How to Take Care of a Horse
Learning how to take care of a horse takes time, research, and practice. From where to stable your horse to grooming it, there’s a to learn before you can call yourself a responsible horse owner. Read books and magazines, watch videos on YouTube, and volunteer at some nearby stables to get a well-rounded education.
For more tips on caring for your furry family members, read the other articles on our blog.