A Beginners Guide to Horse Care
All animals require the right knowledge and equipment to ensure they’re being properly cared for, but as pets go, a horse can be much more of a challenge than a small rodent or cat. Like any other pet, horses vary in terms of size, breed and temperament, but there are some basic principles of care that will apply to any horse.
Looking after horses is very rewarding, but it does require a lot of commitment, care and hard work. If you’re thinking about caring for a horse for the first time, see a few of our tips below to ensure your horse leads a healthy, happy life.
Horses require large amounts of exercise outdoors in order to stay healthy, so access to a paddock or field is essential, and preferably one where they can be in the company of other horses. Not all outdoor spaces are suitable however; your horse will need a secure place to shelter from extreme weather or temperatures when outside, as well as a secure, dry stable to sleep or rest in overnight.
You should give your horse a once over every day, including checking their hooves, teeth, and their movement for signs of lameness. Horses should be wormed and vaccinated against equine influenza and tetanus regularly, and their teeth should be professionally inspected at least annually.
Horses need plenty of space and time to graze; ideally they should have access to a suitable grazing paddock 24 hours a day, as well as 24/7 access to fresh, clean water. They may need some additional hard feed and forage to maintain a healthy digestive system, but be aware that too much of the above can also cause digestion problems, especially for horses who are mostly stabled. It’s also essential to remove any toxic plants, such as yew or ragwort, from any grazing areas.
Horses are social animals, so it’s important that they have appropriate company and are given plenty of opportunity to spend time freely with other horses. Make sure they spend time in the paddock with others and that they’re not isolated when in the stable; for example, make sure the partitions don’t block their view of neighbouring horses. Isolated horses can become stressed and begin to display abnormal behaviour, so it’s vital that they’re given plenty of time in the company of other animals.
If you’re in need of a safe, secure stable to house your horse, get in touch with Kirton Sectional Buildings. We provide a range of high quality wooden stables, American-style barns and field shelters, and many can be tailored to your exact requirements. For more information about our range of stables and to discuss your needs further, give us a call or visit the website.