10 HORSE CARE TIPS
-10 Horse Care Tips for A Healthy and Happy Horse-
Many riders and horse owners spend a notable amount of time for training. The health and appearance of the horse are often neglected.
“You will be surprised how many horses come to the demonstration ring having chips in their tails or where there is still poop stains on the fur,” said Richard Petty, who has been judging horses since 1978.
But how to make sure your horse is mentally and physically healthy?
1) Feeding: If good fresh grass is not available, hay is the most important source of nutrition for horses.
Always try to prefer hay that is as fine-stemmed, soft, green and leafy, and try to avoid hay that is excessively sun-bleached, or smells moldy, musty, dusty.
Also, don’t forget a salt lick or mineral block in the paddock.
2) Supplementary feed: Regularly working horses may need supplementary feed if the horse is losing condition.
Consult your veterinarian for suitable supplementary feeds. Make sure the horse is getting enough Omega-3 which is necessary for the horse’s diet to get a shiny coat.
3) Water: Fresh clean water should always be available to horses since dehydration can contribute to poor health and can be deadly.
Unhygienic water can also withhold bacteria or viruses that can make your horse sick. Troughs and waterers must be cleaned frequently.
You can try to add some apple vinegar to the water to keep it clean.
4) Grooming: Grooming is an essential component of horse care. It is more than just brushing the horse. It requires knowledge, attention, and care.
A quick grooming every day helps increase blood circulation and gives you the chance to check your horse's body, especially the parts of the body that will come into contact with tack.
Don’t hesitate to invest some money for good quality grooming equipment to get a healthy coat.
5) Stable: Horses spend some of their time inside stalls. For good horse care and safety, barns, sheds, and stalls have to be suitably designed.
All stalls, fences, windows and doors, walls and ceilings should be free of dangers. According to the Canadian Agri-Food Research Council, a loose box should be at least 3mx3m to 3.6mx3.6m for an average size horse.
Horses appreciate the extra room to move around.
6) Paddock: Good horse care involves providing the best environment, which is safe and natural for the horse.
The horse’s surroundings must be free from hazards such as holes, rusty farm machinery, and loose wire fences. Fences around the horses must be repaired regularly to prevent injury and escape.
7) Company: This is the most important element for a horse’s mental health because they are herd animals and need the companionship of another horse, donkey, mule or pony or another animal such as a sheep or goat., whether in the same paddock or in a neighboring paddock.
Keeping the horse with older and experienced horses may also help him overcome his fears and problems when hacking.
8) Exercise: Daily exercise is essential for the overall health of your horse.
A daily workout has many benefits such as increasing stamina and endurance, improving the functioning of the heart and lungs, facilitating and maintains proper bone and hoof development, etc.
A basic exercise work can be composed of 4 steps: warming up, stretching, workout exercise, the cool-down.
9) Riding: If your horse can be ridden, attending riding club or taking regular riding lessons can help you to learn to ride properly.
Before riding, the priority should be taking precautions for a safe ride both for your horse and yourself.
After the riding, don’t forget to care and reward the horse because being ridden is not his job. He also deserves some game, care, and rewards.
10) Equipment: Buying proper riding equipment is fundamental to ensure your safety and prevent harm to your horse.
When purchasing equestrian clothes and gear, it is important to keep in mind the various viewpoints such as quality, durability, and your budget.
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