One of my great passions in life is horses. For those of us who love these animals and are privileged to take care of them, it’s important to do our best to keep them healthy and happy, both mentally and physically.
Are you wondering how to best care for your horse? Here are some of my favourite horse care tips.
Feed your horse well
Fresh pasture is the best option. If it’s not available, hay is the next best thing. These are the most important sources of nutrition for horses. The best hay is fine-stemmed, soft, green and leafy. Try to avoid hay that is excessively sun-bleached or smells mouldy, musty, or dusty.
Keep a salt lick or mineral block in the paddock.
Get supplementary feed if necessary
Horses that work on a regular basis may need supplementary feed if they are losing condition. If that’s the case, consult your veterinarian for suitable supplementary feeds. It’s important that horses get enough Omega-3 to retain a shiny coat.
Make sure your horse has enough water
It’s crucial to always have fresh, clean water available because dehydration can contribute to poor health and can even be deadly. The water should be clean because unhygienic water can hold bacteria or viruses that can make horses sick. Remember to clean your troughs and waterers frequently.
One trick for keeping water clean is adding some apple vinegar.
Give your horse enough exercise
Daily exercise is essential for your horse’s physical and mental health. A daily workout increases stamina and endurance, keeps the heart and lungs working strong, and maintains proper bone and hoof development. A very basic exercise routine includes warming up, stretching, a workout exercise, and a cool-down.
Give your horse company
Not only do we want to care for our horse’s physical health, but we also want to keep them healthy mentally. Giving a horse some animal companions is the best thing you can do for their mental health. Because they are herd animals, they need the companionship of another horse, donkey, mule or pony, or even a sheep or goat. You can keep the animals together in the same paddock or in a neighbouring paddock.
If you keep a horse with older and experienced horses, it may help her overcome her fears and problems when hacking.
Groom your horse every day
Grooming is a very important part of horse care, but it’s much more than just brushing a horse. It requires knowledge, attention, and care. Spending money on good-quality grooming equipment will help your horse maintain a healthy coat.
A quick grooming every day helps increase your horse’s blood circulation, and it gives you the chance to check your horse’s body, especially the parts that will come into contact with tack.
Give your horse enough room in the stable
Because horses spend some of their time inside stalls, make sure your barns, sheds, and stalls are designed well. Check that all your stalls, fences, windows, doors, walls and ceilings are free of any dangers to your horse.
You also want to give your horse enough room to be comfortable. The Canadian Agri-Food Research Council recommends a loose box should be between 3 m x 3 m and 3.6 m x 3.6 m for an average size horse. Horses appreciate the extra room to move around, so give them as much space as you can.