Categorized | Care, Horse, Tips

Horse Health Care Basics

Bringing your first horse home can be a little intimidating if you are a complete beginner. Being a horse owner is a completely different experience than caring for any other type of animal. Most people who enjoy riding and keeping horses in general are lifelong equine fans who can’t imagine life without horses. With that said, horses require a lot of care, so you do need to be ready for a big commitment. Learning a few basic facts about horse health care can prepare you for being a great horse owner regardless of your
background or level of equine experience.

Try to get all of the equipment you are going to need before you bring your horse home. Horses need a variety of supplies including saddles, grooming combs, buckets and feed tubs. You can find a complete list of things you need to get online, or you can ask a sales clerk for help at a local equine supply store. When looking after a horse you also should learn as much as possible about equine nutrition. Feeding your horse properly will help you keep it healthy and active throughout its life. Your horse should have access to good pasture grass for grazing in addition to nutrient-rich feed and snacks. Check on your horse’s water daily to make sure that it’s fresh, cool and clean.

Because horses are grazers, feeding them smaller portions throughout the day instead of fewer bigger meals is better for keeping their digestive system healthy. Generally, you want to feed your horse hay
before feeding it grain. Hay is light, and it acts as an appetite suppressant by reducing hunger before the main portion, which means your horse will eat its grain slower. Eating slowly decreases the risk of common digestive problems such as colic. Keep in mind that young horses as well as older horses can have special nutritional needs. If your horse is reaching maturity or still growing, you should talk to your veterinarian about its dietary requirements.

Unfortunately, horses have many common health problems that can develop quickly if you don’t stay on top of their health care on a daily basis. Taking preventative measures like signing up for regular veterinary appointments, learning warning signs of common diseases and following a de-worming plan can help you keep your horse in good health. Many equine experts and veterinarians also recommend keeping a first aid kit within reach at all times in case of an unexpected emergency. In some cases, it can take a long time for a veterinarian with equine experience to reach your home, so you need to have a few supplies you can rely on if your horse needs immediate help. You can buy ready-made equine first aid kits, or make a home-made one with your own supplies.

In addition to feeding your horse properly and taking precautions about disease prevention, it’s important to learn good grooming habits. You should groom your horse on a daily basis, and remember to always groom it right before riding. Store your grooming supplies where you can easily reach them, and don’t forget to clean the hooves to keep your horse feeling balanced and comfortable when you ride.

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