There’s a lot that goes into keeping your horse healthy and happy. They depend on you for their care. Horse ownership is a wonderful and fun adventure. Be prepared for the commitment though! If you think you’re ready, then check out this guide to get started.
Horse Care 101
- Food and water: Horses have delicate digestive systems. They should be permitted to graze or pick at hay throughout the entire day. Additionally, clean drinking water is essential! They can consume up to 8 gallons a day.
- Shelter: Your horse’s shelter doesn’t have to be a stall, but they do need some sort of shelter to escape the weather. A run-in is sufficient in many cases. It should be dry and safe.
- Hoof care: Every 6 to 8 weeks, your horse will need their hooves trimmed by a farrier. Some may also require shoes.
- Veterinary care: Routine maintenance like vaccines and a dental float are important for your horse’s health. You should also have a good relationship with your vet in the event of an emergency.
- Deworming: Intestinal parasites can cause some serious issues in horses. While you won’t be able to get rid of them all, you can lower your horse’s worm burden. Work with your vet to create a deworming schedule based on your horse’s fecal egg count.
- Exercise: Riding is a great way to exercise your horse, but you can also turn them out into a field or lunge them.
Horse ownership is expensive, so make sure you’re financially ready for one. They also require a lot of time. The best advice is to spend time at the barn- riding and helping out. You’ll learn a ton about horses by just being around them!