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Buying your first horse is an exciting time! You’ve likely ridden a lot of lessons horses and are ready for a partner of your own. Horses require a lot of care though. You’ll want to make sure you know how to keep them healthy and happy.
Helpful Horse Tips For Newbies
- Find an experienced horse person that you can turn to with questions and concerns.
- Locate an equine veterinarian.
- Create a vaccine schedule with the help of your vet. Many like to do shots in the spring and fall.
- Get your horse’s hooves regularly trimmed by an experienced farrier. That’s every 4-6 weeks in the summer and 6-8 weeks in the winter.
- Ask your vet to perform a fecal egg count to determine which dewormer to use. Some need to be dewormed multiple times a year, while others less frequently.
- Purchase a first-aid kit for your barn.
- Have the dentist out to check your horse’s teeth. They may need to file down (float) sharp points and edges.
- Make sure they have access to clean drinking water throughout the day and night.
- The average horse needs 1.5% to 3% of their body weight in hay and grass. The Henneke Scoring System can be helpful in determining if they need more or less food.
- Consider adding grain and supplements for a well-rounded diet.
- Your horse needs shelter (stall, run-in, etc…) from wind, rain, snow, and other weather conditions.
- Clean their stall or pen daily.
- Horses need regular exercise. It can as simple as turning them out into a field or riding them.
- It can be a good idea to take lessons. The instructor will help you develop a good partnership with your new horse.
- Keep up with your horse’s groundwork. They should have good manners in and around the barn.
- Learn how they communicate. You’ll want to watch their body language carefully.
- Wear the proper apparel. When riding, you’ll need the right boots and pants. Muck boots come in handy when cleaning around the barn.
- Purchase quality, good-fitting tack. You should also clean it on a regular basis.
- Keep your barn tidy and organized. Make sure everything is in good repair and there are no fire hazards.
- Make friends with other riders! It’s nice to be able to share things with people who “get it”.
Like any new adventure, horse ownership can be daunting in the beginning. If you stick with it and ask lots of questions, you’ll find success and happiness!