Pets are a wonderful thing. They bring unconditional love and daily excitement to their owners’ lives. Normally people tend to foster and own dogs and cats but once in a while, you come across a horse owner.
What a special gift! Such grand and majestic creatures. To maintain their beauty but more importantly their health, there are certain actions you must take occasionally. If you are new to the care of horses, do not be intimidated. You demonstrate your love and care for them and they will show these traits right back.
Food And Water
Horses are not small animals therefore just by reason you know that they would need more water than the average pet. Where you might feed your dog once a day, horses should be fed two to three times daily. On average a horse weighs one thousand pounds. Approximately twenty pounds of hay and pasture are required daily. Allowing a horse to freely graze over a healthy grassy field or patch of land should be sufficient to meet its daily nutrition needs. But the animal should be slowly introduced to this practice for its own health.
Add in grains like oats and corn to fortify their diet even more. For further health benefits consider horse supplements to include minerals, amino acids, and different vitamins. Depending on the horse’s age, activity level, and nutritional needs, these will give that extra boost to your equine friend that they’re missing.
Room To Graze
As you can imagine, a horse cannot be kept cooped up. Those long legs need to be stretched, that body needs room to run, gallop and strut. Ideally, it should not be kept in an area open to the elements. Horses should be given, like people, physical safety, a roof over their heads, a safe and comfortable place to rest and retreat from harsh weather conditions. Ensure at least a three-sided shed or a stable is ready to house the animal before you acquire it. The perimeter of the area should be cordoned off. There is no one material that is best but make sure that the horse can clearly see the barricades so as to not unintentionally run into it and cause injury.
Disposing Of waste
Horse droppings are plentiful and useful. This can be composted and used as fertilizer for crops. Should you not be interested in using horse manure this way, then decide on a means to dispose of it that does not offend any neighboring homes. Flies and other insects, like with all types of feces, will be attracted to the piles of horse dung. Have a schedule for scoping and mucking their roaming area and stalls so as to avoid a mass gathering of pests.
Checks To Conduct At Different Periods
Every day, make sure to keenly observe the animal. Check for signs of injury, illness, and discomfort. If you notice any of these signs, contact the veterinarian quickly. Clean out the hooves. Remove any stones or debris which may have gotten stuck there. Especially inspect for scrapes or puncture wounds. Fungal and bacterial infections can develop very fast so be on guard.
Approximately once a month, have a farrier trim any outgrown hooves and replace horseshoes if need be. This is necessary before and after a ride. Stick to your deworming schedule. Some persons conduct this every two to three months. Whatever yours is, keep on top of it. And just like you’re supposed to visit your doctor and dentist yearly, so does your horse. Horses’ teeth should be checked and floated yearly. Also to be given every year is their relevant vaccination which will be based on the prevalent diseases in your area for which the animal may be subject.
Respond calmly and hastily to emergencies. Notice bleeding, apply pressure to the wound and call the vet. Difficulty standing or walking, diarrhea, irregular, heavy, or fast breathing, waste no time in calling your animal’s doctor.
Horses as pets are lovely but require a lot of attention and much more care than your ordinary cat, dog, or hamster. So make sure you are truly ready to put in the effort before taking ownership of this animal. Its nutritional health is paramount. If you are unsure of the quantity to feed it, contact the vet. Fresh and clean water is essential.
See to its shelter. The sturdiness and propriety of the shed or stall. Keep it clean to avoid a congregation of flies and other insects. Deworming and immunization times should be kept and if missed, yes, contact the vet.