Horses are beautiful animals and if you're fortunate enough to have one, you know that they require certain things to maintain their health and appearance. If you're considering the purchase of a horse and need to familiarize yourself with the basic upkeep of the animal, then here are some guidelines that can help!
Daily physical activity for your horse is extremely important. Horses need to be in an environment where they can not only walk, but also be able to run. They need to be able to work out and exercise all parts of their bodies to maintain and build their muscle.
Maintain a healthy diet for your horse by providing plenty of water, an equine vitamin supplement, if needed, green pastures to graze upon, and healthy grains and hay. Also, you'll need to allow the animal to graze throughout the course of the day, as horses have small stomachs and can only eat so much at one time.
Keep them Busy
When your horse is locked away in the stable, don't just leave him or her in there with nothing to do. These creatures need to be mentally stimulated, so give them toys to play with so they stay sharp and avoid restlessness when they are alone.
Caring for their Hooves
Every six to eight weeks, horses need to have their hooves trimmed and have shoes placed on them. To have this done, you will need to take your horse to a person called a "farrier."
Horses need to be groomed on a daily basis to maintain good health
. Brushing their manes and maintaining the health of their hooves are activities that will keep horses happy, as well (they love the attention). Grooming not only removes dirt, but brings out the natural oils in a horse's coat and offers you an easy way to check him or her for minor injuries and cuts.
If your horse is not receiving enough vitamins and minerals from a diet, then an equine vitamin supplement
may need to be added. To determine if your horse is receiving the right nourishment, an equine nutritionist may need to be consulted along with several tests performed. An analysis of the horse's hay and pasture, as well as hair and blood tests, can determine if your horse's diet is balanced or if supplementation is needed.
Since horses only feed on plants, it's important to have your horse's teeth filed. Filing prevents the sharp edges from cutting into their tongue and cheeks.
Horses need to be taken to the veterinarian for regular check-ups to keep them healthy
, as well as to receive their yearly vaccinations.
Caring for a horse is a labor of love. If provided with the right diet and proper care, your horse can live for a long time and offer you many years of companionship.