How to care for your horse

 

       Exercise your horse!

How to Care for your Horse

So you have a pet horse – congratulations! Horses are one of the most majestic animals and make excellent pets. They are very intelligent and love having you around. Since they are so big, they do require more care than the average pet. Here is how to care for your horse with some basic horse care tips:

Love – One of the most important things to do to care for your horse is to provide them company and make them feel important. Horses are strong social animals and they are used to living in herds with dozens or other horses. Horses are extremely intelligent and are known to make lifelong friends with other horses, ponies, humans and even dogs.

If they do not have companionship with humans or other horses, they can get really bored and upset and this can lead to some self destructive habits and bad behaviour and the last thing you would ever want is your horse to be miserable and buck you off while you’re riding them! 

Water – Horses are very large, active animals and they require a lot of water. Be sure to change their water twice daily and refill it whenever it is empty. When you ride your horse, it’s very important to give them breaks every two hours and a drink of water.  Be careful though, at these times your horse will want to drink a lot of water, more than they should. If they drink too much water, or not enough, they can get sick. They usually know the right amount but after a ride, they may overdo it.

Food – All that wild horses have to eat in the wild is grass! It is best to keep their diet as simple as possible, there’s no need for fancy food here, a horse’s stomach knows what to do to be healthy. Usually people feed their horses grass hay with clean oats. It’s known that this diet can reduce the chances of your horse getting colic.

Exercise – Remember, horses are born to run and use up a lot of energy every day! Their ancestors would run free in herds and play whenever they pleased.  Riding a horse is healthy for it, it keeps them in tip top shape and increases their chances to stay healthy. Make sure you ride your horse as often as possible and always gradually work your way up in time if you plan on taking a long ride somewhere.

Grooming – Horses must be groomed often, this includes before a ride and right after a ride. After a short time, you should have a good grooming routine that both you and your horse are used to. It can be very calming and enjoyable for both you and your pet horse. You can use this time talk to them and show them that they are loved and special and in turn, your pet horse will start telling you that as well, just in a different way.

Your pet horse needs to have their long mane and tail brushed or they can tangle up in painful knots. They also need their body brushed, first use a hard horse brush and then a soft horse brush. They also need their hooves picked and need to be curried (use a currycomb to rub dirt and old hair off of your pet horse). 

After a ride, you need to specially groom your pet horse by using a sweat scraper if they are still wet after you take off their tack and give them a drink. You might want to hose them off if it is warm enough outside. If your horse is skittish of the hose, just use a big wet sponge instead!

Make sure to check your horse carefully for any marks like cuts or scrapes and if you find any, address them immediately.

Cleaning – By grooming your pet horse you’re cleaning them, but what about their stall? How to clean out a horse stall is a question with several answers but it really depends how often your pet horse uses the stall and what bedding you are using for them.

 If your horse uses the stall often, it’s usually cleaned once a day and the bedding completely changed every three days, sometimes more often depending on the mess and smell. If the ground is concrete or rubber, people tend to hose it out every second time they change their bedding, or every 6 days or so. If the ground of the stall is dirt, use a broom to sweep it out.

Remember, your horse’s hooves are standing in that stall so you should make sure it’s as clean as possible to prevent your pet horse from getting problems with their hooves.

 

       Arabian Pet Horse

 

Article by Cassandra