Owning a pet horse can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but it also comes with great responsibility.
These majestic animals require daily care and attention to ensure they remain healthy and happy. We all dream of owning a horse, especially after watching the Kentucky Derby, but is it difficult to take care of this beloved creature?
Well, it is not like owning a dog, that’s for sure. It requires a lot of time, money, and effort in order to make sure that the horse gets all the care it needs. We are not talking about racehorses, like the ones in the Kentucky Derby 2023, but simply the ones to take at home and eventually go on horse rides.
If you’re thinking of taking the reins and becoming a horse owner, here’s everything you need to know to keep your four-legged friend in tip-top shape.
How to Take Care of a Horse?
Feeding Time: What Your Horse Needs to Chow Down On
First things first, let’s talk about food. In order to properly take care of a horse and make sure the animal is healthy, you’ll need to carefully follow a specific diet.
Horses are herbivores, which means they need a diet rich in fiber and nutrients. Hay is a staple of a horse’s diet, but they also need access to fresh water and grain.
And don’t forget about treats! Carrots, apples, and peppermints are all great options for a special treat.
Tackling Grooming: Keeping Your Horse Clean and Healthy
Grooming is an essential part of horse care. Not only does it keep your horse looking spiffy, but it also helps prevent health problems like skin irritations and infections.
Brushing your horse’s coat daily, cleaning their hooves, and regularly checking for any lumps or bumps are all part of the grooming routine.
And let’s be real, who doesn’t love the smell of a freshly groomed horse?
Exercise: Taking Your Horse for a Ride
Now it’s time for the fun stuff – riding! But before you hit the trails, it’s important to make sure your horse is physically ready.
This means warming them up with some light exercise, checking their equipment to make sure it’s in good condition, and making sure they’re comfortable with the rider. And remember, always wear a helmet and proper riding gear to keep yourself safe.
Health Check: Keeping Your Horse Healthy
Just like humans, horses need regular check-ups with a veterinarian to ensure they stay healthy. Annual check-ups, vaccinations, and regular dental exams are all part of horse health care. And if your horse ever seems off or is showing any unusual symptoms, don’t hesitate to call your vet for a check-up.
It is important to know that vet checks can put a significant hole into your pocket, or in other words, it is expensive, especially if you need to move your horse.
On average, a horse vet check is around $40, but if it is an emergency or you need a vet to come down to your place it can go as high as $200.
Giving Your Horse Plenty of Love and Attention
Last but not least, don’t forget about the most important part of horse care – love and attention. Horses are social animals and need plenty of interaction with their owners.
Spend time grooming, riding, and just hanging out with your horse. And who knows, you might even learn a thing or two from these wise and majestic creatures.
Horse Care Routines
Before you make a decision on whether or not to own a horse, here is a horse care routine that you should follow every year.
- Provide fresh water and hay
- Check for any signs of injury or illness
- Groom your horse, including brushing its coat, mane, and tail
- Clean your horse’s hooves
- Spend time with your horse to provide social interaction and exercise
- Clean your horse’s stall or pasture
- Change bedding in your horse’s stall
- Check and clean your horse’s water buckets and feed troughs
- Check and adjust any tack or equipment used for riding
- Trim your horse’s hooves, if necessary
- Administer any necessary medications or supplements
- Clean and condition your horse’s coat and mane
- Check your horse’s teeth and schedule a dental exam if necessary
- Schedule a farrier appointment for hoof trimming and shoeing, if necessary
- Check and replace any worn-out or damaged equipment
- Schedule an annual veterinary check-up and vaccinations
- Test your horse for any parasites or diseases
- Schedule a dental exam with a veterinarian or equine dentist
- Re-evaluate your horse’s diet and adjust as necessary
- Check and update your horse’s identification and health record
It may seem like a lot of work, but the rewards are well worth it. Just remember to always treat your horse with kindness and respect, and you’ll have a loyal companion for life.