Horses are amazing beings, but owning a horse costs a lot of money and time and not everybody has the resources to do that. People settle for visiting a horse in a riding school and learning all they can there. Some people have what it needs to purchase a horse, but having one and taking care of one are not the same.
Horse care requires one to fulfil multiple requirements in order for the horse to be healthy and satisfied. Following is a guide on horse care, or rather horse care 101.
Food and Water
Horses, like all animals, require food. Feeding them daily can be done if they have access to quality pastures, or if you have enough hay around. During winter months, there will likely be no grass to be eaten so hay will have to suffice, as well as other nutrients. Horses also need salt, around 25 grams per day. Table salt will do fine. Sodium is important for horses because high levels of sodium tell the horse to drink more water, which is important during hot times and when under lots of stress (high performance). If the horse has low levels of sodium, they will want to drink less water, which obviously leads to dehydration and other problems.
Daily feeding your horses should be an activity to strive for, if you have the time to do it. Not only does it give you an opportunity to spend time with a horse, but also to get to know it better.
Another important part of horse care is grooming. Grooming should be done multiple times during a day, more importantly before the horse is ridden and after a ride. During both groomings, you can take your time to inspect the horse’s mane and skin, not to mention the hooves. This can reveal anything from potential health issues to health hazards, to annoying insects such as ticks. Spotting a problem early on is important but in order to do so, you have to spend a little personal time with your horse.
Horses, like all animals, require shelter from the elements. Not all animals can withstand the wind and the rain, not to mention extreme cold and heat.
Having a stable is something that horses would enjoy. Designing a safe and accommodating stable is another story, but it can be exciting, just like building anything else.
There is an option of having run-in shelters, where horses would go when there is urgency, for example, extreme weather conditions. In order for your horses to stay the healthiest, a stable would provide the most care.
Companionship and Care
Horses require companionship. As herd animals, they will either need you to be there, other people, or preferably, both you and more horses. Horses, like most animals, love a good environment where they can play, work and enjoy their lives. That means good shelter, good food and healthcare as well as companionship. The last part requires time and dedication, just like the entirety of horse care.
It is easy to care for a horse, if you have the means, financially and in terms of time and dedication. It can get tough from time to time, but any relationship has bumps in the road. This has been a short guide on how to care for your horse.