The domestic horse has always occupied an important place in human life. The relationship you build up with a horse must be based on respect, not on fear and pain. Nowadays the horse is used for different types of pleasure riding, competition or kept as a pet. In this case, basic horse care is very important that your horse keep healthy and happy.
What are the Basic Needs of a Horse?
Horses are one of the best companion animals of the earth. A horse gives you pleasure, pride, and accompany. It is saying that horse care is much more important than owning. In my article, I shall discuss the most common horse care facts for a new horse owner.
1. Feeding the Horse
The horse is a grazing animal and your horse must be well fed before they can perform at their best. Correct feeding is both a science and an art: the science is in knowing what to feed to satisfy the horses’ requirements, and the art is in knowing how to feed to get the best results.
The feed requirements of horses vary depending on their age and stage of growth, exercise requirements and maternal status. Horses must be fed to maintain body condition. When pasture cannot maintain a horse’s condition, a supplement must be supplied.
2. Water Supply to the Horse
Clean, fresh water which is free of organic matter and sediment should be available to the horse at all times. A horse can drink up to 70 liters a day. After heavy work, water should be limited to between 2 and 4 liters, given over a period of 15-30 minutes, until the horse has fully cooled down. Place water on the opposite of the stable to the feed trough. Horse tend to splash water when they drink, which can wet the feed and make it messy.
3. Handling the Horse
Safe handling and riding are very important to basic horse care. The first approach is essential to handle a horse. If you make a horse nervous, it will be suspicious of even the most routine activities.
4. Horse Care in the Paddock
Horses like the company. Where possible give them companions: goats make good substitute friends if it is not possible to put horses together. If you have to separate horses that are used to being together, keep an eye on the horse left behind in the paddock as it could become frantic and injure itself.
Never put a horse on its own in a poorly fenced paddock, unless it is used to being alone. Horses unaccustomed to a lonely existence will become panic-stricken and poor fencing will not hold a frightened horse.
5. Horse Facilities
The correct location of fences, lanes, buildings, and stockyards on horse care is essential for efficient operation and management. A well-planned property will save money through reduced labor and running costs. It will also be a more valuable piece of real estate.
6. Horse Health Care
It is better to prevent horse disease than to have to treat once it occurs. You should visit a horse on grass twice a day. Check that its feet are in good order, that it does not have any cuts or injuries and that any rug is in place and not rubbing.
7. Horse’s Legs and Feet Care
There is a well-known saying: “no foot-no horse”. The vast majority of lameness problems have their origin in the feet. So anything that has a harmful effect on the feet is painful for the horse and reduces its ability to work. You need to check all four feet daily and this includes picking them out, looking for injuries, and checking that any shoes fitted are not loose. Laminitis is a common cause of lameness in horses. You must take care of the lameness of horses.
8. Horse Care: First Aid
First aid refers to steps which can be taken to improve a condition, or at least prevent it from worsening before a vet arrives. While most serious conditions require veterinary attention, as long as the owner is sensible and institutes correct first aid, there are only a few true emergencies that require immediate attention.
9. Horse Care: Worm and Worm Control
The major worms which affect horses are the large and small strongyles, and roundworms. Stomach bots do not cause a major problem for most horses. The common signs of worm infestation are tail rubbing, pale gums, ill thirst, colic, and poor coats. The worm can also cause diarrhea or sudden death. As a horse owner, you must regularly check worm infestation and deworming.
10. Equine Skin Disease
There are different types of horse skin diseases. Horses with rain scald, for example, may show both “ hair loss” and ‘weeping sores with scabs”. As the appearance of these diseases can vary greatly, especially after treatments have been given, you should consult your veterinarian wherever necessary.
11. Wound Management of Horse
All wounds should be cleaned as soon as possible with cold running water. The cut or torn skin should be placed back where it was before being injured and held in place with a dressing, cotton wool and bandage. If possible, fresh wounds should be stitched.
Horses are very susceptible to tetanus. Consequently, all horses should be vaccinated every 4 years for this disease. Any horse that is wounded and has not been vaccinated within the previous 4 years requires a tetanus antitoxin.
12. Equine Colic
Equine Colic refers to any form of abdominal pain and can have many causes. Some types of colic may correct themselves and others require veterinary treatment. The signs in all cases may be similar, progressing from depression, flank watching, pawing the ground, refusing feed and lying down a lot, to kick the belly, sweating and rolling violently from side to side.
13. Equine Diarrhea
Horses mild diarrhea, which may occur in response to a feed change, can resolve itself without treatment. However, if the horse is depressed, lethargic and off its feed it should be examined and/or treated by your veterinarian.
14. Eye Problems of Horses
Eye problems are very painful for the horse and require prompt attention. Signs of eye problems include partial eyelid closure, heavy discharge or changes in the appearance of the surface of the eyeball.
15. Horse Care: Cough and Colds
Coughs and colds are signs of respiratory disease. Most respiratory disease is due to infectious agents and is a major cause of wastage in performance horses. Many of these diseases are contagious, which means that one horse can infect those around it. Another important group of respiratory diseases is due to allergic to such things as stable or feed dust.
16. Hyperlipaemia in Foal
Hyperlipaemia is a disorder seen in ponies when high levels of fats are found in the blood. It is not an infectious or contagious disease. Hyperlipaemia occurs when ponies are fed too little energy, and body fat stores are used as an alternative source of energy.
17. Equine Teeth and Dental Care
The teeth of a horse should be examined at least once every 12 months if it is grazing. Horses that are stabled or fed concentrates should have their teeth checked every 6 months. Young horses will need more frequent inspections.
18. Equine Vaccination
Vaccination is a useful preventive measure against some infectious diseases. Two major horse vaccine is available – one against tetanus, one against strangles. A vaccine against Salmonellosis is also used in some studs. You must maintain a vaccination schedule for your horse with a consultation with your veterinarian.
19. Horse Care: Grooming
Horses need grooming every day not just to make them shiny, but to keep their skin healthy. This does not mean you have to spend a 3-hour marathon brushing and polishing, but a 20-minute massage will make your horse feel better.
20. Horse Care While Breeding
Horse breeding is a reproductive process of horse health. You should maintain a planned way of mating to get desired characteristic foals. You must have some basic knowledge of horse breeding. Care and management during the selection of sire and dam, care during pregnancy, care of newborn foal is very important.
21. Horse Transporting
Most people have only two alternatives for transporting horses. They can hire a commercial float and leave the worry to the company, or they can try to transport horses themselves. If transport is needed only once or twice a year over long distances, the commercial carriers provide the safest and cheapest method of travel. If you need to transport your horse or horses more often than this, however, you are going to have to learn to tow a float or drive a horse truck. If that is the case, there are a number of handy hints all persons who float horses should know.
22. Horse Care at Exercise
Horse exercise can take many forms. The horse can exercise itself if it is allowed to run in a paddock, it may be lunged, driven in reins or ridden. If it has been ill or injured it might just be walked on a lead for a while.
23. Buying and Selling Horses
When buying a horse, you must first decide on the amount of money you are prepared to pay. You must also consider the facilities you have and the time and money you will need to look after the horse properly. Remember, the cost of buying a horse is a minor cost relative to keeping it.
Selling a horse or pony can be just as frustrating as buying a horse. Most people do not control the process in any way, they simply place a couple of ads in the paper and wait for calls. Sometimes, of course, this works well. At other times it results in nothing but frustration.
24. Horse Hoof Care and Trimming
The horse is a very sensitive organ. Regular care of horse hooves keeps your horse physically fit. Regular checking of a horse hoof, trimming and wash with copper sulfate solution makes your horse happy and healthy. The horseshoe is necessary during exercise or riding on a hard surface for a long time.
25. Housing of Horse
Comfortable housing is very necessary for your horse. You must look at the following points while construction of horse house loke adequate space, the arrangement of lights, ventilation, water, waste disposal, easy access to paddock or grazing area, and security. A good house should protect your horse during extreme weather.
Final Advice on Horse Care
The horse is a very sensitive animal. You will get full output from your horse when it is properly maintained. Basic horse care is of utmost importance for every horse owner. In my article, I have tried my best to discuss most of the horse care facts in brief. I thought these pieces of information will help you to know the basic care. You must visit books and reference materials for a detailed study. If this information helps you, please share it with your friends.