I am sure you will agree with me that our horses are more than just a horse or even just a pet. They are a tremendous part of our lives and because of that they deserve the best care.
Because the subject of horse care is beyond the scope of any one article, this article is intended to lay the foundation from which a more in depth study of horse health and care can be developed.
After reading this article you will have a broad view understanding of what it takes to keep your horse healthy and happy.
5 Basic Equine Health Needs
Horses drink from five to fifteen gallons of water every day. They may drink more if it is hot out or they are being exercised
It is very important to maintain fresh water for your horses at all times. This means emptying out stale water and replacing with fresh at least once a day.
In the winter you will need to bust out ice from water buckets or use water heaters. If you use a water heater frequently check the wiring to ensure it is working properly.
Horses may additionally require an electrolyte supplement to ensure they are drinking enough. This is particularly true for horses who are worked regularly.
Horses are naturally foragers and would spend almost the entire day grazing if resources allowed. Because sufficient grazing pastures are not available for most horse owners, supplemental feeding strategies must be implemented.
The average horse should be eating at least 10 to 20 pounds of roughage a day. A high quality hay is generally what is fed.
Often times, a working horse is not able to maintain a healthy weight on hay alone. In this case, a protein rich grain is added to his diet rounding out a proper equine nutrition plan.
Due to many hay supplies being short in some essential vitamins and mineral, nutrition supplements are required. Their is a massive list of supplements available out there, so ensuring you buy quality products for your horse is essential.
Maintaining a proper grooming schedule is incredibly important for your horses health. This includes regular brushing, hoof care, and bathing when necessary.
If you are riding your horse frequently, it is easy to incorporate your grooming schedule with your training and riding sessions.
There are tons of fun grooming tools out there to help you make the process easy and pain free as possible.
Whether you train daily or ride on the weekends, you must make sure your horse is receiving adequate exercise.
This can include daily turnouts, trail rides, round pen work, or arena work. It is best to stick to a consistent schedule as your horse will gain the benefits of better health and you will see performance improvements too!
5) Professional Health Care
Keeping your horse on a farrier and veterinarian schedule will ensure all the hard work you have put in taking care of your horse's health hasn't gone to waste by missing something important.
Horses should receive a check-up from the vet at least once a year. Your vet will also let you know when your horse needs their teeth floated, set up a deworming schedule, and provide all needed vaccinations.
Farriers play a HUGE role in the health of your horse. Hoof health must be taken seriously, and finding a great farrier will help you maintain a happy and healthy horse.
We are just scratching the surface of what it takes to maintain a healthy horse, but from these basics you are well on your way to having a happy horse.