As any seasoned rancher or equestrian will tell you, caring for horses is a tremendous responsibility. Not only do horses have very particular feeding schedules, they also need to be groomed on a far more consistent basis than other animals. Taking half-measures when caring for horses is practically guaranteed to result in unhappy animals and assorted health problems. Fortunately, a little bit of hard work and consistency can go a long way when it comes to taking care of horses. The following tips are sure to prove useful to any first-time horse owner.
Adhere to a Proper Feeding Schedule
In the interest of preventing colic, it’s recommended that you feed horses several small meals a day as opposed to one massive one. Since horses are natural grazers, they’re more comfortable having access to a steady supply of food than a single large serving. This will also help horses maintain consistent levels of gut bacteria, thus promoting healthy digestion.
Buy Horse Insurance
A horse represents a sizable investment. In addition to being expensive to feed, these animals can rack up thousands of dollars in vet bills if they fall ill or become injured. With this in mind, it pays to invest in horse insurance. Not only can a comprehensive plan cover a horse’s veterinary costs, it can also ensure that you’re covered in the event that someone becomes injured while riding one of your horses. Although everyone who owns a horse is urged to purchase insurance, it’s absolutely essential for ranchers and stable owners.
Perform Grooming and Healthy Checks
To prevent fleas and matting, horses need to be brushed and inspected on a regular basis. They also need to be on an effective anti-parasite regimen due to their constant exposure to intestinal worms. Furthermore, horses need to receive hoof maintenance – i.e. trimming and shoeing – every one to two months. Because this is a highly specialized procedure, it’s strongly recommended that you enlist the services of an experienced farrier.
When it comes to caring for horses, there are no shortcuts. In order to keep your horses happy and healthy, you’ll need to feed, exercise and groom them in a very particular fashion. Although this may seem daunting at first, many horse owners quickly get the hang of their new routine. In the interest of giving your horses the best life possible, remember to purchase horse insurance and be diligent about feeding and grooming.