Horses are amazing animals. Despite their sometimes overwhelming size, they are generally docile and intelligent. That makes them an excellent companion animal for many people. Whether you are just getting started with horses or you’ve been around them for years, there are some basics to their care and feeding that should never be overlooked.
1. Appropriate Shelter
Horses do well with at least a minimal amount of shelter from the elements. What type of horse housing you decide on will depend on a number of factors, with your climate playing largely into the choice. Fencing should be strong enough to withstand pushing, clearly marked so horses can see it even at top speeds and high enough to limit their ability to jump out. Barbed wire should be avoided since it can puncture horses’ thin skin.
2. Routine Veterinary Care
Just like people and most household pets, horses also need routine veterinary care. You should plan on an annual vet visit for vaccinations and a dental check. Because large animal vet bills can add up quickly it is a good idea to get a horse insurance quote and work that amount into your budget.
3. Plenty of Roughage
While most people think of horses eating grain pellets, apples and carrots. the majority of their diet is made up of hay or grass forage. In fact, most adult horses will eat one to two percent of their body weight in roughage each day. Learn the rules of feeding to make sure you are meeting your horse’s nutritional needs, and adjust amounts of schedules as needed. Always offer free access to clean water and encourage them to drink by providing salt supplements.
The right combination of high-quality food, veterinary care and proper shelter can help your horse live a long and healthy life. That means you get even more time to spend with your best equine friend.