10 Tips To Keep Your Horse Healthy And Happy
Which is why it’s so important to take good care of them. If you’re a horse lover, then you know just what great companions they can be. You also know that owning a horse takes a lot of time, a lot of energy and at times a lot of money.
When people dream of owning a horse they focus on the long rides, the wide-open spaces and the feelings of freedom riding a horse can bring.
But an unhealthy horse can’t give you any of those.
And keeping your horse healthy takes effort so to make life easier we’ve put together 10 quick tips to ensure your horse stays happy, healthy and safe.
Giving you years of riding pleasure.
Here they are…
1. Choose a safe and comfortable environment: Your horse needs to be kept in an environment where they not only feel safe, but an environment that is also comfortable. Too many horses are left out in the elements, so providing them with a shelter and a stall is important. You can also use a run-in shed, or a grouping of trees which gives them the ability to protect themselves. A dry area to walk and stand is also important, grass, rubber mats, saw dust and even straw can provide good footing and a hoof healthy environment.
2. Give Them Routine Exams: It’s important to have your horse checked by a vet on a regular basis. As close as you are to your horse and as knowledgeable as you are about them it’s still possible to miss things. Getting routine checkups will give you baseline information allowing you and your vet to keep tabs on any changes that occur.
3. Routine Attention and Affection: Just like you and I horse’s need regular attention and affection for optimal physical and mental well-being. By regularly interacting with your horse, you teach them to be patient and open to contact with other humans. This is important for them because it helps them with stress and anxiety. Plus, it makes it easier for your veterinarian to examine them, because they will be used to human touch and attention.
4. Regular Exercise: Exercise is a vital part of your horse’s good health and if your horse is housed in a barn regularly scheduled exercise is a must. Regular exercise keeps your horse healthy, helps them relieve stress and allows them to expel pent up energy.
5. Take Great Care of Their Hooves: It’s important to regularly trim and/or get your horse shoed by an experienced farrier. Every horse is different when it comes to hoof growth, so frequency may vary. But for most horses every 4-8 weeks is a pretty standard range for hoof trimming. It’s also important to tend to the hooves daily. Picking the hooves and keeping an eye out for any signs of cracking or thrush will help you stay on top of things.
6. VCPR: By maintaining a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship, your veterinarian is better able to examine your horse and make timely recommendations related to your horse’s health and well-being. There is nothing but good that can come out of a VCPR. Otherwise you’re left to your own research and sometimes that can lead to the wrong conclusion or dangerous advice. A good vet is worth their weight in gold and the sooner you can create a relationship with one the better. They’re horse experts and they can help keep you ahead of any health issues your horse may be suffering from. Additionally, when and if an emergency arises, you’ll know who to call.
7. Good Nutrition: Your horse’s digestive system was designed to process large amounts of fibrous foods on a regular basis. Hay and/or grass is a must to keep their digestive systems running smoothly. If they are in need of a little energy boost, grain can also be added. Traditional mineral blocks, loose minerals or commercially available complete grain concentrates are perfect for supplying vital minerals. Fresh, clean water is also a must. If you followed tip #6 then you have a vet you can trust, who can also help guide you on any special nutritional needs your horse may have.
8. Keep Parasites Under Control: If you own horses, you know what a problem parasite can be. Untreated, parasites can quickly cause your horse to lose weight, develop a poor hair coat and even develop colic. The problem is that many commercial dewormers are now resistant to worms found in most pastures. Your vet can help you analyze your horse’s unique parasite risk profile and help you develop a plan.
9. Keep Vaccinations Current: Vaccinations when properly administered remain one of the most effective ways to ensure your horse stays healthy. Every time your horse gets sick it takes a tremendous amount of energy to recover. It can also put them at risk for more serious diseases. Your vet can give you a list of the most important vaccinations and tell you what your horse may be more susceptible to in your area.
10. Routine Dental Care: Your horses teeth are more important than you may think. And it’s absolutely essential to have your horse’s teeth checked at least once a year. A horse’s teeth continue to grow unless they are worn down by opposing teeth. And a horse’s top teeth naturally sit wider than their bottom teeth, so floating needs to be done in to eliminate the points that develop. Without regular dental maintenance your horse could develop problems that could lead to more serious problems like choke and colic.
There you go, 10 easy to follow tip that will help you keep you horse healthy, happy and safe.