A Horse Care Guide For Beginners

Horse Rider

More and more people are starting to have horses, and it is estimated that there are close to a million horses kept as pets in the UK.

There is no “right” way to look after a horse. Horses are unique in their individuality and no horse will be exactly like another. With that being said there are many tried and tested guidelines in which you can follow to ensure your horses are cared for and go on to live a long and active life.

Owning a horse can be an extremely rewarding experience and many horse owners will go on to have more horses in the future. These beautiful, and at times complex, animals can provide challenges and with horses living well into their 30’s, owning a horse is a serious, long-term commitment. Think long and hard before pursuing the process in buying a horse.

TRAINING & BEHAVIOUR:

Horses are extremely intelligent animals and with the right training and care can learn very quickly.

Training a horse can be extremely rewarding and will create a positive bond between the two of you. This is why it is important to begin training your horse from a young age to let that bond develop and grow.

Use positive, treat based rewarding when training your horse. This is the most common process that often produces the more satisfying results. The key to training your horse is consistency and frequency!

Never shout or punish your horse. This can lead to behavioural problems over time and damage your horse’s long-term mental health. If you think your horse is having some difficulty with its behaviour then consult with your vet, they may suggest treatment or recommend a behaviour expert.

If you feel your horse is looking a little stressed you can try Zylkene Sachets, these can help calm your horse in times of stress and help them adapt to new situations more easily.

Horses are very social animals and should not be housed alone. This can be damaging to their mental health and can cause negative social behaviour. If you have other horses already, introduce a new horse into the group on a regular basis to ensure they bond. Always observe these meetings and never leave them alone, to begin with.

ENVIRONMENT & DIET:

When housing a new horse it is always essential to ensure their living space is free from anything that can cause them harm, whether that is structurally or any foreign substances within the living area.

Horses are large animals and require regular and excessive exercise to help them to remain fit and healthy. A horse should not be stabled for long periods of time. Your horse must have access to areas free from the elements, so a dry place to rest when raining, ideally a covered and sheltered area.

Make sure that your horse cannot escape from their surroundings. This may mean regular perimeter checks to ensure your horse cannot escape and cause damage to itself and to others.

When your horse is stabled it is essential that you regularly clean their living area, removing any waste and adding fresh hay and straw for them.  Ideally, use dust-free bedding so that it helps stop any potential breathing illnesses developing.

Always allow your horse to have access to fresh drinking water. This means fresh water every day, pouring away any leftover water from the day before. To go alongside grazing, your horse will need to have hard feed and forage to help maintain their ideal weight. If not this can lead to weight loss and digestive upsets. If you notice your horse suffering from a digestive upset there is a fast way to help restore your horse’s normal digestive function. Equine Pro Paste has 9 different species of beneficial micro-organisms in high concentration and is used whenever animals require the rapid establishment of a healthy gut flora.

If you want to supplement your hoses diet on a daily basis you may want to consider Gut Balancer or Pro Digit – both of which help promote normal digestive function.

If you have any more questions, our very own John The Vet specialises in equine health and will be on hand to deal with your questions. You can phone, email or tweet him!

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