Horses are wonderful animals that so many people love to ride, watch and take care of. If you are lucky enough to own a horse or look after one, it is so important that you have the knowledge and skill to do the job properly. Horses can be very expensive animals to raise so it is important that you have the necessary means and that you spare no expense in taking care of your animal. From giving your horse the right food to creating the right habitat, every aspect of your horse’s health and happiness needs careful attention.
For all the horse lovers out there looking to keep their animal in perfect shape, here are 6 great ways to improve the health of horses.
1. Provide Your Horse with the Proper Environment
Wild horses need a huge amount of land to wander and explore and so the first thing you need to do is provide your horse with a big enough paddock for it to be happy and free. The paddock will require secure fencing so that the horse cannot escape and so that no other animals can get in. You need to make sure that there are no dangerous holes or any other potential hazards which can hurt your horse and also that it has enough shelter from the elements in case the weather gets really bad while you are not there to put it back inside its stable.
2. Make Sure Your Horse Eats The Right Diet
As with all animals, feeding your horse the correct food will have a massive effect on its overall health and condition. The bulk of your horse’s diet will be made up of grass and hay so it is always better if the horse’s enclosure is a big field with lots of grass. As well as grass and hay, you can feed your horse a range of fruits and vegetables to supplement the roughage. Different horses like different things but apples and carrots are generally big favorites. Try experimenting with other produce to see what your horse enjoys but make sure that you don’t feed it anything too big as it could be a choking hazard.
3. Give Your Horse Supplements
Just like many people who take a multivitamin or some other supplement for their health, there are many supplements available that can help to make your horse more healthy. Horses are big, fast animals, and all that galloping and jumping can put a lot of stress on their joints. Fortunately, there are various specially formulated supplements for increased strength in your horse’s joints which will keep it moving freely and protect it from injury. Always make sure you speak to a veterinarian before giving your horse any supplements and check that they come from a reputable manufacturer.
4. Vaccinate Your Horse
There are many diseases and illnesses which can affect your horse. Vaccine program requirements for your horse will depend on where you live. There are horse vaccines for everything from rabies to tetanus, but many horse owners choose to give their horse either a “5 Way” or a “6 Way” vaccine which protects it against multiple conditions. One of the most dangerous diseases for horses is West Nile Virus which is transmitted by mosquitoes and which all horses need to be protected against.
5. Use the Right Horse Tack
Riding a horse can be a lot of fun for both you and your horse but not if you use the wrong equipment. It’s very important that you choose the right saddle and other tacks that are comfortable for you both. Not only will ill-fitting straps and buckles pinch and irritate your horse, but they could also cause sores that could potentially get infected and lead to more serious issues.
6. Groom Your Horse Regularly
Grooming is very important for keeping your horse healthy as it will ensure that you spot any health problems early and that you are taking care of every aspect of your horse’s welfare. Horses’ feet need shodding regularly and you also need to pay careful attention to their teeth. Grooming your horse is a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your animal which will also help it to be mentally and emotionally happy too.
Looking after a horse needs knowledge and time but every horse deserves to be treated well. It is vital that you look carefully at every aspect of your horse husbandry to ensure that you are doing everything correctly. Follow this simple guide and speak to other horse owners and you will be able to raise a healthy and happy horse.