There are more than 9 million horses in the U.S. right now. And there are about 2 million Americans taking care of those horses at the moment.
Some horse owners have been doing it for years and know the ins and outs of horse care. Others just purchased a horse for the very first time and are slowly learning what it takes to care for a horse.
If you’re trying to figure out how to take care of a horse as a pet, know that it’s not necessarily as difficult as it might initially seem. It takes time, but before long, you can provide a great life for your horse.
Here are 7 tips for beginners looking to provide the proper horse care for their new equestrian friends.
1. Make Sure Your Horse Always Has Access to Fresh Water
Horses need to drink a lot of water in order to stay hydrated. You could probably say that about just about any animal. But horses, in particular, are known to drink as much as 15 gallons of water every day.
As you might expect, horses will often drink more water than usual in the summertime when they’re hot. It’s why you should check up on their water supply as much as you can during the warmer months.
But a horse’s water can also freeze over in the winter. So get into the habit of taking a look at your horse’s water regularly at all times of the year. And if your horse won’t drink for whatever reason, consider providing it with an electrolyte supplement to keep its hydration levels in check.
2. Provide Your Horse With More Than Enough Food
Believe it or not, many people who purchase horses don’t have the slightest idea what they eat on a daily basis. They’re sometimes surprised to learn that horses tend to eat forage like hay as a large part of their diet.
They’re also surprised to learn that horses like to eat as much as they like to drink. They’re known to eat about 1 or 2 percent of their total body weight in forage every 24 hours. That means that, if you have a horse that weighs about 1,000 pounds, you need to prepare to give it about 20 pounds of hay each day.
You may have to provide your horse with even more food, too, if you plan on keeping it active most days. Horses burn through a ton of calories when they’re running around, which is why they might need even more food than planned.
Make sure you’re ready to devote time and money to feeding a horse before buying one.
3. Allow Your Horse to Socialize With Other Horses As Often As Possible
There’s a reason why there are more than 9 million horses in the U.S. but only about 2 million horse owners. Most horse owners have more than one horse on their farms and ranches at a time.
Ideally, you should have a companion for your horse located on your property. Horses are herd animals that enjoy being with one another throughout the day.
But if you’re not able to buy more than one horse, find ways to allow your horse to socialize with other horses from time to time. Whether you bring your horse to places with horses or keep your horse in a place that houses other horses, it’ll be good for your horse’s overall well-being when it socializes.
4. Set Your Horse Up With Adequate Shelter
One of the great things about horses is that they’re very hardy and can deal with living in almost any climate. Horses are able to regulate their body temperatures to adjust to hot and cold conditions.
However, they still need to have a place to go when it’s too sunny out or raining hard. Set up a stall for them where they can retreat when the weather gets bad.
As part of your horse care plan, clean the stall routinely so that your horse is comfortable at all times. Your horse will lead a much better life when it has clean conditions inside of its stall.
5. Give Your Horse the Chance to Roam Around Whenever You Can
While your horse needs adequate shelter, that doesn’t mean you should keep it locked up in a stall all the time. Horses love to roam, and you’ll be doing your horse a huge disservice if you don’t ever let it out of its stall.
Your horse can suffer greatly if it’s kept cooped up for too long. Here are some of the adverse effects of restricting a horse’s ability to roam:
- Too much stall time can increase the chances of your horse dealing with colic
- It can put pressure on your horse’s joints and cause long-term pain in them
- It can cause your horse to feel stressed out
If you’re not prepared to let your horse roam regularly, you’re probably not prepared to care for a horse.
6. Consider Giving Supplements to Your Horse
Supplements can work wonders for your horse’s health. When you provide a horse with supplements, you can make its coat shine, improve the health of its hooves, and encourage proper digestion.
There are so many supplements available for horses, which makes it important for you to speak with your veterinarian about which would be best. Something like Plantacea CBD can provide your horse with many benefits.
7. Schedule Regular Veterinarian Visits for Your Horse
Speaking of your veterinarian, your horse needs to see a vet at least once every year and more often than that once it gets older.
Find a vet in your area that can visit with your horse and provide it with the proper medical care in between wellness visits.
Keep Your Horse Happy and Healthy by Following These Horse Care Tips
Horse care can be a big responsibility for someone who has never had a horse before. Keep that in mind before buying a horse and make sure you’re ready to take on the challenge.
If you are, you’ll love having a horse and will enjoy caring for it. Your horse will love and appreciate you for providing excellent horse care and help you make lots of memories over the years.
Read our blog to learn more about caring for pets and other animals.