Becoming a horse owner is not an easy task, and you will need plenty of energy, finances, resources plus ample amounts of time.You will also need to learn everything you can to meet the basic everyday needs of your horse. To ensure this, here are our top ten clever ownership tips:
Providing a safe enclosure for your horse includes more than simply selecting a fence. It involves the aesthetics, efficiency, management practices, safety, proposed gates, fence lines, paths, traffic routes for horses and handlers, routes for suppliers and access to mowing equipment. A good plan also involves the financial aspects of fence construction.
A good fence should be at least 138 cm (54 inches) above ground level with round corners. Make sure that the top of the fence is at withers heights to ensure that horses don’t flip over the fence. A 20 cm (8 inches) clearance at the bottom will leave enough room to avoid a hoof getting trapped, and will discourage a horse from reaching under the fence for grass.
See also Field Guide to Horse Fencing.
A horse needs 8 to 12 gallons of water in a day, so it is important to provide clean, fresh water throughout the day. Not only this, but your water container should be clean and rust-free by washing it daily.
In winter make sure you check often that your horse’s water has not frozen. Removing ice instead of just breaking it, and then refilling the container with water above freezing will help extend the amount of time until it freezes over again.
After water the second important thing is food. The place where you feed your horse feeding should be clean, dry and well ventilated.
Every horse has different needs. Consider both their size and the amount of work they do when deciding how much they need to eat.
Many pleasure and trail horses don’t need grain: good-quality hay or pasture is sufficient. If hay isn’t enough, grain can be added, but the bulk of a horse’s calories should always come from roughage. Feed grain in small amounts and often.
Horses need constant access to a dry, safe, comfortable shelter to protect them from rain, wind, and snow. In warm and sunny weather, the shelter you supply will provide your companion with much needed shade and relief from biting insects.
At a minimum, you should have a well-constructed, three-sided shelter into which your horse can retreat at all times. Be sure to keep the shelter ventilated, safe, dry and clean. You will need to remove manure from the shelter every day.
If you have several horses you will need a larger space, such as a barn whether it be simple, meeting basic needs, or a luxury barn.
Quality American barns are highly popular and provide the ultimate in flexibility working wonderfully well for both large and small stable schemes. Many horse owners are now opting for American style barns due to their incredible versatility, beautiful aesthetics, and practicality.
A horse’s teeth are vital to his well-being. If they are painful, infected, or missing, he will not be able to chew his food properly and will rapidly lose condition. Therefore, horses require regular dental attention to catch problems early and ensure their teeth stay in tip-top condition.
Most horses will have to have their teeth floated at least once per year. Floating is the practice of filing off any sharp edges or hooks that may form on the edges of the teeth.
Minimum Feeding 2 Times a Day
Horses who spend much of their time in stalls aren’t doing much grazing, but their natural feeding patterns can be replicated by keeping hay in front of them for most of the day. They can nibble at it for a while, take a break and snooze for a while, and then come back to it, keeping some roughage constantly moving through their systems.
Vaccinations are an important thing for all horse owners to help their horses to survive against infections.
Vaccinating is recommended for all horses and ponies on an annual basis. Veterinarians consider the “core vaccines” which all horses should have regardless of their age or use to be Rabies vaccine, Encephalitis/Tetanus vaccine, and West Nile Virus vaccine. Many horses, based on their age and use, should also be vaccinated for the respiratory diseases—influenza, rhinopneumonitis, and strangles.
A horse with an unknown vaccination status that sustains an injury should receive a dose of tetanus antitoxin along with a dose of tetanus toxoid.
It is very important to take care of your horse’s hooves. For that, you should regularly clean and examine your horse’s feet and provide appropriate treatment when disease occurs.
Depending on what your horse’s activities, he should either wear shoes or go unshod. Whatever you decide, to maintain good hoof balance schedule regular trimming and shoeing. Remember to provide appropriate shoeing for different weather and footing conditions.
Food Storage Area
If possible, use a waterproof, seal-able container to store your feed. The container should be able to keep pests such as mice and insects out.
A waterproof container will insure the feed stays dry if there is unexpected water leakage into the area. Elevating the bin off the floor will help keep feed dry should there be rain-in or minor flooding.
Locating the container to a cooler or dryer area will go a long way in keeping your feed fresh.
Managing Pasture and Manure
Maintaining your pasture and disposing of manure is a very important thing for all horse owners. As per research, a 1000 pound horse release about 45 pounds of manure in a day. Dragging your fields will break up and distribute manure, ensuring a healthier pasture by distributing the nutrients in manure piles and encouraging even grazing. Breaking up manure piles also destroys eggs and larvae from parasites, preventing other costly issues inside the barn.
Consult your country Cooperative Extension, Agriculture Office, Conservation District or Natural Resource Conservation Service office for their recommendations for your area.
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