Riding on horseback is the most famous horse ride in the past hundreds of years up until these days. Horse owners involved preparation routines before and after the race day for their horses to perform at their highest potential. I am going to share with you horse care guides in a bit.
Horse to human relationship has been so unique, as a horse can be a partner and a friend in unison. The pet can be used for racing in times of horse tournaments. It helps the horse to become more active.
With all of the said facts about horses, caring is a must. This pet demands much bigger responsibility upon its owner, in terms of commitment and money. It takes time to provide proper care for your equine friend. There should be a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual cleaning routine for the pet. Keep track of your pet’s caring schedule in a calendar to not forget a thing.
Here is a complete guide for caring these racing pets:
Taking refugefor horses will depend on their breed around 400. There are horse breeds that live in lowly hilly areas and some lives inbroad green regions. Make sure the dwellings are near the water. However, domesticated horses prefer to reside in a habitat created by their masters.Building the right boarding stable requires much consideration, whichis made up of:
Horses can go with almost any climate and any habitat with the help of its owner. The first thing you need for caring a horse is a boarding stable.
Finding a suitable home for a horse could be frustratingin some ways. Considering a stable for horses depend on the functioning of the pet, whether for a ride or racing.
Here are the minimum space standards for horses:
|Horse’s height||Stall Size|
|4-feet horses||100 square feet|
|5-feet horses||156 square feet|
|6-feet horses||225 square feet|
Note: The proper space allowance is 2.5 times the height of the horse to allow essential movements, such as lying down and standing up.
Indoor facilities, tie stalls, and group housing have the goal in sheltering horses – to provide the best comfort. Horses must rest in a healthy posture with head fully raised when standing. The pets must be free to move around the enclosure at ease. There must be sufficient space for multiple horses to avoid aggression.
Horses like much cooler temperature exercising in 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature is not a big deal here, but the quality of hay the horses are fed.Good-quality forage provides warmth to horses regardless of exterior conditions. With that, horses can survive temperatures down to -40 degrees.
Health and Safety
Horse’s habitats must have a well-kept appearance such as safety fences to keep further danger for the horses. You can walk around the stable to checkif the facility is still safe or not. Do not use sagging fences or barbed wire and look out for nails sticking out.
The purpose of horse’s beddings is not to provide the horse with their own soft and fluffy bed, but to absorb urine and moisture. Beddings benefit old horses that frequently lie down for periods.
There are criteria in picking the right bedding materials; it includes:
- Less dusty
- Highly absorbent
- Easy to set up
- Great availability
- It composts well
Wood pellets are commonly used as beddings for horses. It is available in many parts of the country and is very low in dust. It is sold by bag for easy transportation and storage.It has no chemical additives and much cheaper than the other options. Plus, wood pellets are highly absorbent and composts very well afterwards.
How To Tie Horses Safely?
Tying a horse must be done in a safe manner, both for the handler and the horse. You can use lead rope, trailer ties, or cross ties where each kind of rope works in different situations. The tie should be attached at chest level or higher, as long as the rope does not hang downnor restricts horse’s head. Keep the tie firmly anchored on a wall or post that will not come loose when the horse pulls on it. Avoid tying it on areas like fence rails, truck tailgates, and anything else that is not sturdy.
What If I Do Not Own Any Property?
Boarding could be the best solution for horse owners who do not have their own property to house a horse. Of course, it demands a cost to board a horse that will surely fit the budget.
Choosing the best boarding stable for your horse requires the following:
- The quality of care concerning the health and safety of your horse.Check if space is adequate for the horses as well as the hay. Plus, is the availability of water enough? Ask for the routine schedule of feeding and turnout too.
- The facility must be safe, sturdy, and in a proper repair. Emergency equipment must be on-hand at all times, such as fire extinguishers and a first aid kit.
- Maintainedhygiene on stalls, aisleways, troughs, and buckets is necessary. Fresh-smelling and highly ventilated barn add a point.
- Consider the discipline the boarding stable imposes. This will save you from being out of place and keeps your focus on learning and having fun.
- Different boarding for horses offers different training method, so pick what training method your horse is comfortable with.
- Check out for the available services being offered, but expect for an additional cost beyond your board fee.
- Take into consideration the size of the boarder for some might want smaller stable while doing an alone time with their horses. Bigger barns are available for horse owners who love to interact with other equine parents.
- Knowing the opening and closing hours of a stable make a difference.
- Ask for references and read the boarder’s contract to make things clear. Do not ever sign the deal if it is still unclear to you to avoid any further problems.
Horses are not a high maintenance pet in terms of the food they consume. They can live with large quantities of grass and water. Horses require plenty of fibers to continue living. Feeding a horse is an everyday task. Always bring its food along with plenty of liquids whenever you go outdoors with your pet.
The number of hay horses should eat in a day must be between 2% and 4% of their body weight in pounds. So, keep watch of your horse’s weight from time to time.
Good hay is their natural food, but it runs out in number at some times. What could be the best alternative over hays? You can provide pasture grass, or any other grain or pellet concentrates instead of forages. There are lots in the market.
Another thing is a constantly fresh and clean water supply for the horses. These animals are prone to chronic dehydration that leads to colic disease. You can add buckets or automatic waterers in stables to keep the horses hydrated.
Here is the approximate water consumption needed by horses according to its weight:
|Horse’s weight||Minimum Water Consumption||Maximum Water Consumption|
Natural water sources are advised to undergo a water test before further use to monitor its safety for horses. Always check the water area if an algae growth or mosquito larvae are living on it.
Foods To Avoid
Extra calories are a no-no for horses, which is found in grains. It may develop bone and joint issues or muscle disorders, especially to adult horses. It is not true that feeding horses with extra grain during winter will keep him warm. Hays alone will work.
Other plants are also toxic for horses, such as weeds, plants, trees, and shrubs. From now on, take notice of such in your pastures and yards. Below is some of the list of specific toxic plants to horses:
- Bracken Fern
- Deadly Nightshade
- Red Maple
- Red Oak
- and many more
Vaccinations and Deworming
Go to the nearest equine veterinarian to talk about regular vaccinations and deworming. Horses need to have protection against animal sickness in the form of proper vaccines and other medical solutions.
Vaccinations are done once a year at a scheduled time. Set aside the required cost as much as it prolongs the life of your pet.
On the other hand, deworming depends on a prepared schedule. Some prefer a six-week or nine-week plan. Others prefer a daily dose of medication. Whatever the schedule is, primarily consult an equine veterinarian.
Fix your horse’s deworming schedule to keep him healthy. Failure to do so may put the horses in harm resulting in weight loss, poor coat, and deadly colic disease. Some other factors help to prevent parasites upon your horses, such as:
- Avoid multiple horses to live on a little stable.
- Pasture rotation
- Regularly clean the horse’s place.
Grooming your horses is ideal to happen daily, right before and after a horse ride. This is an excellent way to check the horse’s skin and hooves condition. I guess grooming is the most essential part of horse care routines.
Learn the following factors to groom your equine friend from head to toe:
Secure The Horse –Before anything else, secure your horse to go through the grooming session.Check out for injuries and other difficulties the pet undergoes.
Gather All Necessary Supplies –Hoard all the needed tools organized in a full bucket, which can be bought in the market. Keep it away from the horse so he could not knock it over.
Prepare the following:
- Hygienic sponge or soft cloth
- A tail comb
- A grooming mit
- A body brush with stiff bristles
- A finishing brush with soft bristles
- A hoof pick
- Others such as grooming spray, hoof ointment, and clippers
Clean The Horse’s Hooves – Train the horse to follow a specific command by saying “up” or “hoof”, whichever he responds to. Gently hold the hoof and remove any dirt lodged in its sole by using the hoof pick.
You can simultaneously check any signs of injury or cracks while cleaning the hooves.If so, consult an expert as to what should be done. Put back the horse’s feet on the ground with gentleness.
Currying –By this process, use the grooming mit to remove dirt on your horse’s coat until it shines. Do circular sweeps all over the horse’s body. Be careful on the bony areas like shoulders, hips, and legs to prevent hurting the pet. You can tell when the horse is uncomfortable with the brushing by laying back his ears or swishing his tails. That happens when you hit its bellies and between the back legs.
Then again,you can look for any wounds while currying your horse. And so, assess the injury immediately after knowing there is.
Comb The Horse’s Tail –Shiny horse’s mane and the tail is a desire for most equine owners. It adds beauty to them. Use the tail comb and start brushing the bottom sections of the tail in a downward motion. When the strands smoothen, you can gently comb it from top to bottom. The proper way of brushing horse’s tail is by standing on one side and pulling the tail over to you. This is to avoid horse kicks when the pet are not in a good mood.
If you have a grooming spray, it could be better. It helps to detangle long hair strands easily. Grooming spray also prevents tangling effects on horse’s hairs between groomings. The formula leaves shiny hair on your horsey.
Body Scrubbing–Cleanse your horse up to its body depths. Get the body brush with longer bristles to get rid of what remains after the fourth method. Follow the direction of the hair growth in sweeping strokes while scrubbing the horse’s body. Also, scrub the legs with the body brush as it is more effective than the curry comb.
It is an excellent time to check for skin problems, such as irritations and lesions, on your horse’s body.
Shine Horse’s Coat –On this process, you will need a finishing brush with softer bristles to bring out the shine on your horse’s coat. This also works on pony’s face without leaving any scars. Whisk away the dirt in the horse’s face, ears, and even throat with sweeping strokes. It helps to smooth out the body and hair with an added glossy finish.
Apply a grooming spray right after the finishing brush to provide protection against sunlight and to add shine on its coat. Avoid putting some on the saddle area for it might beslippery.
Detail Cleansing –Seems like you have cleaned up the major parts of your horsey. Now is the time for a more detail cleansing by using a damp sponge or soft cloth. The latter is more recommended as it can be laundered in between uses.
You can start by wiping around the horse’s eyes to remove any dirt. A bit tearing at the corner of its eye is healthy. However, excessive tearing, redness, or swelling may result in eye infections that must be treated promptly.
Next, are the ears. Be gentle in taking off seed heads or dirt on the ears as horses become fussy sometimes. For a finishing touch, wipe the dock and tail head with a cloth.
Horses grow in different phases, which depend on a particular breed. Both genetics and nutrition can affect the growth level of horses. Therefore, restricted-feed horses grow more slowly than well-fed ones.
There is a rapid growth on horses in their first year, wherein it can reach 90% of its adult height and 75% of its adult weight. The growth phase slows down at about five years of age or seven on some breeds.
The best growth measurement for horses is its weight, but it could be hard to weigh horses regularly. There is no particular weighing scale available for horses. An alternative has made by the researcher G.W. Willoughby. It is the heart girth measurement that determines the horse’s weight, which equals to 0.14475 and 0.14341 time heart girth in inches on mature males and females, respectively.
Disease Prevention And Treatment
Here is the list of common horse diseases and their treatments:
Photosensitivity – It is not only caused by sunlight. Sometimes products applied on horses cause photosensitivity like grooming sprays. The prime treatment is to keep away horses from direct sunlight during the day. Or, use a baby formula sunblock or fly sheets and masks to cover up the horse’s coat.
Eye infections – This may cause bacterial infections and traumatic wounds that demand prompt treatment. Cover up the horse’s eyes with a fly mask to keep flies away and keep the horse in passive light.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary (COP) – Respiratory irritants such as dusty hay, pollens, and molds result in COP. If not cured, COP builds gradually that can leave a horse struggling to breathe. There is no cure on COP except for the preventions. Drug therapies are available, but it cannot be a permanent cure. Inhalers work too as a temporary solution.
Anhidrosis – If after exercise, the respiration rate of a horse becomes higher than average. There is a change in that it is suffering from anhidrosis. Avoid taking out your horse during the hot climates and take advantage of the cooler mornings. Acupuncture can be beneficial with horses suffering from anhidrosis. Consult your vet for the proper supplement to treat anhidrosis.
Reproduction And Breeding
The reproduction and breeding of horses are supervised by a person with the necessary knowledge about the thing. It could be possible when the horses turn into its mature phase at the age of two, but ideally at the age of four. Some horses can start at a period of 18 months on their reproduction stage, but this is rare. Male horses are fertile throughout their lives.
Natural Versus Artificial Equine Reproduction
Horses are a fantastic creature because combining different races is possible to come up with better horses. It can be naturally or artificially, either way, requires supervision from its owner.
Let us talk more about the artificial method, so-called insemination. It happens when the owner wants to combine genes to create a specific horse breed. It is where various horse breeds take place.
Mare’s Gestation Period
Before you see the foal born, you have to wait for almost a year. The gestation period of horses can extend up to 11-months, so no worries if it lasts for 9-months for they are not humans.
It takes six hours of sexual contact between the horse and the mare. Within those hours, the stage of embryo development begins. There will be no physical changes on the mare after 15 days of sexual contact. It is the male horses that will display emotional and behavioral changes afterward. By then, you will know when the mare is pregnant.
What Is Your Role?
The breeder must always be prepared to enter the scene to ensure the reproduction process.
By-products of horse’s reproduction like milk, manure, meat, and leather can be sold for sports purposes. Breeders are responsible here, as well.
Breeders are the ones who will decide on the breed matches. Also, they must provide the needs of horses responsibly.
Horses are another man’s best friend and a great companion in everything that you do. Providing him with proper horse care can lift its spirit to be a better pet. All of the above-details are made for beginners as well as for average horse owners. The first thing you need to do is to consult an equine expert before applying the caring tips above. Be ready to spend extra money to give the best care for horses.