First Horse Ultimate Starter Guide: Everything you need to know

Wednesday 11th October, 2023

Are you considering the exciting journey of horse ownership for the first time? Congratulations! Owning a horse can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it also comes with its responsibilities and challenges. In this starter guide, we’ll walk you through every aspect of caring for your first horse, from their daily needs to maintaining their environment. Whether you’re planning to keep your horse in a stable or a field, use this guide to help you get started on the right hoof. 

And don’t forget, Vale Stables is here to support you at every step of your equine adventure!

What to Feed Your Horse & The Basics of Equine Nutrition

What should my horse eat? Your horse’s diet is fundamental to their health and well-being. Horses are herbivores and primarily graze on grass, so make sure they have access to good-quality pasture or hay. Additionally, you may need to provide them with grain or pelleted feed, but this should be tailored to your horse’s age, activity level, and specific dietary needs. Consider consulting with a veterinarian or an equine nutritionist to create a suitable diet plan. If you will be regularly training and competing with your horse, having a regular trainer will often provide dietary advice within their services.

Choosing Daily and Yearly Care Routine 

How should I care for my horse daily? Regular grooming is not just about making your horse look good; it’s crucial for their health. Regularly brush their coat to remove dirt and debris, clean their hooves, and inspect them for any signs of injury or infection. Check their eyes, ears, and teeth regularly, and make sure to schedule routine visits from a qualified equine veterinarian. These should be at least once a year. An equine dentist needs to attend at least once a year from when they are a foal to make sure they have the healthiest teeth leading into their older years. Physiotherapy and worming your horse are also two important factors you should take into consideration.

Housing Options – Stables vs. Fields

Should I keep my horse in a stable or a field? The choice between stables and fields depends on your location, your horse’s needs, and personal preferences. Stables provide protection from the elements and a controlled environment, while fields allow for more natural grazing. Ensure that the housing option you choose is secure and offers shelter.

At Vale, we offer a wide range of products, from mobile field shelters to internal stables. We understand that getting the right balance between build and budget is critical, so we’ll work closely with you to ensure your chosen stable or field shelter meets all your requirements, offering you excellent value too.

If you’re looking for a stable or shelter built to last, look no further than Vale Stables. We use only the highest quality materials and construction methods, and our products are backed by a comprehensive warranty.

Stable and Field Upkeep: Maintaining the Perfect Environment

How do I maintain the stable or field? Regular cleaning and maintenance are essentials for looking after your horse. For stables, clean out bedding daily, provide fresh water, and ensure proper ventilation. In fields, regularly inspect and maintain fencing, remove hazards, and control weeds to create a safe environment for your horse. During the summer months, you should poo-pick paddocks to prevent your horse from getting worms, this can help maintain the fields if you have any! This is also especially important if your horse shares a paddock with other horses. At Vale, we can offer guidance on stable design and field maintenance solutions. If you feel you need it, please do give our team a call at 01789 766 533.

Equine Exercise and Play: Toys and Training

What can I do to keep my horse active and happy? Horses need exercise and mental stimulation. Invest in equine toys like treat balls and jolly balls to keep them engaged. Consider enrolling in horse training classes to develop a strong bond and ensure your horse behaves well under your guidance. 

Equine Health: Vaccinations and Preventive Care

How do I keep my horse healthy? Regular vaccinations and preventive care are crucial. Consult with your veterinarian to establish a vaccination schedule. Additionally, practice good hygiene in your stable or field, and maintain a parasite control program to protect your horse from internal and external parasites.

Riding Essentials: Tack and Riding Gear

What do I need to ride my horse? If you plan to ride your horse, invest in essential riding gear such as a saddle, bridle, helmet, and riding boots. Ensure that your tack fits your horse comfortably to prevent discomfort or injury. Proper fit is key! 

Safety Measures: Handling and Riding

How can I ensure my safety and my horse’s safety? Learn how to handle your horse safely and confidently. Practice good horsemanship techniques, and always wear appropriate safety gear when riding. Consider taking riding lessons from a qualified instructor to improve your riding skills and safety awareness.

Building a Strong Emotional Bond

How do I build a bond with my horse? Spend quality time with your horse, grooming, playing, and riding. Patience and consistency are key to establishing a strong and trusting relationship. Horses are incredibly perceptive animals, and they respond positively to kind and attentive owners.

Vale Stables: Your Equine Partner

Owning your first horse is a wonderful adventure filled with joy, responsibility, and the chance to build a deep bond with a magnificent animal. Throughout your journey as a horse owner, Vale Stables is your trusted partner. We offer a range of services, including stable design and construction and expert advice on horse care. We understand the unique needs of horse owners and provide only the best support and expertise you need to ensure your horse lives a happy and healthy life.

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