Tuesday 11th January, 2022
For many, owning a horse is a childhood dream that they hope to one day make a reality. That said, it’s quite common for newbies to run into a few problems with their equine friends early on.
So, before you head to the nearest stables and start looking for a horse, remember that there are lots of things to learn about taking care of a new horse.
Up for the challenge? Read on to discover our top tips for new horse owners.
Of course, any first-time horse owner will want to make sure that their animal is happy, healthy and goes on to live a long and full life. Making sure that your horse is healthy is simple! All you need to do is give your horse the things that they need every day. Chief among those needs will be food and water.
If your horse isn’t getting enough to eat and drink, this could impact their wellbeing. Horses are pretty big animals, so they will need more to eat and drink than a cat or dog would, per se. Whilst this can make the cost of owning a horse a little pricey, it will be worth every penny – whether it’s watching your horse frolic in the pasture, or just hanging out with them on the field.
A horse can eat up to 2% of its own body weight and will need to drink at least 25 litres of water a day. Their weight will provide a good barometer of whether they’re getting enough food and water. If your horse’s ribs aren’t visible but can still feel them when you rub your hand over their side, it’s likely your horse is at an ideal weight. It’s that simple!
Remember, horses will mostly graze on grass and hay. So, if they are stabled, they will not need ‘feeding’, per se. But regardless of whether your horse is stabled or not, they will definitely need providing with lots and lots of water. Look out for signs of dehydration, such as fatigue, dry gums and tight skin. If you’re worried your horse isn’t getting enough to drink, try adding a salt block to their stall. The salt will prompt them to drink more. Head over here to learn more about keeping your horse healthy.
Sometimes taking care of a horse is a team effort. Part of being successful at owning a new horse may involve finding the right vet. In fact, this may be one of the first things you want to do.
Understandably, finding a good vet can be somewhat daunting, especially for newbies. But it doesn’t have to be! It may be worth asking for referrals from experienced horse owners and finding out what others have to say about their experience. That said, it’s just as important to do a bit of investigating yourself. Whether it’s taking a tour of the facility, asking questions about the services available and prices, or even looking further into the vet’s history. How long have they been working in this profession? Have they worked with horses before? Hopefully, this will provide a clear picture of whether they will be the right vet for you and your animal.
Looking for a vet may seem like a tedious task that you would prefer to sort out after you’ve got your horse. However, building a relationship with a trusted vet beforehand can prove extremely useful. It can take a while to get into the swing of things. As a first-time owner, you will likely have many questions throughout the first few months of owning your horse. Being able to call someone who can put your mind at ease and offer expert can prove extremely useful. So, don’t leave finding a trusted vet until the last minute.
Just like humans, horses also need a clean and bacteria-free environment to live in. With this in mind, it’s important to practice cleanliness and clean out stalls daily. This will help decrease the risk of fungal and bacterial infections.
On top of this, it’s important to establish a daily grooming routine. That way, your horse will always look its best. Read our guide on how to groom a horse for beginners to learn more about this subject.
Our final top tip for new horse owners? Keep your horse active.
In the wild, horses are pretty mobile creatures. They constantly move from pasture to pasture, as no humans are handing out bales of hay and water. If your horse is stabled for most of the day, this will eventually have an impact on their physical and mental health. Be it poor circulation in the body, stiffness in the muscles or, in some cases, arthritis. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure that your horse gets enough exercise every day.
As humans, our schedules can be pretty hectic. So, it’s important to make sure that you have enough time in the day to get your horse out for some exercise. Now, you don’t need to start training your horse like it’s the Olympics. But something as simple as taking time to lunge your equine friend or turning them out in the pasture will make all the difference.
Sometimes keeping your horse active can be tricky. Say, for example, your horse is sick or pregnant, they may need to be stabled and separated from the rest of the herd. Keeping a stabled horse active can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Try taking them for a slow walk around the field with a lead rope or putting a mirror in their stalls to keep them entertained.
So, there you have it! Those are our top tips for new horse owners. If you need help finding the right stabling solution for your horse, get in touch today.
If you’re looking for more top tips for new horse owners, head over to our news section. We’ve got you covered on everything from stabling solutions to training guides.