Tips & Advice On Caring For Your Horse
A horse is a big responsibility, requiring a lot of commitment, time, and routine to provide them with the care they need. If you are looking to become a new horse owner, ensuring you know what to expect and being sure that you can confidently undertake the responsibilities will help you prepare for their arrival and start to create a strong bond from the offset.
Typically, a horse owner will need to visit their horse at least twice a day to keep on top of feeding, grooming, and providing companionship, so establishing whether a horse can fit into your current lifestyle will set realistic expectations.
Keep them warm and comfortable
With your horse being exposed to the elements all year round, it is important to ensure they are kept well protected from varying weather conditions. In the colder months, fleece rugs and stable rugs are popular choices, providing a layer of warmth and helping retain body heat so your horse can stay comfortable against the chill.
In the warmer months, turnout rugs and fly sheets effectively provide a layer of protection against UV rays, dirt and biting insects whilst allowing the skin to breathe underneath.
Your horse’s nutritional needs will depend on various factors, including its age, weight, lifestyle, and activity levels. Their diet will need to provide them with the nutrients they need to maintain a healthy body and provide them with sufficient energy, especially for working horses.
As well as their regular feed, grazing should make up the majority of their diet, with continuous chewing being a big part of their lifestyle. As well as ensuring their diet ticks all of the boxes, a continuous supply of clean fresh water should be available and frequently refreshed.
Stay on top of grooming
Maintaining a clean and tidy coat goes a long way, especially for horses who spend their day outside in the field. Many horse owners opt for a rug during the colder weather to prevent the body from naturally producing a longer coat, making it easier to keep it neat.
When it comes to the safety of your horse, investing in quality riding gear is a must, such as blinkers, a face mask, well-fitting saddles, and durable horse rugs. Blinkers keep them focused and reduce distractions, especially in high-stress situations. A face mask shields the horse from insects, dust, and debris; a well-fitting saddle is important for preventing discomfort and potential injury during rides. Lastly, horse rugs provide insulation and protection from the elements, maintaining the horse’s well-being in various weather conditions.
To keep them looking their best, a body brush will remove any dirt and excess hair, and then a mane comb can be used with horse shampoo to remove any tangles and prevent a matted mane. As well as staying on top of their appearance, regular grooming is important for their health, being an opportunity to spot any wounds, bites, or potential health concerns.
Prepare for riding trips
Although riding styles differ and affect the equipment you are likely to need, safety is a number one consideration. If you ride leisurely, body protection, a helmet, and high visibility clothing should be worn, and if racing, goggles, boots, and gloves are also necessary.
As well as protection for yourself, horse safety can be increased through blinkers, a face mask, and a well-fitting saddle. By wearing the appropriate equipment, the risk of injury is minimized if you fall off your horse.