Learning the Basics of Horse Care

Owning a horse requires a lot of responsibilities including horse care. Horse care requires attention from the owner to ensure the horses optimal health and long life. There are various aspects of horse care such as age, breed, activity level, climate, and underlying health issues. All of these affect the way the owner needs to care for his or her horse.

The horse usually live outside and needs enough exercise to satisfy its physical needs. These must be provided to your horse or else it might develop stable vices. Stable vices are a bad habit that can develop out of boredom or hunger, excess energy, isolation or emulation of other horses with stable vices. Examples of which are wood chewing, biting, wall kicking, pawing or digging, bolting feed, etc.

Since a horse needs exercise, it requires a room where it can exercise and run. A horse must be provided with a sufficient pasture, preferably one to three acres per horse, although the area may vary in climate. The land must be hazard free, free from trash and poisonous plants, and there are no holes in the fencing. It is also recommended that your pasture has trees that can provide good shade for your horse, if not provide an artificial shelter.

Horses need shelter to protect them from the sun, rain and wind. The shelter must be large enough to fit your horse. The most common shelter for a horse is box stalls. Box stalls differ in sizes depending on the cultural traditions, the breed and gender of the horse, and any special needs.

Box stalls contain a layer of absorbent bedding such as wood shavings or straw. Compared to wood shavings, straw is less expensive. However, wood shavings are cleaner and more hygienic to use.

A horse generates about 15 pounds of manure and many gallons of urine every day, so regular cleaning of its shelter is advised. It is recommended that the shelter and beddings of your horse be cleaned daily. If the horse is stabled all day, the shelter must be cleaned three times daily. It is also important to disinfect the stable to avoid health risks.

Horses need sufficient food and water. They have to be fed two or three times daily unless when they are on full-time pasture. They also need adequate water, about a minimum of 10-12 gallons per day. Make sure that the horses water bucket always has water in it.

Daily cleaning and grooming of the horse are recommended. This will keep your horse healthy and clean. Make sure that its coat is healthy and its feet clean. Cleaning the hoof and weekly hoof check will prevent hoof diseases such as hoof fungus. It will also help prevent lameness.

Horses need a regular veterinary care, which includes vaccination, parasite management, deworming and dental care. Vaccinations are given to protect horses against a number of sicknesses. Parasite management, which includes deworming, is done to get rid of the parasites and reduce parasite infection. Horses teeth also need to be checked as uneven teeth and sharp edges may cause problems to horses when eating or it is being ridden.

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