Owning a horse is a time-consuming yet rewarding experience. Horses are sensitive and intelligent creatures that require a lot of attention and maintenance from regular vet visits to routine grooming. However, for people who truly enjoy owning a horse, the maintenance becomes second nature and grooming becomes another act of bonding between horse and owner. By following the proper steps involved in caring for a horse, you ensure that your horse stays happy and healthy.
1. Get a veterinarian. Contact a veterinarian in your area that specializes in horses. Set up your vet appointment before you get your horse. Horses need regular shots for rhino flu every 8 weeks, rabies and Potomac fever shots twice a year and past wormer every 4 to 6 weeks. Getting a veterinarian involved before getting your horse ensures that your horse receives the proper care from the beginning.
2. Set up your stable. Provide the horse with a stable that features stalls that are at least 10-by-10 feet. Get rid of any exposed electrical wires. Place straw bedding in the horse’s stall. Provide ample ventilation in the stable, as well as feed and water buckets. Clean the horse stalls and stable every day. Provide fresh straw daily.
3. Provide a large pasture. Horses need at least one and a half acres of land for roaming and grazing. Fix any fence holes or broken gates before allowing your horse in the pasture.
4. Feed and keep your horse hydrated. Place feed and water buckets in the pasture and in the stable. Provide plenty of oats, grains and commercial feed on top of the pasture grass the horse grazes on. Feed the horse according to its needs. Observe the horse’s feeding habits during the first couple weeks after bringing it home. Adjust the feed according to how much your horse consumes. Provide clean, fresh water to the horse several times a day. Clean out the hay feeder, feeding buckets or troughs at least once a week and the water buckets every day.
5. Groom the horse. Regularly groom the horse after each ride. Brush the horse. Keep the tail and mane untangled. Use the proper brushes when brushing the horse. Wash the horse with horse shampoo or soap at least once a week.