November 2nd, 2021
What to Know About Horse Care for Beginners
Caring for a horse is a much bigger responsibility than caring for any other pet. They are majestic, beautiful, and demanding creatures. Because of that, it can be intimidating to ensure no expense is spared for your horse and that you’re giving them enough love and attention. To offer some guidance so you can start yourself off on the right hoof, here’s what to know about horse care for beginners.
Taking care of a horse will always be a challenge that requires a period of learning. However, it’s important to remember that they’re still domesticated animals just like cats or dogs—they simply behave differently from what you might expect. Some of the basic needs of your horse include the following:
- A danger-free pasture with ample room to roam and graze.
- Sturdy fencing around the perimeter of your property.
- Lots of grass or hay for the horse to graze on.
- Shelter from the elements.
Building an entire stable may not be the most feasible option for you, so a good substitute would be a cattle shed on skids. This provides your horse with ample protection from the elements, and it’s also easy to move around. Your horse will be comfortable and have access to your property’s most optimal spaces.
Before you welcome a new horse into your life, there’s a checklist of basic equipment you need to properly care for them. This equipment includes the following:
- Feeding equipment (such as a water trough, hay feeder, and a water heater.)
- Emergency medical equipment (first aid kits, horse vet wraps, etc.)
- Grooming equipment (body brushes, hoof picks, combs, and repellents.)
- Riding equipment (a saddle, a blanket or pad, a helmet, a bridle, and stirrups.)
When considering what to know about horse care for beginners, acquiring the necessary equipment beforehand is paramount.
Horse Health Information
You must keep track of your horse’s health. Horses require an appropriate diet to maintain their health and have a healthy weight and physique. Furthermore, there are some potential health conditions that aren’t uncommon for horses to develop. Here are some of them:
- Gastric Ulcers: Gastric ulcers are painful, open sores on your horse’s stomach lining. If you notice changes in your horse’s appetite, behavior, and riding experience, they likely have this condition.
- Arthritis: Better known as Degenerative Joint Disease for animals, this causes the eventual erosion of a horse’s joint tissue and cartilage. It can be prevented by giving your horse a healthy diet and by performing warmups and cooldowns before you ride them.
- Desmitis: This subtle condition targets your horse’s ligaments and can result in lameness if you don’t catch it quick enough. To identify it early, you need to be well-versed in the behavior and habits of your horse so you recognize when mobility issues begin to occur.