Next to dogs, horse care is more familiar to man than the care of any other animal. Horses have been a close companion to human beings since the times of some of our oldest civilizations. If horses were used for transportation and battles then, now they are mainly for leisure and sports. But, whatever the use, breed, and type of horse, proper care for these animals is always important.
Basic horse care provides for essential needs like a shelter from foul weather and rain, shade from the sun and flies, clean and fresh water, adequate forage and enough space to graze. It is advised to provide the horses with food that is of its body weight in pounds. Since they eat less at a time but more often than we do, horses don’t need large meals. Provide them with food that contains proper nutrients like protein, minerals, and vitamins. Sufficient forage is essential for optimum health and growth. The place they graze should be properly fenced and kept devoid of poisonous plants and seeds. Also, the nutrients that you provide should be given at the right time and in the right proportions. It is also important for horse care how and where you store the horse food to prevent it from attack by pests or damp.
Regular grooming is also essential in horse care. This has to be done before every day and before the horse is bathed or ridden. Grooming removes any dirt, dust, and mud and avoids chafing and rubbing of dirt and also helps you to discover hidden cuts, bites or bruises on the horse’s body. And, as you know, nothing brings a horse and its owner closer than frequent grooming. Proper brushes should be used to help blood circulation and massage that encourages a healthy conditioned coat. A mane comb should be used to avoid the tangling of mane and tail. There are a variety of products in the market like detanglers and conditioners. Be sure to use shampoos and conditioners especially for horses to avoid any irritations.
Horse care involves taking proper care of each and every part of the horse’s body. And, for a horse, the most important part is its hoof, which is essential to its well being and usefulness. Proper cleaning and trimming of the hooves are necessary for the safety of the horse as well as the rider. Hooves have to be trimmed/shod every 4 to 8 weeks. Keeping the hooves dry and clean prevents lameness as well as hoof diseases. Similarly, the legs and feet of the horse also should be checked routinely for lacerations and swelling. Regular cleaning and trimming of feet and timely treatments of foot diseases add to proper horse care.
Depending on how much work your horse will be doing during the winter, you need to decide on whether to do clipping. Clipping will aid the comfort and increase drying time of the horses coat. Also, it depends on the individual horse and their living environment to decide when and why to clip and what clip style to use. And once clipped, the horse will need a rug. This again is based on the kind of work the horse does. There are a variety of rugs available for different work purposes and living conditions. You need to know how to put on and take off the rugs for the horse’s safety.