Whether for work or leisure, owning a horse can enrich your life. However, they aren’t as easy to care for as a dog or cat. To have a happy and healthy animal, you need to remember the following.
They Need To Eat
The more a horse weighs, the more they need to graze. You’re going to need about 20lbs of grass or hay daily for a 1,000lb horse. Horse feed can be used as a dietary supplement if your pasture is less than lush or your horse is kept in a stable most of the day.
A single big meal can upset their digestion, so keeping servings small and plentiful is best. To avoid colic, it is a good idea to not ride or work a horse for a window of about three hours before and three hours after a meal.
They Need Maintenance
Just like your dog or cat, they need routine vet check-ups and vaccinations. Medical emergencies for horses can be devastatingly expensive, so investing in health insurance for horses is a wise choice to ensure you can meet their needs.
If you are actively riding a horse, you need to check and clean its hooves before and after every outing. Even if they’re strictly a pet, they should have a farrier give them a trim at least bi-monthly.
They Need Shelter
While horses need plenty of exercise and space to roam, you can’t just put them in a field and forget about them. Horses need to be protected from the harsh heat of summer sun, and they need to be protected from winter’s biting winds. Where they retreat to needs to be kept cozy, clean and dry. If it’s not well maintained, it could lead to infections and hoof rot.
Owning a horse can cost several thousand dollars per year. Before you undertake the care of such an animal, you might want to check your budget to see if the benefits outweigh the costs.