If you have the means and property space to accommodate them, horses can make for excellent animals to raise. They provide companionship and you can also learn to ride them, which can be a rewarding skill to acquire. Before you begin to search for a horse to buy, though, you need to have an idea of what owning one will entail. Read about some basic horse care guidelines for beginners so you’re better prepared to welcome your new friend.
Know What To Feed Them
A large part of taking care of any animal is knowing what to feed them so they can be healthy. Horses are grazers by nature, and they tend to eat small portions of food throughout the day rather than a few large meals like people do. Your horse’s diet should primarily include plenty of fiber from grass and hay. You should also provide them with smaller amounts of fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and apples, as well as supplements for some beneficial vitamins and minerals. Some horse species may also need some hard feed, but not all. Therefore, you’ll need to know whether your horse is one that you should get hard feed for.
Learn Proper Grooming Techniques
Learning proper grooming techniques is also a basic horse care guideline for beginners because it is imperative to maintain the health of their skin and coat. You’ll need to groom your horse at least once a day, so getting a feel for it early on is wise. Generally, you should follow the direction of the coat as you brush your horse. Use a rougher brush for most of the body to get rid of dirt, but you should use a softer brush around sensitive areas like the face and joints. Following brushing, you should also go over your horse with a curry comb. This will catch loose hairs and dust while maintaining the natural oils in the coat.
Create Fencing and Shelter
Fencing is necessary when you own a horse to make sure it doesn’t wander off your property or eat poisonous plants. Avoid barbed wire, which can hurt your horses. Instead go for wood, plastic lumber, or electrical tape to form a safer barrier. Your fencing should be high, and also free of small openings that a horse can get stuck in. Though horses spend a lot of time outside, you’ll also want to create a shelter for yours to rest in. This will allow them to get some shade during the warmer months and get out of bad weather and chilly winds in the colder parts of the year. Again, wood is a traditional choice. However, horse enclosures made of plastic lumber may be better because this material won’t splinter or rot due to abrasion and water. The important thing to remember is to provide ample overhead space, as well as good ventilation in the stable.