I love horses. However, taking care of one is a big responsibility. They are naturally sociable creatures that nurture their loved ones and have an affinity to running free through wide open areas with other members of their herd. Over the years of domestication, horses have learned to adapt to stable life; they still need a great deal of care though to fulfill their needs. Here are a few basic tips to properly care for your horse:
Horses love to run around with very little restrictions and limitations. Usually this means you’ll need a wide open space where they can do this. Typically there isn’t an exact acreage requirement but most experts agree that one acre of pasture per horse is more than enough. You want the pasture to be fenced so the horse can’t escape or become injured. Now that you have a spot where the horse can pasture, check it for any potential hazards such as trash, holes in the fencing, and poisonous plants. These include yew, deadly nightshade, ragwort, foxglove, buttercups, oak leaves and acorns, bracken, laurel, privet, meadow saffron, castor bean, locoweed, horsetail, star thistle, and sorghum.
You don’t want to forget about providing adequate shelter to protect the animals from the wind, rain, and sun. While trees provide some nice shade from the sun out in the pasture, they will require something sturdier during the colder winter months and during a rainstorm. Most horse owners typically go with a three-sided enclosure or barn since thy work best. The shelter has to be large enough so all the horses can fit inside comfortably. The back wall should be built so that it faces the prevailing wind.
If for some reason your horses are kept in the stable for most or all of the day, they will require daily grooming so their coats stay healthy. You don’t want to over groom either if they horse spends a good amount of time in the pasture. The horse’s coats produces natural oils which keep the horse warm and dry. Horse blankets are also good on cooler or rainy days if the horses are out in pasture too.
Now that the shelter is all set up and ready to go, your next step is to provide proper bedding in the stable. You don’t want your horses standing on a hard floor all day. Plus they need to something soft to sleep on at night. I personally use straw as bedding. It is inexpensive, warm, and comfortable.