Basic Horse care you should know
BASIC HORSE CARE YOU SHOULD KNOW
Owning a horse is a big responsibility. Horses are animals that nature has adapted to spend most of the day grazing in open spaces (up to 18 hours/day on average), while they socialize and share time with their herd.
When we want the horse to have a stable life, it must adapt, so it is very important to exercise it to meet its physical needs. The horse that does not share time in the company of other horses or people tends to get bored and sad.
It is difficult to determine exactly the necessary surface to maintain an equine in ideal conditions. It is generally considered that one hectare of pasture per horse is sufficient.
It is clear that the paddock must be fenced to prevent the horse from escaping or being injured. Smooth wires well secured to strong posts, usually wooden or metal, are often used for this purpose.
In this case, it is advisable to monitor the meadow periodically to avoid possible dangers such as the existence of garbage, damage to the fence, plants that may be toxic such as hemlock, belladonna, yew, Santiago grass, oleander, rhododendron, male fern, zuzón , foxglove, privet, meadow saffron, castor bean, crazy grass, star thistle and sorghum.
Unfortunately, in many cases, the horse spends most of its life in a box, which with luck can reach 4 x 4 meters and in most cases they have little more than 3 x 3 meters.
Animals also need a shelter to protect themselves from the wind, rain and sun. A natural grove provides good shade, but for shelter from wind and rain, a shed is best. This must be large enough to allow all the horses to fit together and it must be built with 3 walls in a way that effectively protects from the wind.
Correct feeding is key to preventing diseases and helping the equid to improve its performance. It is important to keep in mind that the horse’s digestive system works correctly when the feed is chosen appropriately, depending on the stage of development and growth in which it is.
Your horse’s stomach is set up to eat small amounts of food throughout the day. Hence, to feed a horse correctly, the amount of daily food must be distributed throughout the entire day. For this purpose, slow feeder networks are especially convenient. With them, the animals can enjoy their daily forage ration for much longer.
Furthermore, if the animal takes all the forage in one sitting, it will ingest it very quickly, since a long time has passed since the last intake. This being the main cause of the appearance of problems: obstructions, choking, colic, stereotypes (bear shooting, biting wood, kicking, swallowing air), etc.
For this reason, access to pasture, forage and concentrated feed must be adequately facilitated, attending to each case.
If, as recommended, the chosen diet is based on hay, the horse should eat approximately between 2% and 3% of its body weight in forage per day.
These equids also need a constant supply of fresh and clean water, as they drink large amounts of water per day, between 25 and 55 liters of water per day, depending on their size, weight and activity, and to a large extent on the place where they live. the one they meet.
In the event that the water supply is through automatic drinkers, it must be verified that during the winter the low temperatures do not freeze the pipes and the water.
Proper bedding in the stable is vital for horses. They should not stay on a hard surface all the time, as they need to be able to lie down and rest. Straw is a very popular choice for horse bedding because it is cheap, warm and comfortable. However, sometimes it contains fungal spores and the horse also usually eats this straw.
Dust-free wood chips are recommended as they are clean and hygienic. Soft rubber lining can also be used to prepare a more comfortable rest, as well as a more pleasant surface for when the horse is standing, always putting wood chips on top of it to provide warmth. Recently, hemp has also become a popular option for these purposes, as it allows the litter to be kept clean, has great absorbent power (up to 6 times its weight), retains odors and prevents the onset of respiratory problems.
The barn must be cleaned daily. If the horse is on it all the time, then cleaning 3 times a day is ideal. To do this, all the droppings will be removed with a shovel and a wheelbarrow, and the horse’s bed will be arranged by separating the dirty material from the one that is still clean. Then the floor must be swept and cleaned with a disinfectant for stables, when it is dry the litter will be prepared again adding new material (straw, wood chips…), to compensate for the amount removed.
If the horse spends most of the day in the stable, it will require daily grooming to keep its hair healthy, this should not be done if the horse spends most or all of its time in the pasture, since the natural oils of his fur helps keep him warm and dry.
Horse care takes a lot of time. To serve them properly, it is recommended to organize the work and distribute it in the form of daily, weekly, monthly routines, etc. Make sure the following care is given to your horses at the recommended frequency.
Provide clean and fresh water abundantly or continuously, so that it is never lacking.
Facilitate access to pasture, forage and adequately concentrated feed. If the feed is hay-based, the horse should eat approximately 2% to 3% of its body weight each day.
Ensure protection through a shed that protects them from inclement weather.
Check by performing an eye inspection for signs of illness such as watery eyes and nose, coughing sounds, or a lot of saliva; or injuries such as scratches, cuts, or wounds. In case of signs of illness, the veterinarian should be contacted as soon as possible. In the event of any injury, action must be taken immediately. To do this, you must have a first aid kit for horses available in the same facilities.
Clean hulls and check for cracks or looseness. Horses kept in stables are often affected by ammonia from manure and urine, which is detrimental to both the horses’ hooves and lungs.
Check the amount of fodder and concentrates available. It is important to have supplies for at least 2 weeks, to avoid shortages in an emergency
Si el caballo permanece en un paddock pequeño al aire libre, hay que limpiar el estiércol ya que atrae a las moscas. Así se mantendrá un ambiente más limpio y agradable para personas y caballos.
Comprobar para evitar accidentes y lesiones que no hayan vallas rotas, cables sueltos, clavos salientes, etc.
Limpiar comederos y bebederos.
If your horses are kept in an equestrian or boarding facility, make sure that their maintenance fee is paid in a timely manner.
CARE EVERY 6 OR 7 WEEKS
Ensure the visit of the farrier to trim the hooves and check the horseshoes.
CARE EVERY 2 OR 3 MONTHS
Administer antiparasitic drugs. It is important to have a deworming program to keep horses healthy.
Contract the annual review of the horse’s teeth by an equine dentist or veterinary specialist in dentistry. Things as simple as identifying a wolf tooth and removing it can lead to further complications if not treated in time.
Hire the pertinent reviews by a specialized equine veterinarian and the administration of the necessary vaccines according to the annual vaccination plan.