Although their communication skills are highly developed, horses are unable to speak to us in the same way that human beings do. It is therefore vital that we understand the fundamentals of horse care and the basic requirements for maintaining a happy and healthy horse.
Topics covered include Health, which takes a look at routine horse care issues such as grooming, vaccinations and deworming. Horses are unpredictable creatures and accidents do happen! Essential first aid is covered, including the important items that every standard equine first aid kit should contain. Guidelines for routine procedures are offered. Common ailments, such as colic and lameness, are also mentioned, with immediate treatment methods. This is a vast topic and veterinary attention should be sought, if you have any doubt.
As we domesticated horses, we deprived them of their natural, all-day grazing patterns. It is therefore vital to take care when choosing a feed and feeding pattern. Various feeds, with their pros and cons, are discussed, including factors, such as a horse’s individual temperament, age and workload, that affect the amount and type of feed appropriate for that horse. The Nutrition page investigates the fundamentals of feeding and it suggests some golden rules for first-time owners when deciding upon an appropriate feeding routine.
Housing your horse, whether in a stable, field or in a combination of the two, requires careful thought and planning. Issues, such as workload and type of horse must be taken into consideration. It is natural for a horse to graze freely and for as long as possible. There are instances, however, when a horse is better off indoors. Safety and warmth are of paramount importance. Topics such as stable fittings and structure are discussed, together with ideal field options and the hazards of poisonous plants.
When it comes to expense, purchasing a horse is just the beginning. Equipment costs can, in many cases, exceed the initial outlay on the horse! This section takes a look at the basic equipment required to ride a horse safely. In particular, saddles, bridles, grooming kits and rider’s clothing are discussed.
A happy horse means a happy rider. A horse’s welfare should always be of overriding importance to the thoughtful owner.