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Healthy as a Horse: 5 Care Tips for Keeping Your Horses in Tip-Top Shape

It’s a massive time commitment to care for a horse, though it’s also rewarding. Horses come in various sizes and breeds, so there can be slight differences in how you care for them.

There are some basic tips that you should follow when caring for your horse, no matter their stature, color, or breed. Here are the best care tips to keep your horse in optimal health:

Give them plenty of pasture time

Horses are the types of animals that take their time when eating. You’ll see them take a few nibbles, stop, walk a few steps, and repeat the process. They have a gastrointestinal tract designed to digest small amounts of food so they can eat constantly. 

They graze for 15-20 minutes at first, and then you should increase it by 15 minutes until they reach between 10-17 hours a day divided into periods. To keep your horse in optimal health, spread horse pasture seed for nutritious grazing material.

Attend all vet exams 

Like humans, horses need to have annual checkups to see their veterinarian each year without fail. These beautiful creatures may appear strong and robust. 

However, if you were to forgo checkups, you risk missing an internal issue that could fester into a severe problem. You should schedule annual vet exams for your horse to avoid these potential pitfalls altogether.

Keep stress levels low

Despite their appearance of strength, horses are nervous/sensitive creatures which makes them even more likely to be stressed and consequently fall ill. Here are some ways to prevent this from happening:

  • Handle your horse with patience. When training a new horse, try not to be loud, boisterous, and impatient.
  • Look at many situations from the horse’s perspective to understand them better. For example, realize that horses are herd and prey animals.
  • Horses enjoy frolicking, running loose, and grazing alone. Be sure to allow them some alone time. Sit out on the deck and watch them frolic to their hearts’ content.
  • Don’t introduce your horse to too many things at once. It could overwhelm them. Be sure to do this slowly and gradually.

Groom your horse regularly

You should groom your horse every day. You are distributing their natural oils evenly throughout their coat by brushing their hair. Be sure to buy quality brushes and keep them clean as well. 

If you are someone with multiple horses, try to use a completely different set of brushes to reduce the chances of spreading fungal infections. Also, since horses live outside of the home, it’s a lot easier to keep your space clean while also keeping them clean and comfortable. 

Clean your horse’s hooves consistently

Every time you clean the horse’s hooves, ensure you take a few extra minutes to get out the debris packed in there. Get into the crevices to clean out any foreign objects, scrape the sole, and do your best to see the whole surface of their hoof. 

You might need a stiff brush, and a hoof pick to get all the dirt out. This tip is crucial as it can be excruciating and uncomfortable for horses to walk around with debris wedged into their hooves. It can eventually cause cracks, which may lead to an infection. 

Before you go

Horses have an average lifespan of around 25 years. It’s your responsibility as an owner to ensure that you provide them with a healthy and happy life, taking care of their basic needs and trying to add quality to their life through these essential tips.