Keeping your own horse can be rewarding but the dedication that it requires in terms of long-term care should not be overlooked. Every horse is different and there is no perfect, by the book way to look after them. The important thing is that you do everything you can with the environment and equipment you have to allow your pony or horse to live a long, happy, and comfortable life. If you’re new to owning a horse, purchasing a stable rug or turnout rug might be the first place to start, so you can make sure they’re cosy all year round. We’ll look at other ways that you can look after your horse below.
When you own a pet, you are responsible for making sure they’re healthy and happy. There are a few things that you can do as a horse owner to keep your horse in the best condition and make sure that they are protected from pain, discomfort, or injury. You should:
- Check your horse daily for any signs that may show injury or illness, it is important that you spot anything that is not quite right quickly so that it can be treated effectively. If your horse’s behaviour changes, consult a vet as this often means pain.
- You should inspect hooves daily to ensure there is no damage or discomfort to your horse’s feet
- Make sure your tack fits correctly – if the equipment is too big or too small, it can cause irritation and rub your horse’s skin
- Take out insurance on your horse to help cover any expensive vets bill that you might incur over your horse’s lifetime
Providing your horse with an environment that allows them to live comfortably and securely is key. You should make sure that your horse has room to exercise outside but still has shelter from bad weather. One of the most important things you can do is make sure that your horse’s environment is secure by checking fences and borders regularly so that they are escape-proof. Making sure your horse has access to a paddock to exercise in, ideally with other horses, is essential for keeping them happy and healthy. If your horse is stabled, making sure that it has good quality, dust-free bedding to lie on and ensuring that it is kept clean will help to minimise your horse’s exposure to toxic germs and fumes.
Horses are very social animals and shouldn’t be housed alone or away from other horses. If your horse is isolated, this can increase the risk of them becoming stressed and can lead to abnormal behaviour. Even when your horse is stabled, they will benefit from socialising. Paddocks and stables should be designed so that horses can interact with each other freely and be able to put their heads over doors or gates to see each other. If you have a few horses socialising, it is important to observe their behaviour to avoid aggression or any other kind of threatening behaviour. Allowing your horse enough space to not be cornered by others is also essential.