A horse is expensive and the annual cost of maintenance is often a lot more than its purchase price. It requires a significant amount of time and effort.
Having a horse as a part of your life is a long-term commitment, but when properly cared for, the experience is enjoyable and rewarding.
Here are some basic requirements for the proper care of your horse:
Food and Water
Horses need a regular supply of food and access to clean and fresh water 24/7. Your horse must be able to eat whenever it wants to, as an empty stomach makes it more vulnerable to ulcer.
As a general rule, the amount of hay or other feeds your horse must consume each day should be 2% to 4% of its body weight. On hot days, it must be able to drink 6 to 12 gallons of water.
You must provide your horse a shelter that will protect it from too much sun, wind, rain, and snow. The stall should be big enough so that it can lie down. While horses are able to sleep standing up, lying flat allows them to get into deep sleep.
Your horses shelter should always be clean and dry. Its essential in keeping the skin healthy. A damp shelter can increase the risk of contracting or exacerbating skin diseases.
Socialization and mental stimulation are important to horses. A horse isolated for a long time in a box stall may develop behavioral problems. Your horse should be able to go outside its shelter every day, and if possible, spend time with other horses.
Exercise and Paddocks
Riding your horse is a good way to give him some exercise, but unless you do it daily, your horse will need more physical activities. Leave your horse in a paddock for some time during the day, where it can walk and run around freely.
Make sure that the fences are in good repair to keep your horse safe and secure. Never use barbed wire for fencing material, as its been known to cause a lot of serious injuries.
General Health Care and Grooming
A veterinarian should regularly conduct physical and dental exams to ensure your horses health. Your horse must be up to date on vaccinations including tetanus, equine influenza, rabies, equine herpes, and Eastern and Western equine encephalomyelitis.
Intestinal worms from the ground are a constant threat to your horse. Parasitic worms can make your horses coat look poor and cause weight loss and colic, which could be fatal. As such, regular deworming is necessary.