All about basic equine care
It's vital to have an understanding of at least basic horse care if you plan on buying a horse. Conscientious equine care is vital to the health of your animal, and it requires a lot more effort than just stocking up on veterinarian-recommended horse care products and letting the rest take care of itself. Complete horse care requires in-depth knowledge about everything from grooming and stable maintenance to handling and hoof care.
Horse Health Care Topics
Horses are high-maintenance animals, and owners go to considerable effort and expense to ensure their pets are well cared for. You should start by building your knowledge base on these basic topics:
- Grooming. Use detangling compounds and a quality brush to address horse grooming needs for your animal's mane and tail. Most horses require at least a daily brushing. You should also regularly apply an antifungal horse shampoo to make sure no parasites get trapped inside your horse's coat.
- Stable maintenance. Bagged shavings or straw are recommended bedding materials for horses. You'll have to clean the manure out of your horse's stall at least every other day; this is the least glamorous aspect of horse ownership, but it's essential to your horse's health. Deposits of manure contain all sorts of bacteria and parasites that can seriously compromise your pet's well-being if ingested.
- Handling. You should always wear a helmet when you're handling a horse, even if you know the animal well. When you're on the ground, you should always maintain the shortest possible distance between yourself and the horse; this will ensure the horse cannot suddenly turn and bite you. Use a short rein and always approach a horse from the front, too. When grooming, work from front to back so the horse always knows where you are.
- Hoof care. Picking out the hooves is a task you'll have to complete regularly. The most important aspect of horse hoof care is to avoid the triangular middle piece of the hoof known as the "soft frog area." Otherwise, grasp the hoof firmly and pick it out, moving from heel to toe.
Sources of Information on Horse Health Care
Books are indispensable resources, and you should build a personal library of horse care books for easy reference. Also, make sure to benefit from the expertise of professionals; talk to horse breeders in your area as well as your veterinarian if you have any questions specific to your animal.