Owning a horse is no easy job, requiring a lot of knowledge, time, and attention to ensure your horse receives the care it needs. To help make sure your horse settles into their new home and build up that unbeatable bond between the two of you, establish a regular routine that fits into your daily schedule, visiting them at least twice a day to provide them with the daily care needed. To help you prepare, we’ve pulled together a top-level checklist of daily duties which can help maintain a happy and healthy horse.
Keep Them Warm and Comfortable
Keeping your horse comfortable during all weather conditions is easier than ever when you have the right rugs to hand. In the winter months, fleece rugs add an extra layer of warmth, retaining the bodies warmth underneath their existing rug, and stable rugs can be used when your horse is brought in for the night to keep them cosy during the chilly nights. In the warmer months, a lightweight turnout rug keeps the horse protected from UV rays, dirt and insects without overheating their body. A fly sheet is also effective for keeping biting insects such as flies and mosquitos at bay, minimising the risk of diseases being transmitted.
Provide Plenty of Food and Water
Depending on the age, weight, and activity levels of your horse, their dietary needs will differ. Many horse owners choose to provide their horse with grain on a daily basis, sometimes with added supplements, as well as pasture. Grazing is an important part of a horse’s diet, making up the majority of their food intake and it tends to be available all throughout the day. As well as feed, ensure your horse has continuous access to clean, fresh water which is regularly refreshed.
Maintain Clean Bedding
Although not the nicest job in the world, keeping on top of the stable maintenance is important. Whether you use hay or shavings as a base, any damp or soiled patches should be removed on a daily basis and a complete bedding change should be undertaken weekly. If you fail to stay on top of maintenance, it can attract pests and become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Stay on Top of Grooming
Daily grooming is necessary to prevent a build up of dust, dirt and excess hair. Especially for those who spend their days outdoors, mud can be an ongoing battle for horse owners, so use a body brush to prevent any build up and remove excess hair to maintain a neat and tidy coat. To prevent the mane from matting, a mane comb and horse shampoo can be used to keep it looking sleek and knot-free.
Look Out for Potential Health Concerns
When you are grooming, it is a great opportunity to spot any problems. As you brush their body, look out for any new wounds, bites or injuries which may need looking into, spotting them early before they have the chance to worsen. Legs are prone to injuries so pay particular attention to these as any injuries can worsen rapidly, requiring urgent medical attention.
Image Credits: Helena Lopes