The Basics of Horse Care
Horses have come along way since being the wild, roaming mustangs that they once were. They are now more domesticated than they have ever been, and they take a great deal of pleasure in the leisure of their pasture and in the loving interaction of humans.
As a diligent horse owner, you should always be aware of the needs of your horse. After all, your horse depends on you to provide the basics of life.
Maintain a Nutritional Diet
The main sustenance in a horse’s life is nutrition. Although a horse may be content to grazing in a field of luscious grass, a horse still needs a nutritional, well-balanced diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
A well-balanced diet should always consist of hay and feed. While there are several different types of feed on the market, each with their own individual benefits, it is extremely important that any type of feed be fed in conjunction with quality hay.
Hay is essential to a horse’s diet because, upon ingestion, it lines the stomach to assist in the digestion of nutrients obtained from the feed. When a horse does not have a sufficient amount of hay, many of the nutrients that can be found in horse feed are not absorbed, which can leave your horse in a malnourished condition.
Regular Worming Treatments
Whether your horse is kept in a horse barn or a pasture, the need for regular worming treatments is very real, especially if your horse is kept in close proximity to other horses. Intestinal parasites can travel through fleas, mosquitoes, soil, manure, as well as between horses. While intestinal parasites can be controlled with a quality worming product, it is not enough to do this on a sporadic basis.
Intestinal worms are passed on through a horse’s manure, and from there they can continue to survive. The problem here is that as a horse grazes in a pasture, he comes into very close contact with his own manure and that of others, which presents the issue of re-ingestion and re-infection.
In addition, different geographic locations are prone to certain types of parasites during different seasons. For this reason, a worming product that worked in the early spring may not be effective during the winter months. This is why worming products need to be given on a consistent basis and periodically changed to fight the parasitic threat during different times of the year.
Horse Stall Maintenance
Without a doubt, the safest place to keep your horse is in a stall. This keeps him away from the dangers of coyotes and other wild animals, as well as the cold conditions of winter. However, keeping your horse stall-kept will do no good if he is living in an unclean environment.
It is important to clean manure daily in a horse stall to avoid the possibility of parasitic infections. Bedding or wood chips should always be replaced when they become wet from urination. Avoiding this can cause infection and several unfortunate health conditions.
Another element to good horse stall maintenance is always making sure that your horse has fresh water. Stagnate and contaminated water is not only a breeding ground for flies and mosquitoes, but it is also the equivalent of drinking water from a sewer. It simply isn’t healthy.