First-time horse owners certainly have their work cut out for them. Even if you have experience caring for pets or farm animals, you’ll quickly find that horses care is a far cry from what you’re used to. To say these animals require a substantial amount of attention would be an understatement. However, if you feel you’re physically and financially up to the task, there’s no reason you shouldn’t dive on in. To ensure that your horse leads a long, happy and healthy life, take care to put the following tips to good use.
Annual Vet Visits and Vaccinations
Horse’s can fall prey to an extensive range of health problems, facilitating the need for regular vaccinations and vet visits. With this in mind, have your horse thoroughly examined by a knowledgeable vet at least once a year. Failure to do so can result in the animal developing such life-threatening ailments as equine encephalomyelitis and West Nile virus. Additionally, purchasing comprehensive horse insurance is a great way to keep veterinary costs in check.
Keeping your horse well-groomed can play an integral role in preserving its health. For starters, the animal’s hoofs will need to be shaved down on a consistent basis. Since this is a highly specialized undertaking, it’s strongly recommended that you entrust it to an experienced farrier. Your horse’s teeth will also need to be filed down on a semi-regular basis. This delicate task is best performed by a vet or animal dentist who specializes in horses.
To stave off lethargy and promote general health, you’ll need to exercise your horse on a daily basis. Whether you take it for a ride or simply allow it to run around in an enclosed area, the animal needs to be let out of its stable at least once a day, preferably for an extended period. Daily exercise will also help stimulate your horse’s digestive system, increase circulation and prove conducive to a healthy metabolism.
Horse ownership isn’t something that should be approached lightly. These animals live very long lives and require a tremendous amount of daily upkeep. As such, anyone who chooses to take on the role of horse guardian should familiarize themselves with the pointers discussed above. Having your horse examined and vaccinated on an annual basis, staying on top of grooming and providing the animal with abundant opportunities for exercise will ensure that it remains happy and healthy for many years to come.