Today’s Horse Facts: Caring for your Horse
You just bought a new horse, perhaps your very first one, and you’re ready to ride down the dusty trail with your new equine friend. Is that exciting, or what?
But have you put a lot of forethought into preparing for that horse’s safe keeping and welfare? Are you going to board him at a reputable stable, or have you put the time and money into your own place to care for Trigger yourself? By this time, you should have already realized that keeping a horse is very expensive. He’s not just a new puppy on the block.
Let’s see how you do on this MUST HAVE list to keep your horse and new best friend healthy and happy. Answer the next 10 points either “Yes I have” or “Nope, not yet,” and we’ll see if you’re a horse owner who has the best interest of your horse at heart:
- I have at least a one-stall barn or shed (not a garage) that will protect the horse from bad weather and give him a nice place to snooze.
- I have at least two acres of pasture land for my horse to graze.
- I have erected a fence that is safe so that my horse won’t get caught in barbed wire, try to jump through or over it, or get his legs or head caught between rails.
- I have bought enough quality hay and oats (grain or sweet feed) for two meals a day for a month. I have a regular supplier of feed for my horse.
- I have means of providing fresh water (at least two large bucketsful) every day for my horse.
- I have purchased grooming equipment to use on my horse daily. The equipment includes bug juice (for stinging flies in hot weather), a comb, brush, electric razor, oil, horse pick, hydrogen peroxide (for the frogs of his hooves to prevent thrush), and bot killer. I also have a rake, shovel, and wheelbarrow to “muck out” the stall every day, and I’ve made arrangements to have the manure pile removed from my property regularly. (Heaped manure is a breeding ground for bugs and worms, which can infest your horse and make him sick or kill him.)
- I have purchased riding tack that fits the horse as well as me. I’ve gotten information from his previous owner concerning the type of bit with which the horse performs best.
- I have purchased a blanket (if I live in seasonal cold climates) and have determined to make sure my horse is kept in his barn and warm during frigid weather.
- I have called a veterinarian and a farrier to schedule regular appointments for check-ups, shots, hoof trims, and shoeing.
- I have promised my horse and myself that I will ride him at least twice a week, weather permitting and will always walk him to cool him down after the ride so he doesn’t get chilled and possibly get pneumonia.
Well, how did you do on this quiz? Are you ready to care for your own horse that will make him a happy camper at your pad? Will Trigger love you forever because you’ve already lavished your love upon him?
If not, then determine today to fulfill all these conditions and you’ll be known as a horse owner who really cares for his/her horse.
Next time, we’ll discuss safety for you and your horse when you ride the trail.