A domestic horse has a lifespan of around 25 years and to keep it happy and healthy during that time is your responsibility. To help you do the same, here is a list of 10 quick tips that you should follow –
1. Minimize your horse’s stress
Horses are sensitive, downright, and nervous creatures which makes them 10 times more likely to be in stress and consequently fall ill.
Here is how you can avoid it –
● Always keep a horse with another horse companion.
● A horse should always be handled patiently. Take special care while training a new horse and try not to be very loud and impatient.
● Keep yourself in a horse’s shoe to understand its mentality better. The best example for it is to realize that horses are herd and prey creatures.
● Do not overwhelm a horse by introducing a lot of new things at a time. Keep it slow and gradual.
● Horses love to spend their ‘me time’ – gazing, rolling, running loose and just enjoying. Try giving them their happy time every once in a while.
2. Never miss Annual Vet Exams.
Just like humans, horses also need to have regular annual check-ups and see their vet every year, without a miss. A horse may seem beautiful and healthy from outside, but if you give-up annual vet exams, there is a high chance of an internal issue lurking around undetected. So, to avoid more significant risks, schedule annual vet exams.
3. Get your horse vaccinated annually
There are several diseases including – Equine encephalomyelitis, Influenza/rhinopneumonitis and West Nile virus against which the horses need to be vaccinated. The vaccinations also vary depending upon the country and the weather you live in.
4. Quality food
There is a popular saying that you are what you eat, and it is equally applicable to horses as well. A horse needs roughage to stay fit and fine. While buying a horse, be ready to spend a good amount of money on good quality hay to keep your horse healthier. Good quality food is even more essential if you are preparing your horse for a horse show jumping.
5. File your horse’s teeth regularly
When horses live with humans, their teeth tend to wear down unevenly, because of the same food that they get to it over and over again. Therefore it is highly advisable to get your vet file down the horse’s teeth regularly.
It also ensures the regular detection of other issues like an abscessed or loose tooth.
6. Take good care of your horse’s hooves
You will not be able to do any fun activities like horse riding, horse show jumping or even use it as a pasture ornament if you do not take good care of your horse’s legs and hooves.
7. Regular deworming
Internal parasites can cause unexpected harms inside your horse’s organs. To avoid this, deworming at regular intervals needs to be done. Deworming is inexpensive and easy-to-do due to several deworming products available in the market today.
Letting your horse move out of the paddock helps it in exercising and keeping its legs fit and healthy. Exercising your horse everyday helps in improving it’s circulation, digestive system and builds a positive attitude in itself.
9. Optimum weight check
Keep your horse at an optimum weight always. Being overweight puts extra stress on a horse’s legs, and being underweight is a sign of weakness. Therefore, both are equally bad. Hence, you should increase the dietary intake if your horse is underweight and reduce grain intake if your horse is getting too fat.
10. Joint nutraceuticals should be used
Joint nutraceuticals are examined to contain glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) which help extensively in keeping a horse healthy. A wide range of products containing these ingredients is readily available in tack stores or online.