Things to Know Before Getting a Horse

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If you’ve ever thought about getting a horse, you’ll need to do some research before taking the plunge.

Owning a horse is a big responsibility, but in the end it can be very rewarding if you are prepared. Whether you are an experienced horse owner or just starting out, there are important things to take into account.

Before leaping into horse ownership, it’s important to learn about the cost, commitment, and care involved with having this animal. In this article, we’ll discuss 7 things to know before getting a horse so that you can make an informed decision about whether to get a four-legged companion.

1) Expenses

Owning a horse is no small investment, and it’s important to know how much it will cost:

  • Feed: 

Horses need quality hay, grain, and supplements to remain healthy. Feed costs can vary widely depending on where you live and how much food your animal needs.

  • Veterinary care: 

Horses should receive regular check-ups from a veterinarian and may need additional care for illnesses or injuries. Vaccinations and other preventative care are also important.

  • Farrier care: 

These animals need regular hoof trimmings and shoeings from a farrier to keep them healthy.

  • Supplies: 

Everything from brushes, hoof picks, saddles, bridles, blankets to fly masks. All these items are not to be neglected if you want your horse to be healthy and protected. 

  • Boarding fees: 

If you don’t have land to keep your horse on, boarding fees at a stable or barn can add up quickly.

  • Transportation: 

Whether it’s taking your animal to competitions or just trail riding with friends, transportation costs such as trailers or truck rentals can be high.

2) Time and effort

Keeping a horse healthy and content requires daily grooming, feeding, and exercise. Horses are very active animals, so they need plenty of room to move around and play. They also need regular veterinary care, such as deworming, vaccinations, and hoof care. 

Additionally, horses require training to be well-mannered and safe to ride. You must always stay vigilant and take the necessary steps to ensure that your animal doesn’t pose any threat to you and people around.

If horses don’t get the care and attention they need, they can become sick or even dangerous. Therefore, owning one is a great responsibility, and you should be prepared to dedicate plenty of time and effort before taking on such a task.

3) Proper nutrition

Horses need proper nutrition to stay healthy and live a long, happy life. Like any other animals, they need the right balance of food to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Feeding your horse a balanced diet can help prevent health problems such as colic, lameness, and obesity.

These animals should primarily be fed grass or hay, which is high in fiber and provides essential vitamins and minerals. They should also get grains such as oats and barley for energy, and protein sources like soybeans and alfalfa to keep their muscles and organs functioning properly. You can try adding supplements like minerals and vitamins to your horse’s feed for extra nutrients.

It’s important to note that every horse is different when it comes to nutrition. They have varying needs depending on age, activity level, weight, etc. Before deciding what kind of feed your animal should have, consult with a veterinarian so you can find the best diet for your four-legged friend’s individual needs.

4) Regular exercise

Regular exercise is essential. Not only does it keep animals physically healthy, but it also helps to keep their mental health in check. Horses are naturally active creatures, and when they don’t have the opportunity to exercise, it can lead to boredom and even aggressive behavior.

A horse’s physical health is also improved with regular exercise. It can help strengthen muscles, joints, and tendons, helping to reduce the chance of injury due to weak muscles or lack of flexibility. In addition, regular exercise can help improve animals’ cardiovascular system.

Furthermore, training helps these animals to stay mentally alert and engaged. Like humans, horses benefit from having something to do and look forward to doing something interesting. Movement can be a great source of stimulation for horses, helping to keep them entertained and interested in their surroundings.

In short, horses need regular training to stay physically and mentally healthy. Whether it’s riding or groundwork exercises, providing your animal with the opportunity to move and be active is key to keeping them happy and healthy.

5) Regular vet check-ups

Horses require routine care, just like humans do, and regular vet check-ups are essential to identifying and treating any issues quickly. However, you should ensure that the veterinary doctor is a professional, not a deceiver who tries to earn money. Look up potential vets on Nuwber or TruthFinder before trusting them with your horse. You can also read other people’s reviews online or ask in person.

A vet will check your horse’s vital signs, examine its teeth, and diagnose any potential illnesses. If problems or irregularities are discovered during the check-up, a specialist can advise you on how to treat an animal or provide the necessary treatment that you will do on your own.

Regular vet check-ups also ensure that your horse is vaccinated for infectious diseases and can help detect any early warning signs of illness. 

6) Specialized equipment

Horses require specialized equipment for their health and safety. Saddles, bridles, and reins provide guidance and control. A halter is also necessary for leading the animal safely and securely. 

When it comes to hooves, horseshoes and farrier tools are used to keep feet healthy and protect them from wear and tear. Grooming tools such as brushes and combs keep the horse’s coat healthy and clean. You should use protective wear such as a fly mask and fly sheet during summer months to help keep insects away from the animal.

7) Plenty of space

Horses are large animals and require plenty of room for exercise, grazing, and shelter. They need an area of at least one acre of land for basic needs, including a run-in shed or barn for shelter. If the land doesn’t have enough natural grass, then supplemental feed will be necessary. 

Horses also need companionship, whether it be with other animals or humans. Without enough space to roam, they can become frustrated and start to act out destructively. 

Having access to a larger space allows these animals to be better able to express natural behaviors like running and bucking.

Conclusion

Congratulations on deciding to get a horse! They are an amazing addition to any family, and with the right preparation, you can make sure that your future friend is happy and healthy for years to come. 

When it comes to getting a horse, there is a lot to consider and know, from what kind of animal you want to the financial responsibilities of owning it. A good understanding of these aspects is key to a successful experience. 

Remember that owning a horse is a big responsibility that requires dedication and patience. Good luck on your journey!

This Post Brought to You by: 

Taylor, Harris Insurance Services 

Taylor, Harris Insurance Services (THIS) was founded in 1987 to provide specialized insurance for all types of equine risk.We place our policies with the highest rated and most secure carriers, meticulously selected for reliability and prompt claims settlement. We are proud of our worldwide reputation for responsive and courteous service, and we welcome the opportunity to discuss your equine insurance needs and provide you with a quote. 

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