A horse requires constant care, and is down to a balance of three distinct areas, food, shelter and exercise. When these three elements are at their best, it offers the best foundation for a horse’s well being. Let’s take a look at these three elements in a bit more detail.
Horse’s digestive systems are designed to be given a constant supply of food. The lesson here is ‘little and often’. This should replicate how a horse would eat if it were grazing in the wild.
Keep a horse’s level of feed directly proportional to the amount of work it has to do. It may seem to be common sense that over-feeding can lead to weight gain, and under-feeding to weight loss, but this can vary depending on the horse. It might be advisable to discuss this with a vet or expert to fat score the horse, and gauge the correct feed volume.
Habit is very important for horses. Keep regular mealtimes, and food amounts. This is primarily due to the bacteria and enzymes in the horse’s digestive system. Prolonged irregularities to regular mealtimes can cause bacteria to breakdown, leading to illness.
Sometimes supplements can be necessary, and can help maintain specific areas of a horse’s health, from digestion, coat, hooves, joints and in many other ways. There are points in many horse’s lives, from being a foal to old age, where horse supplements will be needed. There are, however, many horse supplement for all areas of horsecare.
Shelter and Exercise
A horse’s shelter is more or less important depending on the weather. However, most horses are hardy enough to handle harsher conditions as they are natively outdoor animals, although some will rest in shelter and stables. For horses in stables, they do need to be taken out for exercise more frequently.
A stable should be well ventilated and clean. Bedding should be kept as dry as possible, and made from hay, although there are other variations, many of which have been treated to reduce dust, limiting reactions to dust allergies.
Regular, often daily, exercise is great for the horse’s health and general well being. A horse needs fresh air in its lungs and constant training to keep its weight at the right level. This can be long periods of walking and trotting, which over long periods can provide excellent daily exercise. When in the open, however, nothing beats a brisk gallop. Even in enclosed, large fields, this is the best exercise for horses, promoting not only weight control and exercising the lungs, but keeping muscles fit and toned.