Are You Ready for Horse Ownership?

Are You Ready for Horse Ownership?

Your crystal ball says there might be a horse in your future. You’ve always been fascinated by these magnificent creatures, and you think an equine companion would enrich your life. While you’d like to jump into horse ownership, your veterinarian Park County will provide you with detailed equine care guidelines first. Then, you can better decide if you’re ready to make the commitment.

Nutritional Requirements

Let’s talk about your mare Sally’s appetite (yes, you’ve given her a name). Unlike your dog, this hungry horse doesn’t consume one or two bowls of food a day. Rather, she needs constant access to hay or a pasture; and she requires a twice-daily measured batch of grain.

Sally will likely consume 20 pounds of food each day, and she’ll gulp down at least 8 gallons of water daily. With a tiny stomach and an unruly digestive system, your equine companion should eat smaller meals, rather than gorging herself once or twice every day.

Daily Exercise

While you and Sally will enjoy plenty of riding time, give her a roomy pasture where she can happily roam. Make sure the pasture has rugged fencing that keeps your horse contained while fending off predators. Avoid barbed wire, as your companion can seriously injure herself by contacting these razor-like metal pieces.

Adequate Shelter

Your loyal equine companion deserves adequate protection from the elements. When it’s hot, shield her from the sun, heat, and biting flies and mosquitoes. Even if she doesn’t have her own stall, build a sturdy three-sided lean-to for shelter. Scoop out the manure regularly, as your horse doesn’t want to lie in her own feces.

Regular Hoof Care

When Sally’s feet and hooves are healthy, she can comfortably exercise and graze. To keep her hooves groomed, and to confirm her shoes are correct, get her to a farrier (or blacksmith) every six to eight weeks. He’ll likely come to your farm with a portable forge and hoof-trimming implements.

Veterinary Care

Your veterinarian Park County is very familiar with horses’ anatomy and physiology, which enables him to provide Sally with routine wellness care. Besides administering regular vaccinations, he’ll implement an anti-parasite program. Remember that if your horse experiences a medical emergency, your expenses might total several thousand dollars. Be prepared for that potential financial impact. To learn more about horse care, call us for an appointment.

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