Horses radiate beauty and strength, and yet, they are also one of the world’s most fragile and finicky creatures. Our equine friends often encounter unique challenges, which can impact their health and overall performance.
In order to keep our horse(s) free of disease and to provide them with a healthier, happier, and longer life, we have listed few tips. After all who does like being around happy horses!
Adequate Feeding: Ensure to feed your equine friend with adequate roughage. A horse’s primary need is food, in the form of grass or hay. Though your horse may behave grumpy and demand grain, remember keeping roughage working through his gut is instrumental to his happiness. Horses are most content when they can nibble almost constantly. Yet, it is important to note that it takes about two days for a horse to process what he eats, so the grass he ate yesterday, remains with him the next day. Also, horses need adequate amount of water, because without it, the hay or grass begins to compact, and cause trouble. Hence ensure your horse is provided, with fresh and adequate amount of water as well as proper feed.
Suitable Housing: There are various suitable ways to house horses. The most natural way is to keep horses on pasture. It’s been found that pasture-based horses tend to have fewer disease and behavioral problems, as compared to horses housed in more confining methods. Other suitable methods for housing horses include dry lots and stables.
Proper Vaccination: To enhance disease resistance in horses, it’s important to provide them with proper housing, feeding and vaccines. Vaccines help to trigger positive immune responses and help the horses fight future infections from disease-causing agents, and are several vaccines and vaccine combinations available for them. In order to know which vaccination program is best suited for your horse, it’s prudent to consult a veterinarian; because vaccines needed for a particular horse depend on several factors, which range from the horse’s age, exposure to other horses, and geographic location etc.
Fixed Routine: Literally speaking horses have a clock in their heads. The more you follow a routine with them, the happier they are. Gradually fix, your horses feed, water and turnout times and develop a routine with them.
Apt Ventilation and Visual Stimulation: If you have kept your horses in a barn, ensure that they can see each other. As in when appropriate, use stall guard instead of a solid door. Make sure that plenty of fresh airflows through the barn, so that your horses can breathe free and enjoy all the natural odors of the changing seasons.
Ample Exercise: Horses need to exercise in order to stay happy. Movement not only helps to keep their body in shape, but with each step their feet gets good blood supply. Also, exercise helps in their digestion process. If not more, then at least make sure to let your horse walk – up and down the barn aisle.
Good Hoof Care: Healthy feet are of great importance to the well-being of a horse. Appropriate hoof care helps to reduce lameness problems and enables a horse to perform up to its potential. Good hoof care involves- feeding a balanced diet that optimizes hoof growth and integrity, regular hoof inspection and maintaining facilities free of sharp objects that may injure a hoof. The key to good hoof care is handling it regularly and well right from birth. In general, a horse’s hooves need to be trimmed every six to 12 weeks by a farrier in order to remove excessive growth and to ensure proper balance.
Remember making your horses healthy and happy will not only benefit them, it will enrich your life as well.