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Go Natural With Your Horse Care and Save Money
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Go Natural With Your Horse Care and Save Money

As horse owners, keeping our horses healthy is our top priority. However, keeping horses can be very expensive. Here are 4 tips for keeping naturally healthy happy horses on a budget. 

1) Keep Your Horse Outdoors Keeping your horse in a pasture is much cheaper, easier, and healthier than keeping him in a stall. When kept in a stall, horses require bedding and more frequent hoof work with the added cost or time keeping the stall clean. If you keep your horse at home, building a run-in shed and fenced lot is much cheaper than a stall barn. If you board your horse, most boarding facilities offer cheaper pasture boarding options.

2) Go With Natural Hoof Care Keeping horses barefoot is much better for them, and it cost you a lot less. Keeping a horse shed can be very pricey and really wears on their hoof health. A good barefoot trimmer will charge a lot less that a shoer and will not need to make as many visits. A healthy barefoot horse will maintain a nice hoof for a lot longer than a shod horse. Most horses do well on 5-8 week schedule. You can save even more money by learning to do some basic trimming or even rasping yourself. You can keep your horse's shape in check and spread your trimmer's visits out further.

3) Get Rid Of Grain Feeding Horse's grain can really add up. Besides the cost, a grain free diet is really a much healthier choice for your horse. Spend your money on high-quality, low-sugar hay instead of loading your horse with sugar laden feeds. You will not only see a difference in the size of your bill fold, but also in your horse's behavior and health.

4) Go Bitless Rope Bitless bridles cost significantly less than most bitted bridles. Your horse will love the change as well. You will save money that you would normally spend on leather cleaning products and repairing broken pieces of a bitted bridle. Bitless bridles like these are made to last a lifetime without needing cleaning or repair.

 

Thanks for reading, happy trails!

www.ridingsimply.com

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Leave a Comment

  1. Archippus
    HorseRiderSam, I wrote an article just last week on how Houston Mounted Patrol were going with natural hooves on concrete and pavement. Vote #7! Do you trim your own horse's hooves?
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  2. logan rivera
    The issue with this is your making a lot of assumptions about the horse, for example: If you live in a very cold climate, there is a good chance that leaving your horse out 24/7 in the harsh winter is not the best thing for them. Can it be done? Yes. Can it be done safely? Of course. Is that the answer for ever horse? no. Of course barefoot trimming is much cheaper than shoes. However, some horses actually need shoes to help accomplish the jobs that they do. Not to mention that there are many types of shoes, some which don't need to be nailed on at all. You're not going to be saving any money if you have an unhappy horse with unhappy feet. Also, unless you are a trained professional or have been guided on how to correctly trim horses feet by a trained professional, you should NEVER EVER try and undergo your own hoof work unless you want at best, a sore horse, or at worse, a vet bill much larger than if you had called a professional in the first place. Many horses in demanding jobs NEED grain to keep their weight, and also many horses need grain for additional nutritional supplements depending on their build and/or individual metabolism. It's just like an athlete. Sure, someone who's going to the gym once a week and has a normal metabolism isn't going to need a whole lot of extra calories, however, someone who goes to the gym five times a week and has a much high metabolic rate might need to eat double or even triple what the other person eats simply because of the calories they are expanding. This creates the need for 'dense' calories, instead of light calories. Think of it as the difference between eating a fruit salad and a burger for a meal if the burger was to bring you to your caloric goal for the day. The fruit salad might be filling, but it will not keep you full as long as the burger; your body will burn through it and you'll be left with a net number of calories for the day, thus losing weight. The same principle goes for a horse, or rather any animal. Depending on the base metabolic rate, a certain amount of calories is needed each and every day to sustain a goal weight. While some may be able to meet that goal through a low number of calories, the actual amount needed lies in the individual, therefore advice such as this could seriously cause an animal harm. I would much rather use leather than nylon. Leather breaks in cause of an emergency, nylon does not. Not to mention nylon and similar material is rough, course, and can cause rubbing among other discomfort issues. The bitless bridle is a solution for some, but not all animals, it can even be very harsh if the rope is thin, as it will have more bite. Honestly I would rather see a rider with quiet hands riding in a bit than any old yahoo ripping on their horses face in one of those things because they think it's 'natural' when in reality they're possibly damaging nerves and blood vessels. This type of advice is what ends well meaning but honestly clueless owners in over their heads with an unhealthy, unhappy horse. All feeding, trimming, and living advice should at the very least come from a vet or farrier. If they say your horse is fine to live out on pasture 24/7? Awesome. if they say your horse can go barefoot? Great! They say your horse doesn't need grain? Fantastic! But don't assume just because it's labeled as 'natural horsemanship' that it is somehow superior when in fact it could be hurting your horse.
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    1. Archippus
      Logan Rivera, you made some very good points. There are various boots that can be utilized to help a horse adjust to going without shoes. The needs and background of the horse should be considered before making a decision to go barefoot. HorseRiderSam had some very good points, but a whole training course cannot be taught in one short article. Your input is appreciated Logan Rivera.
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