Horse ownership is truly rewarding, but it also comes with much responsibility. Before purchasing or adopting your horse you must be aware of and willing to take on those responsibilities.
Every day there are things you need to provide for your horse. The most important thing is that your horse has free access to fresh water. Horses need to drink a lot, even in the winter. During the summer water is very important because horses cool their bodies by sweating. In the cold of winter, a horse also needs a heavy supply of water because the hay and food they are eating has no water content. Make sure to refill there water supply at least twice a day.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your horse has plenty to eat. Remember that if you are pasture feeding and your pasture is not sufficient you will need to provide additional feed. Hay is an excellent food source and fairly inexpensive.
A horse also needs shelter. The shelter needs to be cleaned out daily for them. Please remember that a confined horse cannot escape so you need to be ensure that in their shelter they are safe from predators.
There are responsibilities of a horse owner that need done at least on a weekly basis. At least once a week your horse needs groomed. A complete grooming should be done weekly to ensure a clean horse.
There are several things that are important to do monthly. You should hose down your and wash him well during warm months. Weekly washings would not hurt. Fly spray, sweat and dirt buildup in your horses coat and can lead to heat entrapment. A simple bath can rinse their coat clean and leave them feeling coolly refreshed.
Your horse's food and water containers should also be washed thoroughly at least once a week. This will stop any growth of bacteria, mold and mildew. There can also be many microorganisms living on the feed and water dishes that can be easily ingested by your horse.
It is vital to your horses health that on a quarterly time schedule you de-worm your horse. The longer you allow your horse to go between de-worming, the greater their chances are of becoming infected with parasites.
It is also important that annually you keep your horse up with its vaccinations. Horses need annual booster of tetanus vaccine, rabies vaccine and the West Nile vaccine. These vaccinations are important to protect your horse as well as the horses he or she may come in contact with.
Day to day responsibilities also include caring for tack, repairing fences, buying feed, and mucking and repairing stalls. Yes, a horse is a lot of responsibility, but the love and companionship you get back for your tender loving care is unmeasurable. Give your horse the highest level of care and your hard work will be rewarded with a healthy, happy horse!
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