If you are considering getting a horse there are so many benefits to doing so.
- Teaching children to take care of something else.
- The connection that can be built with horses.
- Receiving the comfort and company that they offer.
- Having someone to come home to that is happy to see you.
- Learning to ride and get fresh air every day.
There are even more reasons to get a horse but there are also some things that you should consider before jumping headlong into a commitment like this. It’s a lot more than buying your average dog or cat. Here are a few considerations that you should take into account.
- Vet Visits
In order to properly care for you horse, you will need to take them to see a vet regularly or have the vet come to you. They need to vaccinated against equine infectious anemia virus expression, rabies, tetanus, influenza, equine herpes and other diseases. Having veterinary diagnostics done regularly is not a bad idea either because even horses can contract disease such as worms and common conditions that have no prevention methods but could be fatal if left untreated. You can avoid certain disease with vaccines and shots, but there are some conditions like the equine infectious anemia virus expression that have no cure. However, there is something called an equine infectious anemia virus expression antibody test kit that can find out if your horse is infected. That’s why regular vet visits are important. Keep in mind, however, that going to the vet is not cheap for a horse. Taking a cat, a dog or some other pet is one thing; a horse is an entirely different story. You can’t just walk a horse into a vet’s office.
- Food Safety
Because your horse’s hay trough is likely to be kept outside, you’ll need to make sure that it is kept safe to eat. Horses eat about 15 to 20 pounds of hay every day so that always needs to be available to them. However, you need to make sure that there is no mold or dust on the hay and that the trough itself is hosed down daily. Horses also eat about grain so you have to make sure that not only do they have enough grain according to their body weight but that it is sufficient for their needs such as activity level, how much hay or grass has been eating, if they need to replenish calories, etc. In order to keep a horse’s food safe, you have to make sure that it doesn’t stay outside for very long. Harmful bugs and things can get into the grain and hay like the horsefly which can cause equine infectious anemia virus expression. You may need to replenish the hay or grain periodically throughout the day instead of leaving a ton of it outside for a few days.
This is one of the most important parts of owning a horse. A horse needs to connect with it’s owner. If you bond with your horse, he or she will listen to you and obey you better. This will also help to calm the horse if they get spooked. Mentioned above was vet visits; horses often get scared of veterinary laboratory equipment but if you are there and they trust you, they will be just fine. You gain your horse’s trust first by simply being there. Hanging out in the paddock on a chair or the fence will allow the horse to watch your behavior and learn to trust you. At the same time, you can watch him or her and learn about their personality as well. The first time you approach your horse, it should be with slow and calm movements. Allow the horse to sniff you and get to know your scent before jumping on their back. Petting, stroking, patting, feeding treats are all great ways to bond with your horse.
Horses can be sensitive creatures but once you have the connection they are loyal and obedient animals. Keeping them healthy and safe and loved should be your priority as a horse owner. After this is established, you can begin to train them according to what you need, whether it’s for work or recreational.