Here are a few simple considerations in your horses care.
It is essential to turn your horses out and allow them to be what nature
intended them to be. Active, playful, social, mobile beings. This is critical
to your horses physical, emotional, and spritual well being.
Horses are quite hardy and when provided with a few main necessities they
will stay their healthiest when allowed to be outside 24/7. These main
necessities include; clean fresh water, quality forage, access to minerals and shelter from the
Horses tend to be the healthiest when allowed to graze on grasses and
legumes. If this is not available to you will need to supply a quality
hay. Some people supplement their hay with grain.
Horses guts are designed to have small continuous amounts of feed throughout
While eating in order for the jaw to function properly, the horse must strech
and lower its neck and head. This allows the lower mandible to fall into
the correct position for a biomechanically correct chewing motion. Thus
feeding from a hay rack or net does not allow for this natural mechanism causing
problems throughout the body.
The horses jaw is not made to chew large pelleted feed such as alfalfa cubes
or certain types of pelleted grain. If you must feed these it may be wise
to soak them first to allow the horse to chew properly.
Clean, fresh, water should always be provided. In the winter make sure
your water does not freeze, and make sure your water tank does not shock
the horses when they are drinking. In the winter and summer make sure you
regularly clean the tanks to prevent scum from building up. In summer provide
fresh water daily.
In order to have a happy herd a couple main principles need to be considered.
Do you have enough room for the amount of horses you plan to have in any
given area? Two horses may get along just fine in a small area but when
you add a third you may have problems and a horse may get injured. Horses
rarely will kick or fight if they can get away. When given the choice they will
usually just leave the situation. When there is nowhere to escape, even the most
amicable horses will resort to fighting. Negative energy can be displaced from
one herd member to another, this combined with little turnout or small spaces
can lead to a stressed herd.
Group horses together that get along together. If you have a horse that
is always; picking fights, or getting beat up on, find him another buddy or herd
to get along with.
Horses need to have the ability to seek shelter from the elements (sun, rain,
wind, snow). Depending where you are from will depend on what type of
shelter you will need. Trees are a good natural form of shade and wind block.
Three sided shelters are a great simple way to protect your horse from the
elements, just make sure there is enough room for all of your horses to seek
shelter. The shelter should face away from the prevailing winds and
When cared for properly the horses hoof can do remarkably well barefoot.
The horses hoof tends to mirror its environment; dry arid environment dry hard
hoof, wet, mushy environment wet mushy hoof. Try to keep a balance. If you
live in a very dry environment, let your tanks over flow so each time the horse
needs to get a drink his feet get moisture. If you live in a wet
environment provide an area such as in their shelter where the footing is dry.
Your horse will learn to seek out these areas as his feet need them.
Movement is essential to healthy feet. It encourages proper growth,
wear, and conditioning. Providing large turnout areas for your horse to
freely move helps. Keep feed on one end of the turnout area and water at
the other end, this will help encourage your horse to move. Unless you
have an extremely large area for your horse to move around, you will need to
replace the natural distance typically traveled by the horse, with regular
exercise. Try to exercise you horses on a variety of terrains to
help condition his feet and body.
The stable should be bright and airy happy place. Dark, poorly
ventilated stables are very unhealthy for the horse. Horses should be next
to horses from their herd, preferably a buddy. This will help reduce the
stress of being confined to a stall. When inside it is preferable to allow
the horse access to feed at all times. This helps eliminate boredom and
helps prevent stable vices such as cribbing and weaving.
Back to Top