As far as pets go, horses are one of the biggest commitments you can make....literally!
It’s no exaggeration to say that a horse needs a lot of care and attention. If you neglect to take care of their basic requirements and regularly evaluate their overall health and fitness, there are more likely to be serious problems further down the line.
We have put together a brief checklist that can help to monitor general horse health. Symptoms of illness can vary due to the varying size and body shape of different horses, so if ever in doubt, contact your local vet.
General Health and Wellbeing
Food and Diet
- Whether kept in a stable, paddock or open field, horses always require a supply of fresh water.
- Horses may be robust animals, but they still require shelter from the elements, particularly in the height of summer heat and during the cold, wet winter months.
- Only dress your horse in well maintained tack that fits properly to avoid rubbing and restricted movement.
- Ensure that your horse is kept stimulated so that they do not become bored and depressed. Stable toys, such as a Horsemen's Pride Jolly Ball Horse Toy, can be a big help, as can spending time with other horses.
- Make sure that your horse has enough exercise space, where they can really stretch their legs when not out on a ride.
- Check their teeth regularly, to ensure there is no pain or hindrance to eating. If left untreated problems in the mouth can become very serious.
Other Things to Consider
- Allow your horse to graze as much as possible as this will help to prevent conditions such as gut disorders, colic and stomach ulcers.
- Do not change your horse’s diet rapidly as this can result in tummy issues. Instead, change their diet gradually over two weeks.
- Do not let your horse become overweight. The extra pressure on their feet can cause a disorder called laminitis.
- If you find that your horse is underweight, you may need to provide hard horse feed and forage to increase their body weight.
- Salt licks, such as the Global herbs Himalayan Salt Lick, are excellent treats that can be hung in a stable. This will also keep them occupied when there is no one around.
- Use approved supplements and medicines only.
Horses are a long term commitment and shouldn’t be taken on lightly. However, they are great companions and a delight to spend time with and ride, so be sure to keep a close eye on their health to ensure that you have a long and happy life together. Visit our website today to view our entire range of horse related products that both you and your horse will love!
- Check your horse’s nostrils and eyes for discharge. This may be a sign of an allergy or something that will need to be treated by a vet.
- Flaky skin and a dull coat could be a sign of an illness.
- Vaccinate against equine influenza and tetanus, also treat them with horse wormer.
- Inspect their hooves daily and organise a farrier to visit every 4-6 weeks.
- If you notice that your horse is stiff or appears to be dipping when mounted, this could be a sign of back problems.
- Familiarise yourself with the signs of lameness in order to get the condition treated as soon as possible should it occur.