Many people who own horses admit that they under-estimated the amount of care required by the owner. The importance of good research prior to buying a horse cannot be over-estimated. Here are a few points to get you started.
As a general rule, allow at least an acre of land per horse. Check the field for health hazards (rubbish, pesticides etc.) and ensure that the field is properly fenced. The field should be fenced so the horse cannot escape or injure itself. Do not use barbed wire.
Your horse needs to be able to shelter from the heat, cold and rain. A three-sided shelter / run-in shed will work very well. The flooring of the shelter should be dry and the walls should be strong and hazard-free.
If your horse is kept in a stable make sure you provide adequate bedding (e.g. straw, hemp) and keep the stable clean by following a daily mucking-out routine.
As with all animals, a well-balanced diet is very important. Your horse needs the right quantity and quality of food. Be careful not to overfeed – a horse doesn’t stop eating when it is full.
You should feed your horse a minimum of twice a day. Get veterinarian advice on the most suited feeding program for your horse.
Ensure that a fresh water supply is available to your horse at all times. A healthy horse can drink up to 12 gallons of water per day.
In order to keep your horse healthy, its coat and mane should be brushed and cleaned regularly. In addition, you should check your horse’s hooves to ensure that there is nothing caught in them and that they do not require changing. Feet should be trimmed approximately every 8 weeks.
Your horse will also require vaccinations, dental examinations and de-worming treatment. Seek veterinarian advice for a suitable health care program.