The Horse Owner’s Guide to Keeping a Horse Healthy and Well-Groomed

The Horse Owner’s Guide to Keeping a Horse Healthy and Well-Groomed



Horses are one of the most beautiful and brightest animals out there. For any horse lover, having one is a dream come true. But, unfortunately, most people are not aware of everything their horse needs. They do not know what they should do to keep their four-legged buddy healthy and well-groomed.

If you are having doubts regarding these things, or if you are considering buying a horse, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will talk about the most important things you can and should do to make sure your horse is in top shape.

Food

Just like humans, horses need good-quality food to be as healthy as possible, to feel well and energized. A lot of people feed their horses with anything they have, because “they will eat anything”. But, when you decide to get a horse, you have to be aware of the commitment you are making. You have to be prepared to treat your new friend well.

For many horses, grain is not necessary, but just some good-quality hay or pasture. If you believe hay is not enough, you can add grain to your horse’s diet. But remember that the majority of a horse’s calories should come from roughage. If you do feed your horse with grain, give it in rather smaller portions multiple times throughout the day, than one or two big ones. This is more natural for horses, and it allows them to better digest, and use the food. 

Of course, there are other things you can do to keep your horse as healthy as possible. One of the best options is supplements for horses, for sure. Depending on the quality of food your horse eats, it might be missing some essential nutrients. So, to avoid this, consult with your local vet to check what supplements would be best for your horse.

Daily Basics

Every horse breed needs grooming of some sort. To keep your horse well-groomed, you have to have a daily grooming routine. The three steps we would advise you to do are currying, brushing, and toweling. Out of these three, currying might be the most important one. This step is crucial for removing dead hair and dirt. Also, by massaging the horse’s skin, you will stimulate the release of natural oils that make its coat shine. To get the best results, you can use a rubber, round currycomb, and move it in a circular motion. Never use a metal one, since it is too hard for both the horse’s hair and skin. The other two steps will bring you even better results but are not crucial. So, if you do not have the time for them, at least make sure you do currying every day. 

Washing Up

We hope this goes without saying, but, make sure you are using a shampoo and a conditioner specifically designed for horses. This is important because they are formulated to keep the horse’s hair and skin healthy, and not to disrupt the production of its natural oils.

When it is time to wash your horse, start by wetting its entire body. Mix some shampoo and warm water in a bucket, use a sponge to wash each section, and make sure you massage the shampoo into the horse’s coat. If your horse is too dirty, do not forget to rinse the sponge each time. After finishing that part, rinse your horse with clean water. Then use a conditioner on the mane and the tail to make them more manageable for clipping.

Clipping

When you need to shorten your horse’s mane, make sure you are not doing so with scissors. Whether your horse’s mane is short or long, it needs to look like it grew that way. To achieve this, pull and thin the mane by hand. But, make sure not to jerk out a lot of hairs at once, since your horse can become irritated. Start from the longest part of the mane, and then pull evenly along it. Make sure you have pulled the hairs out totally, instead of breaking them off. If there are any broken hairs in the mane, they will make it bushy and thick with split ends.

When it comes to tail trimming, it can easily be done with pliers. You just have to take a few hairs and then snap them off. By doing this, you will make sure the tail stays thick, but you will not disrupt its natural look. 

Mikayla Storms @mikham
Mikayla Storms @mikham

The most important things you can do to make sure your horse is well-groomed and healthy are the ones you do every day. So, remember to feed it well, curry, and always keep it clean. If you had any doubts about how you should treat your four-legged friend, we hope you have none of them anymore after reading our guide!


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