Pets

How to Take Care of Your Horse

Horses make a great family pet, and riding a horse can be a thorough workout. Horses are large animals that require a lot of attention, so it’s important to know how to properly care for your horse.

Food

Horses eat a lot of food every day. A 1,000-lbs horse will eat around 15-20 lbs of hay per day. They should be eating mostly grass and good quality hay. Hay is actually just dried grass, but it’s important to monitor the grass and hay your horse eats. Giving a horse free access to pasture grass all the time could result in the horse overeating. 

Every once in awhile it can be fun to reward your horse with a treat. Horses love to eat fruits and vegetables and sugary treats. Some vegetables that are safe for your horse to eat are carrots, celery, and pumpkin. Some fruits that are safe for your horse to eat are apples, bananas, strawberries, and cantaloupe. Avoid feeding your horse onions, cabbage, potatoes, brussels sprouts, and tomatoes. These foods can lead to intestinal gas and some health issues. Horses also enjoy sugar cubes or peppermint candies. It’s safe to give your horse a treat every once in a while. 

Bedding/Housing

A horse’s “bedding” is not like the traditional soft materials we think of for ourselves or dogs or cats. Horses sleep laying down only for a little bit of time, they are actually able to get most of their sleep while standing. One of the main purposes of horse bedding is to absorb urine. Wood pellets and shavings are common options for bedding a stall. Challenger Pallet sells wood shavings specifically for animal bedding and delivers it directly to your house.

Horses need an indoor shelter to go to. It provides them with shelter from rain, snow, and heat. Your horse can have a run-in shelter or a stable. A run-in shelter is a smaller 3-sided building left in a pasture for the horse to freely come in and out of. A stable is a larger building full of horse stalls and maybe even a tack room. Multiple horses can be housed in the same stable. 

Health

Horses need to be vaccinated and dewormed. Every horse should get a tetanus vaccine, and then you can talk to your veterinarian to see what other vaccines he thinks your horse would benefit from. Horses need to be regularly dewormed because worms can cause deadly health issues. Worms can make a horse have a poor coat, develop colic, and lose weight.

Hooves

Horse’s hooves grow like human’s nails do. They need to be trimmed regularly about every six to eight weeks. Have a farrier trim your horse’s hooves and put shoes on your horse. Horses do not actually need to have horseshoes and you could choose to not use them. Talk with your farrier or veterinarian to see if they think your horse will be okay without shoes.

Teeth

Like horse hooves, horse teeth always grow. A horse that has teeth that have uneven wear or sharp edges could have health issues. These problems could make it hard or painful for a horse to chew. It’s wise to have a veterinarian look at your horse’s teeth at least annually and to have the teeth floated. When a veterinarian floats a horse’s teeth, they use a file or float to sand down any rough edges of the teeth.

Taking care of a horse can be overwhelming but they are worth it. Before purchasing a horse, you should know how to take care of your horse. Horses require a bit more care than your average pet but with a bit of research on care, you can become a pro at it.

Have you ever owned a horse? What other things did you have to do to take care of your horse?

icecreamnstickyfingers

Christy has three children. She has over 22 years of parenting experience, including parenting as a young mom, a single parent, and dealing with chronic illness/pain. When she isn't writing, you can find her coloring, playing Candy Crush, and listening to Taylor Swift.

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17 Comments

  1. What an informative post. I have to admit at times I have wished I had a horse, they are such incredible animals.

  2. My mom has always loved horses. She wishes she could have one but it’s too pricey. However, she volunteers at a horse ranch and helps to take care of them.

  3. I grew up with horses but it’s been a long time. I keep trying to talk my husband into getting our grandkids a horse, but he’s afraid of them.

  4. I have never been around horses but I have some friends who have them. They are so awesome to ride and enjoy. Thanks for all of these tips for how to take care of horses.

  5. Though I do not own a horse. I found this information really informative, and plan on sharing it with my friends who do.

  6. Bonnie G says:

    Thank you for sharing this article. I have always wanted a horse but never got one. If I ever do I will know how to take care of one now. =)

  7. This is very informative. Horse enthusiast or even beginners can learn more about this.

  8. I don’t have horses but I have friends that do. I’ll be sure to pass this information on to them.

  9. Horses are such nice animals but they do require a lot of upkeep! This is a great article.

  10. I am always thinking of how it feels to have a horse. This would be so much fun. Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips.

  11. Chris Hoov says:

    Great blog and helpful for those who have horse. How I wish we have one haha.

  12. Ruth I says:

    You know a lot of things about horses. You’e like Mr. Thomas Shelby from Peaky Blinders. This is an interesting post.

  13. There is so much to know about how to properly care for a horse. I bet my daughters would love a pony!

  14. I grew up with horses, and definitely miss them. My dad still has a couple of steers on his property that I can visit though. 🙂

  15. My sister is the horse lover in our family. I have seen her do all these things you mention. In addition, I’d add hugging the neck. 🙂

  16. Growing up, I dreamed of owning a horse. I would still love to, so it’s important to get a good understanding of the commitment and care required.

  17. OMG, I would love to have a horse. Alas, I am not that lucky but, I can bet it is a lot of work. But, so worth it!

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