Horses are lovely creatures. Those who own horses would be well aware of the pleasures a horse brings along. You can go for a leisurely horse ride on a fine autumn evening. Horse breeders love riding horses. Riding through the countryside while treating yourself to some breathtaking scenic beauty offers you a great way to spend some quality time with your equine friend.
If you wish to enjoy countless joyful rides, then you need to take good care of your horse. A well-fed horse is a man’s best friend. Experienced horse breeders understand that taking good care of a horse is a job easier said than done. Feeding your horse well and providing it with the best equipment isn’t enough. Adequate stable care is just as important.
Here are 10 tips to ensure stable care:
Adequate diet is a must
It goes without saying that a well-fed horse stays happy and healthy. Forage forms an important part of a horse’s diet. If horses are fed low-forage diets that are high in concentrates, they might develop digestive problems. Stabled horses need to be given plenty of forage. Furthermore, not all food items provide adequate nutrition. Many of the foodstuffs have an excessively high calorie count. Horses need a combination of hard feed and forage in order to maintain body weight, Also, stable feed isn’t enough. Horses need to graze as much as they possibly can. 24/7 access to the pasture is important. Horses run the risk of developing stomach ulcers if they don’t graze.
Cleanliness is key
Keeping the stable clean and tidy is a must. Your horse can come in contact with skin diseases if the stable is filthy. Sweep the stable regularly to get rid of the smaller dirt particles. Most importantly, muck the stable out every day. Keep it organised. Have a designated storage area for all of your grooming equipment. Make sure that curry combs and hard brushes are not lying scattered. This might lead to serious injuries. If the stable features a wooden construction, then you need to take precautions. Wooden stables can get damaged quickly. At times, termites can create ruckus. Wood can rot if it is exposed to excessive moisture.
3. Poo pick the fields as well
Stable duties are not just limited to stables. You need to ensure that your grazing ground is clean. Remove all stones. Also, sprinkle water regularly in order to keep dry dust at bay. Before letting your horses out in the paddock, make it a point to clear all the equipment (the likes of harrows and pitchforks). These can cause injury to the hooves. Make sure that the paddock is fenced. You don’t want your horse to run over long distances. Additionally, keep it in mind to remove obstacles such as fallen trees.
4. Provide fresh water
It is important to change provide fresh drinking water to your horses. Clean the drinking buckets regularly. Make it a point to remove old water. Storing water for days can lead to waterborne diseases
5. Groom your horse
Grooming forms an important part of a horse’s well being. You need to have a full-fledged horse grooming kit at your disposal. Here are the things that should constitute your horse grooming kit.
- Hoof picks
- Rubber curry combs
- Metal curry combs
- Mane and tail brush
- Soft brush
- Hard brush
- Silicone spray
Use a sponge to gently remove dust and dirt. Comb the hair regularly to get rid of finer dust particles. Shampoo sparingly as it might lead to dryness and rashes.
- Change the rugs
Rugs need to be changed regularly, especially during the winter. Also, it goes without saying that stable rugs are different from turnout rugs. If your horse stays inside during winter, then a warm rug is required. During summer, you can opt for a light fleece rug. It would protest the horse against fleece and mosquitoes. You can buy such rugs at equestrian shops around the English countryside.
Look for rugs at an equestrian clearance warehouse if you are running on a tight budget.
Buying supplies for your equine friend:
Look for outlets that offer easy returns
This one happens to be the most important factor. Experienced horse breeders and riders would know that not all horse tack is perfect. No matter how carefully you buy, there is bound to be a piece of equipment that won’t fit. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. In order to keep such situations at bay, it is advisable to buy from outlets that offer easy refunds and replacements. At least, you can always go back and return the stuff that’s faulty or oversized.
Keep an eye on Facebook groups
New-age riders use social media platforms such as Facebook to search for reasonably-priced tack. You can get in touch with other riders in order to ask for advice. It’s an informal way of getting all your queries cleared. You can post a query on Facebook ( discussion forums and groups), and within no time, you’ll get countless replies on the post you’ve uploaded. Share pictures and videos to make your life easier.
Don’t buy just because it is cheap
So, here comes the most important part. Buying discounted stuff is definitely an awesome idea, but you just can’t keep on buying stuff just because it is cheap. You might have to buy new tack if the discounted pieces are of sub-standard quality. In this way, you’ll have to shell out more money than expected. Plan your budget and shop accordingly.
Buy during the off-season
This one is quite obvious. Newer horse tack keeps hitting the market throughout the year. You’ll be able to find heavy-duty tack supplies online. Well, this tip does not apply to all of the tack supplies. Blankets and rugs fall under this category.
Don’t wait for too long
Experienced horse riders prefer maintaining a small inventory. The idea is pretty simple: It will help you if a piece of equipment breaks down unexpectedly. Here’s a tip: Whenever you go out to buy a piece of equipment for your equine friend, don’t buy just one. For instance, if you’re going out to buy a warm winter rug, then buy a couple of rugs.
You can go for a cheaper second rug if you like. It’ll come in handy if the first one gets damaged unexpectedly.
Take good care of your equine friend if you want it to stay hale and hearty. A clean stable is the ideal breeding ground. Make sure it’s clean and tidy Before you go out there to buy horse tack, make it a point to thoroughly examine all your stuff. If you’re buying a saddle made of leather, then make sure there are no stitch marks. While buying boots, make sure the soles are intact. All of these tips can help you save a lot of trouble while buying tack of your four-legged companion.
Happy horse breeding, folks!