Whether you are a first time horse owner or are welcoming a new addition to the family, being prepared with everything you need will ensure your horse gets the love and care they deserve. As well as having the physical equipment on hand, being able to commit plenty of time to the care of your horse is necessary, getting into a routine and building up that unbeatable bond between the two of you. To ensure you are able to maintain your horses physical and mental wellbeing, we’ve pulled together some top-level tips to help you get prepared.
Staying well dressed
Although your horse is able to adapt to the weather conditions fairly well, taking precautions to keep them warm and comfortable is recommended. During the warm and sunny weather, specialist fly sheets for horses are popular for keeping biting insects at bay to prevent the risk of any diseases from being transmitted, as well as keeping the direct sunlight off of their coat. When the cold nights and rainy weather come in, switching to a thicker rug with wicking properties will help them maintain their body heat to stay warm and dry.
Getting their nutrients
Every horse is different and their diet plan will depend on body weight and lifestyle, ensuring they get the nutrients they need. As well as providing their regular feed, grazing is an important part of their lifestyle and tends to make up around 80% of their diet. If fresh grass is not available, hay or pasture can be used and tend to be available to them all day for them to chew on. As well as feed, fresh, clean water should constantly be provided which your horse can always access. A simple water bucket or trough can be used and this should be refreshed with clean water on a regular basis.
Maintain a tidy coat
The weather, dirt and dust can all be big contributors towards your horse looking a bit worse for wear, leaving them with an untidy coat and matted tail. It is your responsibility to stay on top of grooming, so we recommend regularly using a brush on their body to remove excess hair and keep their coat looking tidy. For the mane and tail which are more prone to knots and tangles, a specialist mane comb with shampoo can be used to keep on top of it and leave their hair looking amazing. Regular grooming is also an opportunity to keep an eye on the condition of their skin, looking out for any new wounds or bites which may need further attention.
Hitting the road
Whatever your riding style, ensure you have all of the necessary safety equipment and riding gear to keep you both safe and comfortable. The basic tack will include a saddle, saddle pad, bridle and stirrups and you should always dress accordingly in a helmet, riding boots, body protection and high visibility clothing when in public spaces to prevent the risk of any injuries.
Veterinary professional on hand
Injuries and illnesses can crop up at the most unexpected of times so ensuring that you are registered with a local veterinary practice will ensure you can get help when needed, so your horse can get sufficient healthcare.