Very Best Way to Keep a Horse, the Essential list you need and Financial Stable Management
Happy Horse Keeping
It is wonderful to keep a horse or pony. Some of the happiest times of my life have been spent with my horses. However, it is not to be undertaken lightly. Just because you have a paddock big enough to keep a horse does not mean you can turn the horse out and leave it to fend for itself. Horses need care and horses need Money. If you are on a tight budget, hire a horse or take lessons when you have the spare cash.
Horses have many needs. Horses need food, not too much, not too little and the amounts vary according to its work load. Ponies should never be put out on lush grassy paddocks or they may Founder. This is a very painful ailment of the hoof when the lamina or layers get forced apart by excess blood and fluid in the hoof. Its other name is Laminitis. Very muddy fields are not good either as the horse may get Mud Fever or inflammation of the lower leg. The paddocks should ideally be fenced with rounded post and rail fencing not barbed wire which can cause damage to their skin.
Horses need clean water available at all times.
Horses need shelter. A simple shed in the paddock with an ever open door will suffice so that the horse can take cover from rain, wind, sun and flies. Grey horses or paints with pink skin on their head round the eyes or mouth are liable to get sun-burnt or develop a melanoma. Simple sin screen may be applied to prevent this. A Fly fringe or mask will help with the worst of the fly problem and Oil of Citronella, a harmless organic product can be applied in the morning to keep them at bay.
If you are intending to keep your horse in a stable, the bedding needs to be adequate and banked up around the edges so that your mount does not get cast against the wall and is unable to rise. Bedding should be kept clean with droppings removed daily. A stabled horse needs a strict exercise routine or bad stable habits may form like weaving, crib biting and other manifestations of boredom.Some people use a deep litter method of managing the bedding, personally I think this is bad for the horses feet as the litter tends to heat up. Many horse keepers these days use special rubber mats to keep their equine happy. A nice paddock with shelter is the best way to keep your horse happy.
Horses need company. Hoses are very gregarious animals and need a buddy. It doesn't have to be another horse, a donkey, goat or even a goose will suffice another equine is best so that they can stand head to tail in the heat of the day and swish flies off each other. Routine worming should be kept up if sharing a paddock with a donkey as lung worm can be a problem. The lung worm does not go through a complete life cycle in the horse as it does in the donkey so causing a real problem if not caught and cured, usually with a double dose of Panacur wormer
Horses need to have their feet attended to regularly. If they have hard feet and don't need shoes they will still need their hooves to be trimmed every six weeks or so. Though you can learn to do the trimming yourself. A set of shoes is an expensive commodity and although not as expensive as a set of Monalho's for yourself, it is getting on up there.
Horses need regular worming especially if they share with a donkey as donkey's carry lungworm quite harmlessly to themselves but the larval stage remains in the lungs of a horse with debilitating results. You can worm your horse yourself but sometimes an expensive veterinary visit is needed. Worms can also cause Colic which is a very dangerous disease for a horse even causing death. If horses are alternately grazed with cattle, the worm burden is kept down and the animals are healthier as the horse digests the cattle worms and vice versa.
Horses need forage. Hay is often needed in the winter to supplement grazing or all year round if the horse is stabled. Suitable straw is required for bedding in the stable although rubber matting is gaining in popularity. Never handle, feed or buy moldy forage. There is a nasty disease called Farmers Lung that can make you very sick for a long time. It can affect the horse's wind too.
Horses need exercise to be kept fit and daily if kept stabled. If they are kept in a large enough paddock with other horses this need is not pressing but if you are preparing to carry out any stressful pastime like show jumping or endurance riding, regular exercise is best.
Horses need accoutrements, tack which covers saddles bridles, martingales, head collars girths Stirrups and rugs for use in a stable or New Zealand rugs for a horse wintering out. They need regular grooming with good quality brushes.
You will need riding lessons if you haven't yet learned or ongoing lessons if you take up dressage or show jumping or even vaulting. Proper riding wear is not cheap unless you can find it second hand on sites such as Craigslist, Ebay or Trade Me. These sites often have horse tack at knock down prices.down prices. A hard hat is essential.
You will need to think hard about these costs when you think about buying a horse. The purpose of this discourse is not to put you off doing so but to prevent you and your beloved horse falling into financial pitfalls in the future. I know that living with a horse is a delightful experience well worth the expense and the time.
Keep your horse happy! Good Luck with your Equine experience.