Horses are large creatures that require constant attention and care. Use these tips for owning a horse so you’re ready for this major responsibility.
While most people choose a dog or cat as their pet of choice, some go for larger, unconventional animals. Horses, surprisingly enough, are some of the most popular animals for those living in rural or open areas. Yet horses are large, energetic creatures that require constant care and attention. If this sounds like an animal you’d be interested in, keep in mind these important things to know about owning a horse.
Select the Breed
As with any animal species, there are many different types of horses to consider. Depending on your purpose, budget, and space, keep this in mind before purchase. Since this is a long-term investment, be cautious of the attitude, behavior, and function your horse provides. American Quarter Horses, Arabians, Morgans, and Thoroughbreds are all common breeds for first-time owners because they’re generally calm, patient, and dexterous. Whether you’re training for equestrian sports, starting a dude ranch, or just want something larger than a cat or dog, these breeds work well.
Of course, unlike a dog or cat, you cannot keep a horse contained in your house. Simply, they’re too large and energetic to store in tight facilities. Therefore, it’s imperative you supply ample housing for you new animal. You have a couple options here. One, you may want to rent stable space if you cannot care for the animal yourself. Third-party stables provide food, shelter, and care for your horse at a set cost. Alternative, build your own stables. There are many tips for building a horse barn to keep in mind, like materials, location, number of stalls, air ventilation, and wash bay. Be sure to include these in your barn to ensure maximum coverage and protection.
Food and Nutrients Are a Must
If you go to any standard pet supply shop, they may or may not have horse feed on hand. Do your research to find local animal feed stores in your area. Contrary to popular belief, not all grasses, straw, or foods provide ample nutrients for your horse. For instance, hay is a common food choice but can damage their lungs and digestion. Instead, opt for grass, fruit, and horse vitamins so they have all the nutrients they need to live a healthy life. Keep fresh water on hand and be sure to never let your horse graze near toxic plants.
Exercise and Mobility
Of course, horses are large, majestic creatures that require much room to roam, sprint, trot, and graze. That’s why exercise and mobility are some of the most important things to know about owning a horse. Although horses spend a considerable amount of time in their stalls, it’s essential you provide your horse with the space they need to run around. Not everyone has this luxury. Find an open, horse-friendly environment that’s safe and natural. This environment should provide companionship, be clean, and fit the needs of your horse.