Whether you are an experienced horse owner or are looking to buy your very first, there is a lot of preparation required. With a lot of responsibility to keep your horse healthy, comfortable and happy, having an understanding of their needs and doing your bit to adhere to these will ensure you are able to provide the level of care they require. As well as buying all the necessary equipment and goods, you need to be certain that you can commit the time to their care, visiting them at least twice a day and building up that all important bond. To help you get a top-level understanding of the key aspects to consider before your new horse arrives, we’ve pulled together some of the basic essentials that you will need to have at the ready.
Maintaining a comfortable temperature
To ensure your horse stays warm and dry all year round, appropriate rugs will be needed depending on their age, lifestyle, living conditions and health. For a particularly versatile option, turnout rugs can be used throughout the milder months and are ideal for horses who spend their days outdoors, protecting them from the dirt and rain whilst allowing the skin to breathe. For colder months, a thicker fleece rug with waterproof properties will help retain their body heat so they can stay comfortable in the chilly weather.
Establish a healthy diet
There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to horse feed, and their nutritional needs will vary depending on body weight, health and levels of activity. Their daily feed should provide them with the necessary nutrition and they should have constant access to hay or pasture for grazing. As well as their feed, your horse should have continuous access to clean, fresh water which should be changed on a daily basis and topped up when needed. We recommend using metal or plastic containers as they are easy to clean and move when filling.
Keep a clean and tidy coat
A horse’s body will naturally grow a longer coat if it needs to stay warm, but many horse owners opt to rug their horse as this makes the coat much more manageable. Regular grooming with a body brush, main comb and horse shampoo will ensure that excess hair is removed and the coat is kept clean and tidy, removing any dirt that has been picked up. As well as keeping your horse looking their best, grooming is an important opportunity to spot any sores, wounds or health concerns which may been checking on.
Ride with safety in mind
Whether you and your horse attend major races or you prefer to enjoy a leisurely ride around the local area, ensure you have the necessary equipment to do so. The safety of yourself and your horse is paramount, so avoid cutting corners and implement the necessary safety gear. For yourself, a helmet, body protection and high visibility clothing should be used and find the necessary tack for your horse, including a saddle, saddle pad, bridle and stirrups.