Once you've selected a horse that will suit your personality, experience and competetive ambitions, if any, you are ready to embark on the joys of horse ownership!
There is so much to know about horses and their care that it's very wise to read all you can before taking that big step. This whole Web site has been designed as a Guide to information for horse owners and, as such, has links to a wealth of information and articles that will be of use to you, now and in the future.
Every sphere has its own "lingo" and in order to be able to converse knowledgeably with other horse owners, your vet, farrier and other equine professionals, you'll need to know these equine terms and the names and appearances of the wide range of colors and markings.
Even owners planning to keep their horse at a full care facility should familiarize themselves with the principles of equine nutrition.
Horses are grazers who, in a natural environment, will spend their days grazing more or less constantly. When horses are kept in a stall and are fed one or two meals of concentrated feeds and grains, digestive problems such as colic are likely to occur.
By following these basic tenets, which are aimed at keeping small amounts of feed in the digestive tract at all times, much as in nature, the risk of stomach upsets is decreased:
- Feed hay before grain - a bored and hungry horse is likely to quickly gulp down his grain. Feeding hay first will give him something to do and to take the edge of his hunger. When his grain is presented, he will be more likely to eat slowly and digest his feed properly, decreasing the chance of a colic.
- Feed little and often - to approximate the horse's natural tendancy to graze constantly, presenting the grain in three or four small feeds per day, instead of one large one, will lessen the chance of colic by allowing the gut to maintain constant levels of the bacteria needed to digest food.
If your horse is a youngster or is elderly, you should be familiar with their special nutritional needs.
The subject of Equine Health Care, and especially First Aid is one is which all horse owners are constantly learning. New owners need to learn how to evaluate their horse's vital signs, and learn what is normal for their horse, so they can quickly and easily tell when something is amiss. Maintaining a regular de-worming schedule is vital to their well-being, as are regular and appropriate vaccinations.