Whether you are a first-time horse owner or a seasoned professional, it is always best to brush up on your care skills. Proper care of one of these beautiful animals takes time, patience, and a lot of love! You will find every tip and piece of knowledge you need here in this article to make sure your pony is happy and healthy. Read on to find out more…
All horses require grooming, but it is not necessarily the same for every animal. Brushing is essential and should be done daily. You will need both a harder and a softer brush. The professionals at Le-Mieux recommend using a hard brush first, brushing in circular motions to remove any dirt from the horse’s coat. You should start at the neck and work down the body towards the horse’s tail. Repeat this with a soft brush afterward.
After this, you can use a wide-toothed comb to brush the horse’s mane and tail. Work through the hair in sections and be sure to be gentle while untangling, much like you would with your own hair. Pulling on the horse’s hair without having a grip higher up can cause pain and discomfort, and lead to your horse jumping, kicking, or biting. Essentially, look after their hair with as much care as you would your own.
Checking Your Animal’s Body
Make sure you also visually check for any cuts or scrapes when grooming. If the horse has any superficial damage to their skin you should treat it promptly with adequate first aid tools. You should always have a stocked up kit of gauzes, self-adhesive bandages, cotton buds, antiseptic creams, and scissors. Their face, eyes, and teeth should also be checked over daily for any signs of irritation or infection.
Food And Water
Food and water should be provided, fresh, daily. Water should be replaced daily and the trough cleaned weekly. Horses like to drink throughout the day much like a dog or a cat, so always keep the water topped up and never let it run dry.
Food should also be changed daily. In the unlikely event your horse has left any food from the day before, you should always make sure you remove it. The food you provide should have adequate nutrition. If the horse’s main diet is hay, be sure to feed them approximately three percent of their body weight each day.
Every day at least once you should check your horse’s feet for any signs of deterioration. You should clean the hooves with a sponge and brush, and check for bruises, cuts, or loose shoes. Cracks in the hoof are extremely important as they can cause major discomfort to a horse and lead to serious infections. If there is any sign of infection you should speak to a veterinarian straight away for advice or a consultation. You should have a farrier visit every 6 weeks to check the horse’s shoes are set properly, and replace them if necessary.
At least once a week you should replace all the horse’s bedding. It is good practice to have plenty on hand, maybe a month’s worth. This way if there are any accidents, spillages, or other nasty events, you can quickly change for fresh bedding. Check the horse’s box or stable for any damage that could in turn hurt your horse. Loose splintered wood for example could cause splinters and infections on your horse’s body. On this note, you should also check all fences or other perimeters in your horse’s environment. The last thing you need is a broken fence panel leading to an escaped friend! Finally, you should ensure manure is cleared out at least once a week. Any longer than this and you are inviting flies and other creatures to move into your horse’s home.
The most commonly given medication for a stabled horse is a worming tablet or treatment. These come in many forms. Some are a daily dose added to food or water, whereas others are skin treatments or tablets given every 4 to 6 weeks. Make sure you know the schedule for this medication and stick to it. There will also be a variety of yearly vaccinations which are recommended to all horses. You should have your vet visit yearly to administer these vaccines and check for any other requirements, injuries, or diseases.
So there you have a guide with all the essentials for caring for your pony. Be organized and prepared, and make sure all of the required food, bedding, and medications are always on hand for immediate use when required. Most of all, remember to treat your animal with love and care. By doing so you will certainly have a happy, healthy horse, who will love you back as much as you love them!