Even routine horse care is a
significant and ongoing expense. The cost of purchasing a
horse is often much less than the cost
of maintaining one for a year.
Make sure you are realistic about your ability to afford quality care
before you buy a horse.
Equine Vet Service can aid you in your regular
veterinarian check ups, start your horse on
vaccination and deworming programs, do yearly dental exams and help you to maintain
a healthy horse.
Horses need a regular supply of food.
In most cases, they need to have hay or pasture throughout the day,
with additional grain feedings twice a day.
An average-size horse will eat about 20 lbs. of food,
(hay, grass and grain combined) a day and drink at
eight gallons of water.
Because their stomachs are relatively small and their digestive systems
surprisingly delicate, ideally
horses need to nibble or graze throughout the day, rather than have one
or two meals a day.
Horses need regular hoof care. Plan
to hire a farrier (blacksmith) every six to eight weeks for routine
Horses need regular veterinary care.
Horses need to be vaccinated against
tetanus and other diseases.
The veterinarian will also provide routine dental care. Keep in mind
that medical emergencies,
which are always an unfortunate possibility, can cost several thousand
dollars to treat.
Since horses are constantly exposed
to intestinal worms from the ground they graze on,
they must be dewormed every six to eight weeks. Carrying a heavy burden
of worms can cause
serious illness or death in equines, so regular and timely treatment is
crucial to your horse's health.
We also recommend tube worming in the late fall and
Horses need constant access to a dry,
safe, comfortable shelter to protect them from rain, wind, and snow.
In warm and sunny weather, the shelter you supply will provide your
horse with much needed shade.
At a minimum, you should have a well-constructed, three-sided shed into
which your horse can
retreat at all times. You will need to remove manure from the stall or shelter every day.
Horses need exercise. To supplement
the exercise your horse will get when you ride him,
he should have a paddock or pasture in which to relax and stroll.
No horse should spend all day confined in a stall, except on a
The pasture should be bordered by safe, sturdy fencing that will keep
the horse safe and secure.
Barbed wire is not an acceptable fencing material—it has been the cause
of many serious injuries.
Health Care Essentials
Keep up to date with vaccinations.
Follow a suitable worming program.
Have your horses teeth checked
Feed regularly and according to
Have a farrier attend regularly to
your horses feet.
Get to know your horse and
what is normal for him on a day to day basis.
1. The horse is bright and alert
with ears pricked and taking interest in his surroundings.
2. The coat is smooth and shiny
and lying flat over the body
3. Eyes and nose our free of any
4. Limbs are free of any heat and
5. Stands squarely on all four
6. Eating up well and chewing
should resemble damp balls that break up when hitting the
ground and will vary in color
slightly depending on diet.
The normal temperature for a horse is 37-38°C or 99-100.5°F
Pulse: The normal
pulse rate for a resting horse is 36 to 42 beats per minute.
stock and ponies tend to be a bit faster.
normal respiration for a resting horse is 8 to 15 breaths per
Your horse depends on your love,
care, and commitment.
You'll show your love through grooming, petting, riding, and the
You must also show your commitment by providing for her needs 365 days a
year, in good weather and bad.
With good care, your horse can live 35 years or more, so plan to enjoy a
long and mutually
rewarding relationship with your horse.