Looking After a Horse For Beginners
We all have to start somewhere and for some, they have friends and family who can pass down their knowledge for others there are blog posts like this one and Youtube videos.
Looking after a horse is such a rewarding experience but it’s also hard work.
Usually, beginners start off sharing or loaning a horse and it’s a good stepping stone to getting your own horse.
Perhaps you’ve decided to stable your horse some of the time. If so then the stable should be large enough for your horse to feel comfortable and if it has a roll around it won’t get stuck.
The stable should be clean and daily bed management will be required. If your horse is extremely messy then you could be mucking out and making a new bed every day. If you’re lucky, then removing solid waste daily and covering the wet waste until you need to do a full muck out would be ok. Always have a good sweep out and then lay a nice new bed for your horse. Choose from straw, newspaper or shavings for its bed; if your horse has allergies then newspaper might be a good option.
Horses are happier turned out but there are things to consider like a shelter from all weathers, strong fences, slippery ground, checking the water doesn’t ice over and field maintenance.
If your horse is clipped then you’ll probably want to buy a good turnout rug. If your horse is part stabled and partly turned out then a lighter stable rug will also be needed. On top of that, you’ll probably want a spare horse rug for when the other ones need washing or if it gets damaged.
If you’re not sure what rug to get then check out “what horse rug is best?”
You are responsible for your horse’s weight and for it getting the right nutrition, it’s an important job. The amount of food you give your horse will depend on the amount of grazing it does, the amount of exercise it does, its health and its current weight. You may find that your horse could benefit with some supplements so always have a chat to an equine nutritionist if you’re not sure.
You must always make sure that your horse has access to fresh, clean water.
Get yourself a good basic grooming kit to start with.
In your kit have a body brush, a dandy brush, a curry comb, a mane and tail brush & comb, as well as some sponges.
Always have a separate face brush for your horse face, use a smaller, softer brush so it's comfortable for your horse.
Your horse will require shoes regularly so find out who is the recommended local farrier.
Make sure to try the farrier out, check that they turn up on time, and is confident with your horse.
On their first visit, the farrier will check your horse standing in its current shoes, your horse will then be walked and trotted out to check for any abnormalities of action.