How do I learn horse care for beginners?

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Answered by: Angela, An Expert in the Basic Horse Care Category
Many new horse owners are overwhelmed at all the information available in regards to caring for your pet. While all this is good to know, there are some fundamental basics that will get you on your way to being a great horse owner.

When you first purchase your horse and bring it to its new home, there will be an adjustment period for you both. Remember that your new equine friend is feeling vulnerable and therefore on guard as it learns its new surroundings and owners. Much like a newborn babies nature and temperament isn't the same at day one as it will be at a year, the same can be said for your horse. You must get to know each other, learn about quirks and character traits. Once trust is established on both sides, you will begin a lifelong bond that can't be broken.

While you are getting to know each other, there is basic horse care for beginners that you need to familiarize yourself with to be sure that your animal is getting the best care possible.

The first thing to consider is what your equine will eat. There are numerous options here. If you are purchasing an adult horse, it is best to try to keep their diet the same as it has been to avoid stomach issues. If you are raising a foal ( newborn horse) the choice is really yours. Most horses live from grass and grains. There are numerous types of prepackaged horse food available at several different price points. Hay, pellets, supplements and treats should be discussed with your veterinarian. Horses also need constant access to clean drinking water.

Grooming is an important and critical part of caring for your four-legged friend. Horses require constant care of their coats, teeth and especially their feet.

It is recommended that you brush your horse regularly with several types of crushes. These are available online and at your local feed store. You can find names and purposes of these brushes on the web

Horses require regular dental check ups just like adults. Their teeth provide a vast array of information from how well their diet is to revealing their approximate age. Equines will need to have their teeth "floated" often to ensure proper dental health.

Feet are imperative when discussing overall basic horse care for beginners. You will want to have a highly recommended farrier ( a professional trained in caring for horse hooves) on speed dial. It is not recommended that beginners try to handle a horses feet until they have been trained to do so.

For optimal health, equines should have their hooves "picked out" regularly. This is done with a special tool designed to remove dirt and waste from the soft underside. Doing this requires holding the leg up and resting the foot on your lap. An untrained person could be hurt very easily doing this so please make sure to be taught how to do this by a professional before attempting it. There are many problems horses can experience with their feet and a good number of these can be life threatening. It is necessary to learn about care of them and knowing warning signs that warrant a call to your vet or farrier. It is also your decision whether or not to "shoe" your horse. Your farrier can advise on if this is necessary based on what you will be using your equine for.

Horses require a ton of maintenance, time and money. If you are willing to give all that, you will gain a life long friend.

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