When I get a horse what are the horse care basic needs?

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Answered by: Cathy, An Expert in the Basic Horse Care Category
Owning a horse is a large responsibility. Your horse care basic needs are things you have to provide for him or her on a daily basis. You have to provide a place for the horse to get out of bad weather, provide hay and grain, fresh water and a place to exercise. You also need to be prepared to take the horse to a vet if any illnesses come up, which may require a truck and trailer purchase.

The Horse

A horse can be bought for as little as $100 at a horse auction. Or if they are high blooded and trained in a special area, they can go for more than $100,000. It depends on what you are looking for in the horse you buy. A median price for a trained and registered quarter horse would be around $500 to $3500, depending on training and bloodline.

The Tack

Saddles should be considered carefully. You want to buy a saddle that not only fits your horse, but also fits you. Saddles are an area where the prices vary greatly, depending on the brand of saddle. If you look at online sites that feature ads for used saddles, you may find a used saddle for as little as $200. While a custom-made saddle can be very pricey at around $3,000 to $4,000. Bridles, blankets, saddle pads, grooming brushes and curry combs, hoof picks, halters and lead ropes are all needed as well.

The Food

The cost of food depends considerably on what you feed your horse. Alfalfa hay can be fed as a complete meal for your horse. But in recent years the price of alfalfa hay has increased. A small (125 lbs.) bale can go for as much as $15. And since a horse will need to eat around 1/5 of a bale per day, this can become an expense in itself. You can decide to supplement your hay with grain, which can be generally any grain – corn, barley, oats, etc. Look around your area for local farmers who grow grains to get a good price on these feed options. You also have to buy containers for them to eat and drink from. Depending on the weather, you may need to look into buying automatic watering and/or heaters to keep water from freezing in winter time.

Medicines and Vet Checks

Your horse will need to be de-wormed at least 3 times a year. This can be done by buying tubes of de-wormer. It’s a good idea to change types of de-wormer for each time you use it. Follow the directions on the tube. De-wormer costs around $10 to $15 a tube. Always have some antiseptic salve and bandages around in case your horse gets scraped or cut. You may decide to have your horse shod or not, it depends on the terrain around where you live or keep your horse. Farriers charge around $100 a horse to put shoes on them, and they will need to be refitted with new shoes every three to four months. A vet may be necessary when there is some sort of emergency. It’s a good idea to have the vets phone number handy so you won’t have to look it up.

Horses are smart and make wonderful companions. So you always want to take care of your horse care basic needs as well as you can in order to have a happy and healthy horse.

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