You don't need to keep your horse in a immaculate stable to give them basic care, but there are a few things you should know to keep your horse happy and healthy. There are a few horse care basics you need to know.
You will need a shelter, whether it be a stall inside a barn, or a run in out in the pasture to protect your horse from the heat in the summer, and the cold in the winter. You will need safe fencing, such as wooden or plastic, surrounding the perimeter of the pasture. Your horse should always have unlimited access to salt/mineral blocks and fresh water, and let's not forget a good quality hay! Grass is not enough for a proper nutrition. Most horses will also need supplemental feeding of grain and fodder mixtures. You can quickly over feed horses. As a result, some horses will have to be put on a restricted diet.
Your horses hooves grow like our fingernails, and therefor need to be maintained. Otherwise, it could get very uncomfortable for them to walk, as you can imagine. As a result, your horse should see a farrier every six weeks. They will trim down their hooves and put shoes on the horses feet if you wish. If you do not know if your horse needs shoes, talk to your farrier and ask them all the questions you might have, and tell them any concerns you have noticed from inspecting your horses hooves.
Your horse also needs to see a veterinarian annually for their basic core of vaccinations including, but not limited to, rabies, tetanus, and equine influenza. Every three months, your horse will need to get a dewormer, which does not have to be given by your veterinarian and can be purchased at your local feed and farm supply store.
Grooming is an excellent way to check over and inspect every inch of your horses body. You will want to look for ticks, open cuts, and anything out of the ordinary. There are a few things you will need to groom your horse:
A curry comb- which gets the dried on dirt off easily.
A body brush- which is to be used all over the body, including legs. This gets the dust off of their coat.
A mane and tail comb- to get the knots out, using a leave in conditioner will get out the harder knots.
A soft bristled finishing brush- leaves a silky shine to their body.
A hoof pick- gets the dirt and grime out of their feet.
A sponge or soft cloth for the sensitive areas- to wash their eyes and face with.
All of these items can be purchased at your local tack shop. While grooming your horse, use this time to show your horse love and affection. Gently rub their head and their ears, and talk to them in a warm, loving voice. You could even give them some very special treats such as apples, carrots, or dried pineapple!
Good horse care means having a happy, healthy and well balanced horse. Provide a safe and clean environment, be certain that you fully understand and know your horse to make sure all of their needs are met. You are the only thing that your horse has, so be a good one! And remember, horse care basics is JUST the basics, continue researching! Owning and caring for your horse is alot of work, but with strength and determination, you and your horse can accomplish anything together!