How to Care for Your Horse

mailife - - Contents - Ar­ti­cle Sup­plied by AN­I­MALS FIJI

By pro­vid­ing for a horse’s needs 365 days a year, in good weather and bad, your horses can live 35 years or more. We re­quire horses to work hard for us when we ride them or use them to work on our farm. You can de­velop a very close con­nec­tion with your horse if show them re­spect and care for them prop­erly.

WATER

Your horse is a large land an­i­mal and re­quires a lot of water, in fact 30 – 50 litrs of water ev­ery day. Place a large clean tub or con­tainer where your horse can reach it and fill it with fresh water each day. Horses do not drink sea­wa­ter.

FOOD

Your horse can do well by eat­ing grass for food. An av­er­age-size horse will eat about 10kg of food a day. Some of a horse’s water re­quire­ments come from grass but if the grass is old or dry it can cause your horse to be very think and have lit­tle en­ergy. Horses must have good qual­ity grass. Horses oc­ca­sion­ally like to have treats like man­goes, paw­paws, co­conut, sugar cubes, ap­ple and car­rot pieces.

HEALTH

Your horses will be much eas­ier to han­dle and bet­ter able to work for you if it is healthy.

RAIN ROT:

Cause: Pro­longed wet­ting by rain, high hu­mid­ity and high tem­per­a­ture. Looks like: Starts as small lumps on the skin/hair and pro­gresses into mat­ted tufts of hair as well large scabs. Preven­tion: Do not share blan­kets/brushes/sad­dles be­tween horses Wash with fresh water Use dog sham­poo/anti-fun­gal sham­poo once ev­ery two weeks. Brush or towel down your horse ev­ery day

BACK SORES/SAD­DLE SORES

Cause: Poor fit­ting sad­dle or rid­ing blan­ket Looks like: Sores are nor­mally around the withers when the skin is thin and lit­tle fat or mus­cle cush­ions the area. Other hair­less patches or groups of white hairs ap­pear where the sad­dle and tack make con­tact with the horse. Preven­tion: Use a prop­erly fit­ted sad­dle Or ride bare­back or with just a soft blan­ket be­tween you and the horse If horse has sad­dle sores: Use tow­els for el­e­va­tion Sad­dle should not rest on wound. Keep flies away from wound

MOUTH SOREs

Cause: Your horse’sbit doesn’t fit its mouth or jaw. You are us­ing rope or chain as a bit, which is a bog No-No Looks like: Wound on the side of the mouth Preven­tion: Use rope hal­ter in­stead of rope bit or chain Take off bit when not rid­ing horse or when it is rest­ing.

HOOF CARE

Keep­ing your horse’s hooves clean will ben­e­fit not only its com­fort level but im­prove its per­for­mance too. Think of the hoof as one large fin­ger nail. Just as you can get thinks stuck un­der your nails that can cause pain, in­fec­tion a etc, the same can be said for hooves. Be­fore and af­ter each ride: clean your horse’s hooves. Brush off any dirt/mud. Use a hoof pick and work your way around the frog (the soft tri­an­gle in the cen­tre of the hoof)be gen­tle against the frog.

EX­ER­CISE

It is very im­por­tant that horses are able to walk and move around freely in a safe area away from the road. Horses need ex­er­cise. An adult horse needs to be rid­den at least 1 hour a day. Warm up, run and cool down. Do not tether horses on short ropes be­cause they will not be able to use their mus­cles prop­erly and they will lose their strength, be­come bored and de­pressed. If they are teth­ered, give them enough rope to move freely – min­i­mum of 20 me­tres. You need to at least a fist size amount be­tween rope and neck. Horses are so­cial an­i­mals and if there is more than one horse in a fenced field, they will ex­er­cise more.

(This ar­ti­cle was sup­plied by An­i­mals Fiji) Nadi Clinic - Ph: (+679) 670-1012 | Mob: (+679) 9936-647 / 9982-026 North­ern Out­reach Clin­ics (Savusavu, Labasa, Tave­uni) Mob: (+679) 998-6253/Lau­toka Out­reach Clinic Mob: (+679) 998-2026 Postal Ad­dress - PO Box 11035, Nadi Air­port, Fiji Web - www.an­i­mals­fiji.org Face­book - http://www.face­book.com/an­i­mals­fiji

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