Horses and ponies come in various sizes, shapes, and temperaments. And, even though their working lives (during which they may be ridden or driven) are somewhat shorter, they can survive well into their thirties or later. they are estimated to number between 600,000 and a million in the United Kingdom.
We are maintaining the health and happiness of horses and ponies
Possessing and caring for a horse or pony is a tremendous amount of joy and extremely rewarding. However, it comes with a great deal of responsibility and a long-term commitment to care, hard labor, and financial resources.
Since every horse and pony and environment are unique, there is no “ideal” technique to care for them all. Your horse or pony’s health, happiness, and longevity are entirely up to you; however, by reading through our expert advice, you can increase the chances of having a long, healthy, and happy life.
Horse behavior is described in detail in the next section
- Horses must be allowed to gallop freely in a paddock as often as possible and for as long as possible, preferably in the company of other’s, to thrive.
- Consider learning about your horse’s learning style so that you can train him humanely and effectively. Make sure to utilize training aids that your horse understands and apply them, in the same manner every time.
- they can be educated using positive reinforcement and reward-based techniques. Make no physical contact with or reprimand your horse since the dread of punishment can drive a horse to become aggressive or develop behavior problems.
- Take the time to get to know your horse’s typical behavior. You must get quick consultation from an equine specialist veterinarian if your horse begins to exhibit odd behavior or if its behavior diverges from its normal behavior. Your horse could be ill or in pain.
- Anti-cribbing collars, anti-weaving grilles, and other devices that aim to prevent the performance of deviant behavior should not be used. The use of these gadgets may result in further welfare issues. Instead, seek guidance on dealing with underlying issues such as stress, solitude, and boredom.
Horse health and welfare are extremely important
Make certain that your horse or pony is free of pain, suffering, injury, and sickness by following these guidelines.
- Keep an eye out on your horse for symptoms of injury or disease daily. If you’re not there, make sure someone else does it.
- If you have any reason to believe that your horse is in pain, ill, or injured, seek veterinary assistance. A change in the way a horse acts can be a warning indication of an underlying problem.
- Maintain your horse’s health by regularly worming and vaccinating him against equine influenza and tetanus. You could also think about getting vaccinated against the equine herpes virus.
- Learn to identify lameness in others. If your horse becomes lame, it should not be worked, and you should consult with a veterinarian immediately.
- Daily inspection of the hooves, especially the underside of the foot, is recommended. Hooves that are overgrown or out of balance can cause considerable discomfort and harm the internal anatomy of the feet, legs, and lower back.
- Even if your horse is not shod, it is recommended that you have him checked up by a farrier who is registered with the Farriers’ Registration Council every four to six weeks.
- Horses’ teeth are constantly erupting through their gum tissue. They are prone to developing hooks and sharp edges that can cause severe injuries within the mouth when they grow up. At the very least, have them checked by an equine veterinarian or a certified equine dental technician every year.
they require a nutritious diet
Make certain that your horse or pony gets a portion of nutritious food, as well as constant access to fresh water and as much grazing opportunity as is practical. they may still require additional hard feed and forage to maintain their proper body weight. If your horse’s food habits alter, call your veterinarian since your horse may be suffering from a medical condition.
Grazing and pastures are important
they must have constant access to fresh, clean water, and they must be given as much grazing space as is reasonably possible. It is good to have access at all times. They are more likely to develop digestive issues and stomach ulcers if they do not take it. Not all pastures are nutritionally appropriate, and many will be excessively calorie-dense as well.
When maintaining good body weight, they may require additional hard feed and forage, particularly throughout the late autumn and early spring. Remove ragwort, yew, and other hazardous plants, bushes, and trees from paddocks and other pastures. Whether the plants are alive or dead, toxic plants must be completely removed from the area and placed securely.
Forage helps to alleviate digestive issues
Eating diets low in forage and high in concentrates (hard feeds such as cubes or grains) increases horses’ risk of developing digestive issues. they kept in stables should be provided with ample fodder. they should only be fed high-quality grass and free of mold and dust.
Dietary and lifestyle modifications
Increased or decreased work, mobility on and off pasture, pregnancy, lactation, and old age are all factors that will demand adjustments to your horse’s diet as their lifestyle changes. You can seek advice from an equestrian nutritionist or an equine veterinarian.
Changes in a horse’s nutrition that occur too quickly can result in disease. To make any dietary modifications, they must be introduced gradually, over around two weeks. they must only be fed diets that are specifically formulated for them . They should not be given grass clippings or access to significant amounts of fermentable foods such as apples because they can be dangerous if given these substances.
Obesity and laminitis are linked
they should not be permitted to evolve overweight. Horses and ponies that are overweight are more likely to develop laminitis, a painful foot disorder that affects the soles of the feet. Feeding on lush spring and autumn grasses is typical of developing laminitis. Consult your veterinarian about the likelihood of your horse getting laminitis and what you can do to help lessen that likelihood.
It is quite risky to feed other people’s horses
It’s wonderful to see them when you’re out and about, and people are always eager to contact them. One thing we do want the public to be aware of, however, is that they should never feed a horse without the owner’s permission. Horses may be on specialized diets to treat laminitis or obesity. Food that appears harmless to the general public can be quite harmful to horses when consumed.
Even foods that are considered safe for horses can be dangerous if they are not cooked properly, as they can develop clogs in the horse’s throat, resulting in the horse choking to death. Horse owners are well aware of this. More information regarding the dangers of feeding other people’s houses without their permission can be found at the British Horse Society website. There are also other tools available for horse owners and landowners, including free downloadable signage that can be used on their property.