It’s not only humans that need to visit the doctor and dentist. In this post, we’ll walk you through horses’ needs when it comes to both day-to-day care and regular medical check-ups and other procedures.
General Horse Care
Like other animals, horses have certain basic requirements for food, water, and shelter. They need to receive enough nutritious food and have access to clean water and somewhere to escape the heat or rain.
Ideally, a horse enjoys the company of other horses and has enough space to walk and run around. As a minimum, it should receive daily exercise.
Horses also require daily grooming. Besides making sure that the horse looks its best, this process is a chance to check its skin for damage and remove dirt, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
Daily grooming should include picking the horse’s hooves to remove dirt and stones. During the winter and rainy periods, horses benefit from an antifungal solution every 1 to 2 weeks to prevent thrush.
Regular Medical Care
Horses should see a veterinarian for an exam at least once a year. If the animal is 20 years old or older, seeing a vet at least twice a year is a good idea.
Horses require regular vaccines for diseases like tetanus and also, potentially, shots specific to their situation or region. It’s best to let a veterinarian or other trained individual give the vaccines.
Interestingly, foals enjoy the benefits of their mother’s vaccinations for up to 6 months after birth. To obtain this protection against diseases, the foal must drink its mother’s antibody-rich colostrum milk within its first 6 hours of life.
Horses should receive a dental check-up at least once a year, or more often if they’re young, elderly, or eat grain. Their teeth tend to wear down unevenly, leaving sharp edges that become uncomfortable unless a vet trims them.
Other Routine Horse Care
It’s not just a horse’s teeth that need trimming. Have a farrier or vet trim its hooves approximately every 6 weeks. Horseshoes may be a good idea if the animal will be walking on hard surfaces or has tender feet or other hoof issues or is lame.
Horses, especially young ones, often have issues with intestinal parasites like worms that they pick up while grazing or licking their body. It’s important to apply a deworming paste to a horse every 4 to 8 weeks or give it daily dewormer in its feed.
Flies and ticks can also bother a horse and even cause infections. Checking for nuisance insects is part of routine horse care. Thankfully, a variety of lotions and sprays are on the market to protect horses against these pests.
Did you get a better sense of the necessary steps for looking after a horse? Let us know in the comments!
Hello, My name is Shelby Gatti, and I am the owner of Shelby Ranch. I love being able to share my passion for animals with you and your family. At Shelby Ranch you can expect a ton of family adventure from horseback riding to mechanical bull riding & axe throwing.