Owning a horse is one of the most rewarding and pleasurable experiences in life. These amazing creatures offer companionship, love and trust in addition to the enjoyment of riding and experiencing the great outdoors. However there is a great deal of responsibility and effort required to owning a horse much more than just offering them a field and a stable. In addition to the daily chores of mucking out, turning out, and pasture management, there is also regular grooming, feeding, shoeing, inoculations and worming to consider.
Before You Look
Before you start to browse the many internet sites for your perfect horse, do some research first. How are you going to keep your horse, in livery or at home? If you are going to stable your horse at a livery yard, ring round local stables and ask to go and see their facilities.
If you are going to keep your horse at home, ensure that you have prepared a suitable paddock, which is securely fenced, has natural shelter and a source of water. You may also want to consider the need for a stable or field shelter. Although it is true that many horses can and do live out in both the summer and winter months, there are some times when you need to put them in a warm place, for example in bad weather, or if your horse gets an injury and requires box rest.
Choose Your Horse Carefully
Don’t buy the first horse you see (unless you really fall in love with it). When you go to view a potential horse, although it is extremely important to put it through its paces in the school, don’t overlook other aspects of the horse, such as its health. For a relatively small fee, you can have a ‘vetting’ completed by an Equine Vet, which will uncover any potential health problems. In addition to a vetting, ask the current owners plenty of questions about their current care strategy. When did they last have dental care? What worming programme to they follow? Etc.
Bringing Your New Horse Home
When you bring the horse home for the first time, put them in the stable and let them relax after having travelled in a tight space in the horsebox; it is imperative that you give them time to rest, recuperate and to get comfortable with their new surroundings. After a day you can then release them into their field and let him or her have a good look around. Remember this is a potentially stressful time for your horse, so don’t overdo it just yet even though you are probably dying to hop on and go riding into the sunset.
The best way to bond with your horse during the first week is to spend time grooming it. Horses are herd animals, and love to be groomed so use this is an opportunity to get to know your horse and them to get to know you.
It may be a good idea to speak to your local equine vet and discuss implementing a suitable care plan for your horse. One of the most important health issues with a new horse is worming. When a horse is moved to a new yard or home you should worm them with a good broad spectrum wormer such as Equest Pramox Horse Wormer. Despite where your horse it up to with its existing worming programme, it is advisable to use Equest Pramox as your horse is more vulnerable to a worm infection when moving to new surroundings. You should then discuss with your vet or a trained SQP (our staff) about a suitable long term worming programme. Worming programmes involve more than just using an oral wormer every 8 weeks, and can be tailored specifically to your horse, so you can keep them in the best of health.