Many horse owners up and down the country want their horses to live the best life possible and for good reason. After all, horses not only provide psychological happiness for people, but they can in fact provide many physiological benefits too. Some advantages include building core strength, burning calories and drastically improving your cardiovascular health. With this in mind, we have detailed 5 tips on how to improve the welfare of your horse which can be detailed below.
Regular Teeth Care
Firstly, your horse’s dental hygiene is massively important. More than you care to think. This is because if your beloved horse doesn’t have the capabilities to properly chew food, it can result in malnutrition, weight loss and intense abdominal pains. As a horse chews grains and grass, their teeth continually wear down. It’s natural. But failure to enforce proper dental hygiene practices and regular check-ups can result in your horse wearing away as much as 1.5 inches of their teeth. Furthermore, individual teeth can develop sharp points, and molars can become misaligned, making chewing painful or impossible for an older animal. As such, taking care of your horse’s teeth is a great way to make sure they are living the best life possible.
Another method to further improve the wellbeing of your horse, is to mentally stimulate them. Just as us humans do, we need something stimulating in order to improve our happiness and overall emotional health. Thankfully, horses are not necessarily as complex as humans and can be likened to a friendly dog in order to satisfy them. For example, horse toys, new training equipment, cones or even tug ropes are excellent additions for your horse and will improve their wellbeing drastically. You can even try incorporating a treat ball to which can reward your horse for their hard efforts.
Adequate Riding Surface
Having a suitable riding surface when you decide to train your horse will work absolute wonders for their wellbeing. This is because the arena surface impacts your horse’s athletic potential, comfort and health. A properly fitted surface can be incredibly beneficial to your horse’s tendons and ligaments whereas on the flip side, a poorly fitted surface can cause severe injury to your horse. Can you imagine practising a show jumping routine on an unforgiving, hard surface? This spells a recipe for disaster for your horse and will no doubt cause you to take a trip to the vets. As a result, choosing a suitable arena surface is critical if you want your companion to be healthy for a long period of time.
As a side note, you can even incorporate horse arena additives such as equestrian rubber chippings to help with your riding arena surface even further and provide a more comfortable, shock absorbing surface for your horse when landing.
High Quality Food
Feeding your beloved horse with high quality hay and feeds, as well as making sure you are providing them with the right supplements, will drastically improve their wellbeing. Fundamentally, the vitamins and minerals consumed by your horse are the life-support system and as such, it should be taken very seriously. In addition, providing high quality food can also save you a fortune in the long run as there will be less of a need to visit the vet unexpectedly. Just like humans, nutritious foods will help support a healthy immune system, which can prevent illness and diseases, and will help your horse live longer than a malnourished one.
However, it is important to understand that your horse’s nutritional needs depend largely on their lifestyle. For example, an adolescent horse requires a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, protein and other nutrients than a senior horse. Furthermore, a highly active and athletic senior horse will require more high quality foods than a recreational horse so this is something to bear in mind.
Regular Vet Visits
The next tip on this list in order to greatly enhance your horse’s well-being is to schedule regular vet visits, ideally once every year. Although you may think your horse is in superb condition, a vet has the ability to find out about hidden problems before it becomes a major issue. For instance, the vet can understand if your horse is suffering from painful underlying conditions like Laminitis, which mostly affects the hooves. The best part is that he (the vet) can provide a laminitis cure that can help reduce the pain and heal your friend as soon as possible.
Not to mention, regular vet visits can prevent your horse from experiencing signs of discomfort and will save you a fortune if you can spot problems as they arise. As a side note, it is advised that horses older than 20 years old should see their veterinarian at least twice a year or more because illness is more common in older animals and can be identified much sooner.