Essential Care and Maintenance Requirements for Horses

two brown horses in the field near the fence

Taking care of horses is not just a hobby, nor is it like a having a pet. It is a vocation, and it stems from a love of horses. There are different kinds of horses. Some are racehorses, others are for work, and others are for leisure activities. Keeping them healthy requires the proper horse feed, especially in NZ.

Horse Care Essentials

A horse is like any other large animal and requires some specific care and maintenance. A horse needs to be fed and require plenty of good quality grass, hay or other roughage to keep them healthy. They may need about 1-2 kg of roughage, for every 100kg bodyweight. If there is not enough fresh grass, or if the horse is in poor or failing condition, or if he is working hard, he may require more supplementary feeding. It may also be necessary to provide a mineral block and a salt lick in the paddock additional nutrients.

Water is another essential to good health. A horse may require from 25 to 45 litres of clean water per day, and more during hot weather. A trough or a bathtub may be filled with water, allowing the horse to drink as needed. The water in the container should be checked every day and refilled when needed.

Living Space

A horse needs shelter. This is usually in a stable where the horse has a stall. This is protection against the elements, as well as from the heat, cold and precipitation. A paddock is also required. This is a controlled space large enough to allow a horse to run free.

The paddock has a fence around it, and the horse can move around as he wishes. Serving as an exercise space, it is recommended that the horse is not tethered for long periods of time. Care should be taken that there are no loose wires which can injure the horse.

Horse care and maintenance require time and effort. This is to ensure that the horse is healthy, and has his exercise space.