Owning a horse is not like owning a dog or a cat or any other pet. It takes a lot more responsibility to own and take care of a horse than the other usual types of pet. The biggest reason why owning a horse is a lot more complicated than taking care of a dog or a cat is because it is larger than those animals. It also requires more care and attention. They need that both for medical reasons and for grooming.
Then there is the cost. That’s the biggest reason why taking care of horses is not a very common thing today. The animal itself can cost a small fortune depending on the type and taking care of them is never cheap as well. Aside from their food you have to buy equipment, provide shelter and proper training. Despite the fact that taking care of horses is never a cheap activity there are still a lot of people who are going out of there way to get horses.
Horses as Pets- There are several reasons why a person would want to own a horse. First of all they are still used in some farms as livestock. Then there are those who value them as racehorses and for breeding. Finally there are those who just want them as pets.
Picking the Right Horse- You are probably aware about all the things concerning the cost of buying and keeping a horse. Still if you want to try it out then here are a few tips that can come in handy in picking the right horse for your needs:
Riding Style- If you want to own a horse, chances are you want to ride on it. So you have to decide on the kind of riding style that you want to try and use. You can base the type of horse that you are going to get from that. If you are not aware about the riding style that you want then that just means you need more research.
Test Ride- This is something that you really have to do if you are planning on riding that horse of yours. This is the only way that you can tell if the conditioning of a horse or its temperament is suited for you.
Appearance- Many horse owners do not pay attention to a horse’s appearance since they consider its performance as the important thing. If you want to show it off then you can try to pick one with your favorite color and then check if it has the right temperament.
Horses for Children- If you are planning on buying a horse for your kids then you can try to look for one that has been outgrown by another child. That is one way to ensure that the horse is used to handling by children and to having kids around petting it all the time.
Breeds- There are different horse breeds that are available. Some of these include Appaloosas, Quarter Horses, Warm bloods, Welsh ponies and Stock Horses. Each breed has its own unique characteristic which can make them suitable for certain disciplines or poor choices for others.
Basic Horse Care- Owning a horse is a huge jump from just occasionally riding them. If you do not have enough space in your property where you can keep your horse then you need to pay a facility where they can be kept at a stable. If you are the one doing all the horse care then there are a couple of things that you should know about it.
1. Horses need a lot of exercise and you should never forget to give that to them. A daily walk is necessary and you have to ride them often enough so that their training can continue.
2. After riding your horse and even before you need to check your horses hoof and be sure that there is nothing stuck there which can cause injury.
3. During the colder months you have to provide a rug for them to keep them warm and safe. Their own body heat might not be enough.
4. They regular checkups from the vet even if they are not showing any signs of sickness.
Horses and Treats- In training a horse we usually resort to treats or rewards in order to reinforce the lessons that they should have picked up. The use of rewards is not unique to horses but horse training and the use of treats goes a long way back. This method of training has raised some controversy. There are some experts who disagree with its use and there are those who advocate it. The treats or the rewards by themselves are not harmful or negative. It is the way that they are used which can make them harmful or negative to a horse. Personally I recommend its use if the horse owner knows the right moments when to use it. It can be a powerful reinforcing tool when it comes to training.
Homemade Treat Recipes- We have mentioned that it is really not the treats, but the way that they are used which plays a powerful role in the training of a horse. That does not mean however that you should just give anything that’s sweet as a treat to your horse. You still have to consider their content and the way they are made. Here are some special homemade recipes that you can use for your horse:
Molasses Cookies- You horse will love the flavor and the crunchiness of this treat. Another added benefit is that it is easy to store this treat, you can keep it well in an airtight container.
• 1 cup molasses
• 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
• 1 cup bran
• 1 cup grated carrot or apple
Preparation- Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure that it does not end up being too wet. The solution should still stick together. Keep on adding flour until you have the consistency that you desire. Drop potions of the mixture on cookie sheets that have been oiled. Using a glass dipped in sugar stamp the mixtures in the sheet to flatten them. Bake it for about ten minutes.
Carrot Apple Cakes- This is a healthy alternative for all the sweet treats that are normally given to horses.
Ingredients- 1 carrot
• 1 cup molasses
• 2 Tablespoons oil
• 2 1/4 cups oats
Preperation- You can start by preheating your oven to 300 degrees. Then start grating the carrots and the apples that you are going to use. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and then place on a baking tray. Bake for about 40 minutes or until you get a golden brown color. Let it cool down for 4 hours.
Apple and Oat Chewies- Your horse would love chewing on this sweet treat made from their favorite fruit.
Ingredients- 1 1/4cups unsweetened apple sauce
• 1 cup oat bran cereal or ground oatmeal
• 1/2 cup all purpose flour
Preperation- You can start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Start oiling a baking pan. Mix all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and then pour on the baking pan. You can bake it for about 20 minutes or you can wait until it seems firm when touched.