Newbie horse owner questions about the basics

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Newbie horse owner questions about the basics

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    07-17-2012, 05:12 PM
Newbie horse owner questions about the basics

Hi, I have not owned a horse in a while, I have been trying to get my 150 acre farm up and running enough and repaired to get horses. I know how to ride (basics and a little more) but its the maintenance end of things that I want to be 100% sure of. Like if feeding grain, what kind? Or hay is there a better hay to be feeding.. what about grazing and feeding.
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    07-17-2012, 05:25 PM
Hay is going to depend on where you are in the country. Most of the hay is local grass that is cut. Alfalfa is kind of an exception to that but is only needed when horses need a higher nutrient content in feed that can't be gotten from normal grass hay (things like heavily worked horses, seniors, foals). I just found this website because I can't spell. ID-146: Choosing Hay for Horses
It has lots of good information in it.

I just googled basic horse care and found several websites. But to ask the feeding question, most horse don't "need" grain if they have a good forage available. They may need additional nutrients such as minerals if your area is deficient in some way (Selenium is a common one) and you can either feed a ration balance which will replace some of these minerals or I feed a small amount of grain each day because that is a good way to see if the horses are feeling well. The first thing they won't do is eat if something is off with them.

Good luck. Horses are a lot of fun to own but having your own farm is a lot of work. You can also search here for threads similar to your own. This is just the short answer because your question was very vague.
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    07-17-2012, 11:27 PM
Thank you very much for your response. I am new to this site as well and wasnt sure how long of a question I could write. We are located in southern ontario near Peterborough, and I see that some people have salt blocks and never really understood salt blocks either, is it so that the horses drink more water... Also when you said that depending on my area I might be lacking in minerals, where do I find that out......( my question mark isnt working sorry ) I just want to make sure that I am prepared to start this and worried about screwing up I guess.

I had a horse before, waiting forever to get one and than when I finally did he was great a quarter horse named Boa-Jangle. He was amazing and great to keep my riding up on, I thought about getting into barrel racing but he was struck my lightning in a rain storm. I have never been sader, and it has been about 4 years but I am now ready to get back on a horse but want to remember the basics on horse care as alot of that was done at the boarding spot we had.

Thank you again for any response or help you may give.
    07-18-2012, 01:36 PM
Salt blocks are typically put out during the summer months. Just like we need to replace our electrolytes when we sweat, so do the horses. They typically won't lick more than they need.

In the US, we have county extension offices, they can give you a better idea of what minerals you have in your area. Again, the minerals are much like vitamins that we take, as long as we don't over do it, the body will expel what isn't needed and keep what is needed. Do you have a feed store near you? Sometimes you can fine some good local information there.

Again, check the web out just the first couple of hits when I search basic care for horses
Basic Horse Care Information and Guidelines
Basic Horse Care Information

I am really sorry about your first horse. Accidents can always happy but it makes us more nervous the next time. Just trust the knowledge from before. You didn't do anything wrong with the first horse. My horse is outside 24/7 and could be struck by lightning too.

Getting the right horse is much harder than caring for them.
    07-18-2012, 04:38 PM
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    07-18-2012, 04:39 PM
I only feed my horse grain if he's earned it because I ride everyday. And I just feed him the hay we made on our ranch which is alphalfa.
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    07-18-2012, 04:49 PM
Green Broke
If there are boarding facilities near you, you could try asking them about what hay they get and where they get it. That's how we found our supplier.

Personally I don't care for many store bought or grain feeds. I like how the horses do on beet pulp. Usually we only feed them that in fall, winter and spring to compensate for anything lacking in the hay. Summertime we let them out on grass part of the day so they don't need the beet pulp. We do use a sweet feed with the beet pulp but it's more of a treat for them.
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    07-19-2012, 04:58 PM
Like I said, I do like to feed at least something once a day, it lets me know if something is off with the horse that I might not notice if I didn't. 2 occasions specifically: First we had a horse that poke herself with a stick into the side of her head. Though we thought it was minor, the next day she wouldn't eat her grain. When the vet got there it turned out her whole mouth was full of grass because it hurt too much to chew. The stick had hit her mandible joint and was now very sore. Second, my horse had obviously been stung with bees or hornets because his neck was so swollen that he had a hard time breathing. Again didn't notice until he refused his feed.

So I don't think of grain as giving substantial amounts of nutrients, but it is a way of daily interaction with them so I see them up close and can check on them. If I skip a day like last night in the rain, it doesn't hurt him either.
    08-06-2012, 09:53 PM
Thanks so much everyone for your responses!! We have picked up hay from the same person that we get our straw from. I also just picked up a paint horse.. he is great, quiet and easy going... funny thing I am noticing with the two horses that I have now is that sometimes they sorta nibble on each other... not like a bit but just a lippy nibble.... tonight they were nibbling on each others tails, didnt look like they were hurting each other , but at the same time both of them were nibbling on each others tails, than wrapping their necks around each other...... what are they doing?? Flirting??
    08-07-2012, 01:36 AM
Green Broke
They are grooming each other. Kind of like I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine.
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