Necessities for horses
I have owned horses since I was 11. We had no horse experience before that and we jumped in with three coming four year old, PMU, bred, 'wild', QH/Belgian, mares. Right from the start Dad had us making our own halters (hand tying rope halters) and leads. Dad is of the mentality that if you can make it you DON'T buy it. Not always the best mentality, sometimes it works, but...
Anyways, I am wondering what you guys (symbolically speaking) would list as the most important horse care. (i.e. hoof care, worming, etc)
We have four horses right now and I'll explain what care they get or don't get (and some things I do for my horse that the others don't get).
Here is what they all get:
A round bale of grass/alfalfa hay, replaced when ever it runs out.
Snow for water in the winter, sloughs/dugout (pond) in the summer
Around 20 acres of pasture (with lots more to move them to if the grass were to ever get short)
A bit of bush to stand in if it gets nasty out
An occasional hoof trim from my brother.
What my horse gets that the others don't:
What they don't get (that from reading it seems fairly normal for them to get these things):
Regular hoof work
And anything else that you can think of that wasn't listed on the what they get list.
Now, I live 3 1/2 hours from home. I don't have much say in what the horses get or don't get. But when I get my new mare I am going to ask that she is kept separate from the others for a bit at least. I might even keep her separate from them for all summer. If I do that I might just have her and Coyote (my gelding) put in a different pen from the rest of the herd so they can receive different care.
In June (end of May/beginning of June), I am going up for a week or so and hope to take both my horses into the vet (or have him out to the farm) for a over all check up and a preg check for my mare (she was exposed to two stallions [her half brother and full brother]).
I did have my sister deworm my gelding last November and plan on deworming him in June again. Ruby (my new mare) was dewormed about a month ago when she was first rescued.
Also, if she is preggo, she would be due in October. What would I need for the foal? Blanket, barn (I can figure something out), etc, are my ideas, what else?
Anyways, our horses aren't starving but herd is wormy. Just have to convince the rest that horses DO need to be dewormed.
Here are a couple pictures I took this last weekend while at home.
Coyote my gelding
Kid, 3/4 Arabian 1/4 QH my sister's horse. He is our hardest keeper. Sorry it's into the sun
Red, the easiest keeper on the place. Reg QH, my brother, Jesse's horse
The sorrel in the back is Golda, a 4 year old QH crossed with a bit of Saddlebred. My brother, Zeke's horse.
Best picture that I have right now
I am asking this because I want to do the best for my horses.
Necessities if you want a healthy horse: (not in any particular order)
1. Hoof care, be it regular shoeing or just trimming depending on your horses need.
2. Regular de-worming
3. Annual vaccinations, also dependent on area you live in, showing status, traveling etc
4. Dental work, annually - I cannot express the importance of this enough
5. Access to fresh clean water
6. Access to a well balanced forage
7. Access to salt/trace mineral
8. Access and shelter from inclement weather or heat/sun
9. Access to adequate exercise
11. Freedom from external/internal parasites
This is just a list from the top if my head for a healthy adult horse....I could touch on the ethical 'needs' but that's a whole different can of worms;)
I would say de-worming regularly for sure, make sure they have fresh clean water, not just snow, and minerals and salt. Exercise and hoof care. Basically everything muppetgirl just said, but with the dental, it is good for horses to be checked, but a lot of horses don't need it anually, just occasionally.
Thank you! I did forget to mention that they do have a salt block. It's just a blue cobalt block.
The next time the farrier is at the neighbor's we are planning on getting him up to trim all four so he can give Jesse some pointers.
Dental work is something I had never heard being necessary before coming on this board.
They DEFINITELY need to be wormed. A good way to convince the others to worm their horses? It'll save them money. If you get rid of all the worms and parasites, you will have to feed much less to maintain your horse. The "hardest" keeper looks to be the most infested of the ones you posted, which might explain why he's so hard to keep weight on. When they don't have to feed parasites, they get more nutrition from what they eat and therefore need less.
And ditto to what Muppetgirl said. Yearly dental work will also save you money in the long run. They drop less feed and utilize the feed better so they will hold their condition better.
My pony hasn't gotten his teeth done in the 9 years we've owned him, and he doesn't need to. He seems to maintain himself very well overall, including his feet which can go months without a trim. It's on a horse to horse basis. My pony can go months without a trim, my colt can't go a month. His hooves grow rapidly, it's crazy.
Tell whoever is in charge of them, they need water, not snow. If your family disagrees, tell them when they are thirsty to go eat some snow, lol. Snow does not quench your thirst or hydrate you, you have to eat mountains of it.
I might be able to convince my sister that rides my horse that they need water, but she's 12. The rest of the family would just laugh at me. They have wintered cows and horses for a couple years on just snow for water.
But I just thought of a solution, I might be able to convince Dad, Marty or Zeke to water them if I pay them a bit of 'board' money.
I pay for my horse's hay but not any board. So that might convince them to do something.
I am also thinking that I might pick up dewormer for the three others while I'm up there next weekend and just deworm them all no matter what. They don't have a problem with me deworming my horse (they think it's silly and a waste of money), so if I deworm theirs they won't mind as long as they don't have to pay... Or maybe I can convince them to pitch in on it.
And yes, this is how I have to handle horse matters around my family.
I will definitely try and figure some stuff out this weekend when I'm at home.
12 yr. old sister can easily water the horses, she can carry buckets.
Oh I know I could get her to do it and she would love it! She is as crazy about horses as I am... It's a matter of Dad talking it down and making fun of her for wasting her time on it. I actually think it might be better to pay her to do it. She would only have to haul the water about 20 yards from the pump house to the horse's gate. I'll talk to her about it.
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