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Hello all,

I have just started taking lessons (i am a mature rider *winks*) and now have toe most amazing opportunity to have my own horse. I thought I would get a horse after I learned all the basics but this is the perfect horse for me and it fell into my lap so to speak. I am going to board her where I get my lessons for a few months while I learn but I could really use some advice.

Can anyone recommend really good reads/resources for learning all the basics of horse care. I am getting a bit confused as to deworming schedules, which vaccinations, to shoe or not to shoe...to supplement or not..''

thanks!
 

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First, I'm just gonna say that you should have your trainer say whether or not the horse is a good fit, because we can get blinded by how much we like them, etc. but that doesn't mean we are always a good fit with them in the saddle. On to the deworming, ask your vet. Same goes for the vac. That way the information will be right :) shoeing/trimming should be done about every 6 weeks, but it depends on the horse. Personally i would LOVE it if my horse could go with out shoes, but he has really bad feet, so he has to have then on all 4. If this horse has great feet then defiantly go with out them, they are expensive, don't fix it if it isn't broken! :)
 

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Congrats!

You could try a text like the UC Davis Book of Horses (A Complete Medical Reference Guide for Horses and Foals).

In terms of schedules for worming and vaccinating and such...the best you can do is educate yourself on the types of worms/diseases etc...and then base your decisions about schedules on what you think would best suit your horses, for the area you live, and the plans you have for that horse. Your local vet should also have input on this, though you will find vets that are at both ends of the scale, and everywhere in between, about how much and what kind.

For shoeing, you should discuss that with your farrier and hopefully you'll get a good one. There are a number of farriers who've written books, like Peter Ramey that you could peruse. You can of course visit farrier bulletin boards online and research articles online.

Supplementation I will point you to a nutritionist. Many feedmills employ a nutritionist. You can also contact a nutritionist from the feed company...know of course that they will be flogging their product. But you can at least get a nutrient breakdown of their various foods. You can also get your hay tested, which will tell you if it's rich or lacking in something specific.

There are two kinds of supplementation...daily and therapeutic. Daily supplementation means supplementing for nutrients that are lacking on a daily basis..if the hay is poor quality for instance and lacks calcium.

Therapeutic supplementation is supplementing for prevention of diseases (like arthritis), supplementing to promote healing (if the horse has an injury), or supplementing to slow the progression of an existing problem (COPD, digestive issues). These things require more than the daily amount of nutrients.
 

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Thanks, I am off to look for those books. I am of course relying on my trainer, horse is on loan to me for 2 months (just paying for board and insurance)while I take lessons on her and make sure she is a right fit for me and me for her.

I also have to look at some basic brushes, tack etc..i am buying the saddle they use for her because its a great saddle and it fits her well which is of course important.
 

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I board, and when it comes to worming, I just use the barn's schedule. They add the price of the wormer on my board for that month, and they just do my boys when the rest of the barn gets done. It's easier for them, and easier for me.

My trainer taught me about caring for my horse as part of my lessons, and allowing me to help with theirs. For me, reading is a good start, but it's nothing like doing. I just pitch in with chores and ask a lot of questions. :wink:

Also, congrats! It sounds like you're taking the right approach to first horse owning, getting knowledgeable, having someone around who has experience, etc. Good luck!
 
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