When it comes to getting a new horse, the process for settling them into their new environment is different to other animals. Unlike cats and dogs, where a simple bed and a few toys in your home can be enough to keep them happy, the needs of a horse are much more demanding.
In this article, we’ve shared a simple buying a horse checklist, along with the four things you should remember when settling-in your new animal:
Things you’ll need
Horses are large animals and understandably, they’ll need their own space. They also have much more complex diets and may need grooming more often than other pets.
For this reason, you’ll need a variety of equipment to take proper care of them. This includes:
Even though they’re herbivores, horses have a complex diet and a unique dietary system. For this reason, you’ll need to organise the food you’re going to feed your horse, and the equipment you need to feed them depends on where you are planning to keep them.
If you are keeping your horse in your own paddock or stable, then you will need equipment such as a feeding tub, hay rack and water trough and you will need to ensure to keep fully stocked up with hay and horse feed. When keeping your horse in a livery, they may provide a lot of this equipment and hay throughout the spring and summer, but it is best to check before bringing the horse into their new home.
Because horses need grooming regularly, you’ll need to purchase equipment for this before getting your new pet. Essential tools include a hoof pick for their feet, along with a curry comb and mane comb to ensure that their hair doesn’t become matted.
If you’re looking to provide shelter for your horse in terms of a stable, you’ll also need to get some equipment to help keep the space clean for your new pet.
A pitchfork will help you to remove any waste on the floor; some hay will provide them with something to snack on and a wheelbarrow will help you move the waste out of their space.
Once you have all the equipment you need for your new horse, you’ll want to ensure they have the necessary vaccinations they’ll need to enjoy a healthy life.
Horses require a passport to get these vaccinations from a vet in the UK but once given the injections, your pet will be protected against potentially life-threatening conditions such as tetanus and equine influenza.
Looking after your horse
Before you think about getting a new horse, it’s essential that you consider the time you’ll need to dedicate to their daily care. You’ll have to provide your horse with fresh water every day and groom them as part of the bonding process. The living conditions of your horse must also be well-maintained, meaning you will need to spend a few hours every day cleaning their stable.
Settling-in a new horse
Once you’ve purchased your horse, you must provide them with time to settle-in to their new home. It can be a scary and daunting experience, so have patience as they may be anxious. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep the new horse in a contained space as they may attempt to escape.
Socialising your pet
It’s also important to socialise your pet with other animals to prevent them from becoming anxious and aggressive. They may be easier to ride if the horse has mixed with other animals and is used to interaction.
As you can see, getting a new horse is a big commitment and you must be sure that you’re able to dedicate time to care for them. Don’t forget that having horse insurance can protect you against the often-expensive costs of caring for such a large animal, allowing you to be assured that your (not-so-little) friend is happy and healthy with you.