Owning a horse is a tremendous responsibility. Not only are these animals expensive, they live very long lives and require constant care. Unfortunately, when purchasing their first horse, many people don’t realize what they’re getting into and make a fair number of mistakes as a result. Luckily, familiarizing yourself with some of the most common blunders made by first-time owners can help you avoid making the same mistakes. In the interest of giving your horse a happy, healthy life, take care to avoid the following slipups.
1. Improper Feeding
Horses are a far cry from traditional pets. Whereas many animals should only be fed once a day, horses should receive multiple small meals throughout the day. This is because horses are grazing animals, meaning they’re conditioned to spend a good portion of their time eating. That being the case, horses should be fed small amounts of hay and grain at various points each day. However, many first-time horse owners don’t want to devote so much time to feeding their animals, prompting them to feed their horses a large amount of food once each day. While it may seem more efficient, this type of feeding has been known to make horses bored and restless.
2. Failure to Buy Insurance
After purchasing a horse, you’ll need to invest in two different types of horse insurance: animal insurance and equine liability insurance. As any longtime horse owner will tell you, these animals can cost a king’s ransom in vet bills if you don’t have comprehensive animal insurance. Additionally, equine insurance ensures that you’ll be covered in the event that a third party is injured while riding your horse. Failure to purchase this type of insurance can land in you in legal trouble if your horse injures a rider, groomer or any other third party.
3. Improper Grooming
Horses also require a substantial amount of grooming. In order to keep their coats free of dirt, debris and assorted parasites, they need to be thoroughly brushed on a regular basis. Furthermore, horses need to receive semi-regular haircuts to prevent matting. Hoof-cleaning is also an important part of keeping horses clean and healthy. For safety purposes, haircuts and hoof-cleaning are best performed by professional groomers. Unfortunately, many horse owners are unaware of just how often their animals need to be groomed. This often results in matted fur, parasite infestation and illness in horses.
Horse ownership is not something to be taken lightly. These animals are highly sensitive, require a substantial amount of attention and can live up to 30 years. With this in mind, it’s imperative that you do your homework before investing in one. To ensure that your first foray into horse ownership goes off without a hitch, make an effort to avoid improper feeding and grooming and invest in the right types of insurance.