Useful Tips

How to properly maintain and care for horses?


Caring for a horse involves daily work, without which it’s simply impossible to talk about a horse’s health. From a person will depend on what will be feeding the horse, as well as his appearance and health. Today we will figure out what stages horse care consists of, how to care for artiodactyls at home on their own.

Care and maintenance of horses at home

Horse feed

Despite the fact that horses are not used to sorting out food during meals, you need to learn how to feed them correctly. For this, it is important to understand: the health of the steed will directly depend on how correctly the diet is selected. Firstly, vitamins and all the necessary minerals must be present on the horse’s menu in order to prevent a deficiency of vital trace elements. The horse's menu should change, depending on the season, the age of the animal, as well as the purpose for which it is kept.

The most affordable food for horses is cereals, their price is quite low. Many breeders make an unacceptable mistake when overfeeding a horse with grain. The fact is that this can cause serious problems in the digestive system up to the rupture of the stomach from overfilling. In this case, death occurs in 99% of cases, and it will be terrible and painful.

Horses are representatives of herbivores, respectively, their diet should consist solely of plant foods. It is strictly forbidden to “pamper” the pet with confectionery, chocolates, and so on, a minute weakness can cost several days of treatment and putting the gastrointestinal tract in order. The most successful components of the horse menu are hay or grass, depending on the season, vegetables and barley with oats. Here is an approximate daily menu of an average horse:

  • hay of the first grade - about 5 kg,
  • oats or a mixture of muesli - about 4-5 kg,
  • bran - normally about 1 kg,
  • vegetables (beetroot or carrot) - 1.5-3 kg.

The importance of watering

The importance of water in the life of a horse is worth telling in a separate section. It is strictly necessary to provide a two-time watering per day, and the water temperature should be about 18-20 ° C.

The lucky owners of a sports filly or foal should remember that they should never be watered right after the training is over, it takes about 1-1.5 hours to wait.

It happens that a horse cannot calm his thirst. In this case, you can calm the animal in a tricky way: distract it from the water with food. Usually a handful of hay or grass is poured into a container of liquid, which switches the horse to food.

The horses, and especially the foals, should have a place where it is possible to hide from the cold wind, rain or snow while keeping horses in winter. This can be a special room: a stable (stall) or an ordinary shed with a roof - where drinking bowls with clean running water should also be located.

Keeping horses

The method of keeping horses is selected, taking into account the features of the terrain, climate, the availability of pasture and other factors. There are three horse keeping systems:

  1. Herd system. This form of upkeep was used by nomads who could not provide their horses with stables. The method is also called natural - it is as close as possible to the natural environment. Horses receive only natural food, without "chemistry." The method is good environmental friendliness and low cost. There are also distinguished improved herd and cultural herd content method. For feeding, canopies are equipped under which the feed is laid.
  2. Stable system. Horses live in special rooms - stables. Animals are released periodically for walking - to special fenced areas. The area norm for one stallion is 200 square meters. m, for young individuals - 400 square meters. m, for manufacturers - 600 square meters. m
  3. Herd of pasture. Suitable for terrain with cold winters. In summer, horses are on a walk, and in winter they are transferred to stables.

In large farms, horses are usually kept in stalls - 20-100 individuals. In the stable-grazing method used by such farms, horses are divided into groups - by age, gender, purpose.

We clean horses

Horses are clean animals, they will be grateful for careful, attentive care and compliance with sanitary standards when breeding. Let’s figure out how to properly care for a horse and keep an artiodactyl, what should be the care of a foal and an adult? Many people, answering these questions, underestimate the complexity of the task, thinking that an ordinary shower and subsequent combing of the mane are all that is required for the existence of animals, but this is not so. Experienced horse breeders argue that caring for a horse at home is an art that is not accessible to everyone. For example, grooms on elite farms argue that when combing a mane, it is important to change the hand. So, the left hand will be required for the left side of the hair, and the right hand for the right, although this can be called more fiction than the truth. In any case, the horse needs to be tied so that it does not kick during the procedure, because not every horse has such actions.

All manipulations are best done on the street, and not in the house: this way the animal will be calmer. Keeping a horse at home implies that each pet should have individual grooming equipment: a comb, a scraper and a brush. We describe the whole procedure in stages:

  • Cleansing always starts from the left side from above: from the head to the limbs, then proceeds to the right side.
  • When cleaning the head, it is important to stand so that the animal can see the person. It is better to start cleaning with anti-wool treatment, and then change direction.
  • At the end of mechanical cleaning, the horse’s hair should be wiped with a damp cloth: this removes the rest of the dirt and hairs.
  • Next comes the wiping period: it is advisable to dry the horse as much as possible.
  • Finally, there is a mane, it is combed first with a rare comb, then with more frequent. Movements must begin strictly from top to bottom.

While caring for the horse, there is a wonderful opportunity to examine her body in more detail. Perhaps at close range some wounds or injuries that require treatment will become noticeable.

We bathe a horse

Regardless of what kind of horse keeping systems are used in the village, it is worth mentioning right away that horses are bathed only in summer, when the temperature is high outside. Moreover, forcing a horse or foal is also not worth it, it is recommended to take into account the mood of the horse. For example, if a horse has a strong fear of water, it is not necessary at all costs to force her to swim in the river, there will be no sense in this. Such a horse is bathed only at home, on a farm, using water from a hose. You need to start with a low pressure, so that the animal gets used to the procedure and understands that it does not threaten anything.

It is important to use special makeup for horses while swimming. Now on sale there are a lot of detergents, shampoos and conditioners that make the process of caring for a horse even more pleasant and simple.

Hoof care

How to care for horses without hoof care? It is a well-known fact that horse hooves need special care, and the owner must provide it. To begin with, in the process of moving into microcracks on the hooves, stones or chips that the horse cannot independently remove can get stuck. If the pet is not helped in time, then this can threaten the development of inflammation and further problems arising from this. Usually, at the site of the lesion, which can also be caused by namin or pricking, an ungulate horn arises. Self-medication can only lead to a worsening of the condition, so it is better to seek help from a specialist: you may even need surgical intervention.

As for forging, this is not a mandatory procedure, as is commonly believed. It is shown only to horses that are used to perform hard work, or those that walk on a hard surface for a long time. You can entrust horse forging only to a professional who is 100% sure of what he is doing. First, the master must carefully clean the hoof, and then grind it under the correct shape. Only on a properly prepared hoof is a horseshoe stuffed, which must be changed at least once every 2-4 years.

How to monitor horse health

It is worth saying that there are a huge number of horse diseases, some of them are less dangerous, some more. It is important to recognize the main symptoms of the disease in time and conduct the right treatment. A sick horse can be recognized by such signs:

  • loss of appetite
  • weakness and lethargy,
  • low mobility
  • uneven shallow breathing
  • temperature rise.

The most common diseases are pneumonia, rabies, tetanus, horse flu, eczema, lichen, and so on.

Usually the disease concerns the digestive system: for example, a horse can be tormented by painful colic. The reasons for their appearance may lie in the errors of feeding, as well as in the incorrectly set cinch. In any case, the veterinarian should supervise the treatment of the horse.

Mares and even small foals often get a variety of injuries that usually go away without human intervention, but it also happens that help is still needed. For example, if you see that the site of the bruise is swollen, you should attach an ice bag to it: it will relieve pain and reduce swelling.

Being in free grazing in the summer (this is the most suitable way of keeping horses in the summer), the horse runs the risk of sunstroke, even loss of consciousness. In this case, it is necessary to transfer the mare to a cooler place, give her water and apply a cooling compress to her head.

As for vaccination, you need to find out from the veterinarian what vaccinations are necessary for horses at the moment, and then act in accordance with the vaccination schedule. Despite the fact that vaccines take a lot of money (the cost of the vaccine starts from 100 rubles per dose, and there may be several per month), the only way to be sure that the maximum is done to maintain the health of the horse.

Horse Rules

Speaking about the care and maintenance of horses, we must not forget that the horse is a large animal that can cause injury to a person, intentionally or not. There is a generally accepted list of recommendations and rules that every breeder must follow:

  • During communication and care you need to maintain goodwill towards the animal.
  • You can not approach the horse quietly, you must first call her so that she is not afraid.
  • You can work only on a well-fed horse, it is recommended to pause about 1 hour after feeding. This is one of the main rules for keeping work horses.
  • Before putting a saddle on a horse, it is necessary to clean its hooves.
  • Taking the mare out of the room, it is imperative to go ahead and open the shutters completely.
  • Lead the horse is necessary only on an occasion, and always the person goes on the left. When cornering, the animal must not be pulled too sharply, as such maneuvers can provoke the development of shoulder injuries.
  • In no case should a horse be pulled out of a stall sitting on top of it in a saddle; the same applies to returning. It is customary to saddle a horse only when there is confidence that there are no irritants or interference nearby.
  • Shoes for horses should be carefully considered: they should be comfortable and fully fit in the stirrup.
  • You should never throw a horse unattended, especially if it is used for horse racing.
  • Be sure to communicate with horses, they feel it. These are smart animals that understand what kind of person is next to them, and feel his intentions.
  • After the horse has worked, you need to encourage her with hay or slightly dried greenery. As for drinking, then, as already mentioned, it is not worth giving water immediately, it is better to take an hour-long respite after work.
  • You should never feed horses with grain on an empty stomach: this can provoke the development of problems with the intestines and provoke colic. Before moving on to oats and grain, you need to give the horse the usual hay.
  • Before you bring a horse to work, whether it be shipping or jogging, you need to put its appearance in order, paying attention to the hairline, tail and mane. After the time of rest comes, you need to thoroughly grind the horse with a rolled tourniquet from hay or straw. Then, when the skin dries from sweat, you need to traditionally clean the horse with a brush with frequent cloves, which is called a groove.

In conclusion, we say that all the rules and recommendations on how to care for a horse are mandatory, and all these manipulations must be performed every day, despite the weather, season, mood, or how many horses are in the farm. Material costs and work will not go unnoticed, the horse will respond with a beautiful appearance, excellent mood, the absence of diseases, as well as a long and faithful friendship.

What should be the stable?

The stable is best arranged near a pond. The source of water nearby is a great convenience for keeping horses. In summer, a stable with a canopy can replace a stable, but in winter you can’t do without a special room.

Stable Requirements:

  • Material. We use environmentally friendly building materials that are safe for animal health. The best solution is a bar treated with an antiseptic. The room can be built entirely of wood, and outside it is bricked. Brickwork is needed to protect from the weather and strengthen the walls.
  • The size. The optimal area for keeping one horse is 16 square meters. m. Height - 3-4 m.
  • Partitions. The stable, designed for several animals, must be separated by partitions made of wooden beams or metal sheets.
  • Coating. The floor in the stable is made of clay, concrete or rubber. The rubber coating is especially convenient - it does not rot, it is not slippery on it, and its service life is tens of years.
  • Stall. Horses in the stable are usually kept in stalls. The size of the stall for one animal is 3x3 m. But this is the minimum size, it is desirable that the stall area is 4x4 m - so that the horse can not only stand, but also lie comfortably. The stall is equipped with locks and gates - so that animals can not get out of the stable.
  • Litter. First of all, it is needed for the convenience of a horse who plans to lie down. Secondly, sawdust or straw litter is needed to absorb sewage. To keep the stall clean, you need to change the litter every day. Consumption of materials per adult: sawdust - 15 kg, straw - 4 kg.
  • Doors They must be wide enough so that the animal can pass without risking injury. The minimum opening width is 1.5 m. The jambs should be rounded. The door is set so that the wings open outward.
  • Drinking bowls and feeders. For feeding, it is better to use a rectangular trough - deeper and more voluminous. It is placed near a source of natural light. The height of the trough is 70 cm from the floor. The distance from the wall is 50 cm.

Each horse must have its own feeder. To prevent injury to the animal, the edges of the feeders should be rounded. It is desirable that the trough be divided in half - in one part lay hay and grass, in the other - oats and concentrates. Horses are fed from ordinary buckets. The second option is car drinkers. One animal should have a water supply of 50 liters.

The stable is often built on a 2-story building. The second floor is used for storing hay. There is a gap between the walls and the roof - so that the room is better ventilated. This method avoids drafts that horses do not like so much. If finances allow, you can put a powerful hood. The optimal roof covering is slate or tile.

Microclimate in the stable

The horse's home should be warm, dry and comfortable. The owner's task is to create a favorable indoor climate:

  • Temperature. The optimum temperature is from +15 to + 18 ° C.
  • Humidity. In the range of 60-75%.
  • Lighting. The light is not particularly bright, but dim lighting is not good - you need an average option. Arranging lighting in the stable, proceed from the following calculated ratio - the ratio of the area of ​​the windows to the area of ​​the room should be 1:15. The height of the windows is 180 cm from the floor surface.
  • Ventilation. Horses do not like drafts, but stagnant air negatively affects their health. To ensure effective ventilation, doors and windows alone are not enough, special ventilation is needed. The height of the ventilation holes is at least 2.5 m from the floor surface.

In poor lighting conditions horses feel unwell. Lack of light negatively affects their appearance, the animal looks suppressed, its performance decreases.

The rules of "easel" content

There are three options for keeping horses:

  • In the stall. This is the most convenient and common option.
  • In the stall. This is a separate spacious room. It is more convenient to clean here, and it is more comfortable for horses to be.
  • Group Groups contain work horses. Они должны быть ровесниками. В одной группе – 20-200 особей. Животные имеют возможность передвигаться внутри огороженной части помещения. Так обычно содержат лошадей невысокой ценности.

If there are no bars and windows in the stall, and the horse is isolated, it becomes aggressive or lethargic, may refuse feed and water.

Advantages of keeping horses in a stall:

  • It is cheaper than in the stalls.
  • Animals do not feel isolated, therefore they behave more calmly.
  • Saves space.

Keeping in a stall saves space, but with such a content system, certain rules and regulations must also be observed:

  • The area of ​​the stall is from 5 square meters. m
  • Dyne and width of the stall takes into account the size of a particular horse. Small workhorses have enough length of 2.9 m, width - 1.6 m. Large horses - 3.1 m and 11.8 m, respectively.
  • Feeders are selected along the width of the stall.

The lack of content in the stall is the difficulty of cleaning.

Grazing and walking

A horse can be kept in a stall, stall or in some other way, but he must be in the air. These animals cannot feel well if they are restricted in movement. Features of walking depend on the goals for which the horse is kept. If, for example, the animal is intended for agricultural work or hunting, it should be walked more often without exhausting with hard training.

Horse Riding Rules:

  • The horse must get used to the ambient temperature before starting work, running, etc. You need to give her a few minutes to adapt, otherwise she, like a person, can catch a cold.
  • Before starting work, the animal must warm up and warm up.
  • At temperatures below minus 20 ° C, walking horses is not recommended.
  • To avoid muscle atrophy, air walks are needed at least three times a week.

Every day, horses need walks lasting from 2 hours. After walking, the horses must be cleaned, hooves checked, legs examined for wounds and abrasions.

Ideal grazing - in a pasture, where plenty of lush grass, no weeds and hard bushes. The condition of pastures depends on their care. In a good pasture, horses will not only stretch out, but will also receive a certain share of the diet. Moreover, grass is an ideal horse feed.

The dependence of grass consumption on the time of grazing horses is in table 1.

Average grass consumption

What else is worth considering

One hourabout 10 kg of grassgrass quality Day or night50-60% of the daily dietif the grass is of poor quality - eaten or short, it lacks nutrients Around the clock100% daily dietsimilarly

Spring grass is especially nutritious - it contains 28% protein, so it optimally meets the needs of sports horses. In spring grass, sugar - the main source of energy, contains more than 5%. In depleted pastures, one cannot count on good grass nutrition.

In spring, grass grows faster, in May its growth rate is five times higher than in September. But it is spring grass, when overeating, can provoke weight gain and the development of laminitis (hoof disease, causing lameness).

Pasture needs care:

  • restoration of the soil damaged by hoofs,
  • cutting of grass - up to 7-8 cm,
  • manure removal - it has a bad effect on grass growth,
  • destruction of weeds.


It is necessary to remove manure for horses daily - this is one of the routine duties of their owner. Without this hygienic procedure, stalls will quickly become dirty. Dirt in the stable increases the risk of disease, causing animal discomfort.

Cleaning will not take much time and effort if you use special equipment. To remove manure, you need such an inventory:

  • pitchfork
  • brush,
  • shovel,
  • wheelbarrow or stretcher.

It is recommended that horses be removed from the premises before cleaning. Animals do not like it when they wave a pitchfork and a shovel near them. It is also advisable to take out the feeders and buckets in advance - in order not to accidentally turn them over.

Manure removal is carried out in the following sequence:

  1. Shovel collect manure. Take it to the place of storage.
  2. Separate wet litter from dry. When using straw for bedding, it is better to separate it with double-toothed forks. The dry part is left, and the wet part is taken out. Conventional forks are used to store raw litter.
  3. Sweep the floor with a stiff brush. Add the missing amount of litter.

Feeding horses and their detailed ration

Rules for feeding horses:

  1. Feed the animals at the same time. Hay is given 4-5 times a day. Concentrates - 3 times a day. An animal that works hard must be fed with an interval of two hours. It is important that the interval between eating concentrates and oats is at least an hour.
  2. The diet is made taking into account the needs of the body. In addition to grass and hay, horses need a balanced diet.
  3. The diet is adjusted depending on the season. Also, when compiling the "menu" take into account the gender and age of the animals.

Horses are strictly forbidden to give ordinary food - leftovers and leftovers. This can damage the horse’s stomach. Horse food:

  • Hay. The daily norm is 10-15 kg. High-quality hay consists of rich forbs. This hay smells nice, it has a bright yellow color, it has no weeds. The share of hay in the horse's diet is 40%. Hay is given dried.
  • Corn. Mostly oats and corn. The dosage should not be exceeded, since when overeating, horses can develop obesity, diseases of the stomach and teeth.
  • Top dressing from concentrated feed. The composition of the dressing - grain, bran, vitamins, minerals. These feeds are especially important to include in the diet of nursing mares, weakened individuals and hard-working horses.
  • Bran. This food is needed to normalize the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Lizuny. Salt blocks.
  • Vegetables and fruits. The main sources of vitamins and minerals. Especially important is carrots, which have a lot of vitamin A.
  • Fresh tree branches. Birch, aspen or fir branches are recommended. This is one of the favorite horse treats.

The diet should take into account the breed and purpose of the horses. To assess the nutritional value of feeds and their usefulness, a unit of measurement equal to 1414 kcal or 1 kg of sown oats is used. It allows you to calculate the daily rate for any type of feed. When calculating feed norms, the size, weight and age of the horse are taken into account. As a rule, 5 kg of feed is due per 100 kg of weight. The daily diet of an adult horse is shown in table 2.

Hay (bean-cereal and meadow)

Every day the horse must have access to salt - a salt lick is attached near the feeder. The animal itself will take as much salt as its body needs.

If you feed a horse with poor-quality feed, they can get sick. Be sure to check the feed for mold and rot. Hay is given 4-5 times a day, concentrated feed - 3 times a day. Before distributing food, horses are given water.

In the summer season, horses grazing on pastures have enough grass to eat. They switch to pasture maintenance smoothly - so that there are no malfunctions in the digestion. Horses that have oversaw alfalfa or clover often have colic. Pastures with many legumes should be avoided.

Stable Requirements

Since it is not advisable to dwell on the detailed equipment of the stable in this article, we will highlight the main points on which to build this room:

  • the height of the partitions in the stalls should be about one and a half meters. This will not allow the horse to invade the territory of the neighbor, but will also leave the opportunity to see its relatives. Also, due to the fact that the partitions are not blank walls, the air circulation in the stable improves,
  • doors in the stalls are installed in two types - sliding and swinging. When installing swing doors, you should plan them so that they open outward. In order to avoid possible shoots, it is advisable to install additional latches on the door. The width of the aisles in the room must be at least three meters,

Hinged doors are less ergonomic than sliding

How to organize animal drinking?

Horses need to be fed water in a timely manner - so that the animal quenches thirst, and its digestive tract successfully digests dry food.

  1. The daily water norm, depending on the breed, weight, size and type of activity of the animal is 60-80 liters.
  2. You need to water horses before feeding. The second option - in two doses - half of the water is given before feeding, half - after.
  3. In cold weather, horses need more water than usual, since dry food begins to dominate their diet.
  4. An animal refusing water must be shown to a veterinarian.
  5. The frequency of drinking is 3 times a day. In summer and during hard work, you need to drink horses 5-6 times.
  6. If the animal is hot, sweaty, then you can not give him cold water - this can provoke colic or rheumatism of hooves. It is necessary to wait for the horse to cool, and the pulse and breathing should become normal. An hour after work, the horse can be given 1/2 bucket of water. But just not cold. After half an hour, the animal can be re-watered - as much as it wants.
  7. If horses give cold water, then you need to watch that she drank more slowly. For this purpose, hay is poured into the water. The second option is not to unbridle the horse.
  8. It is recommended that horses be fed 30-40 minutes before work is completed. Then she, having worked, will willingly eat food.
  9. Horses are especially thirsty in the evenings - after feeding. At this time, animals need to be given a lot of water - to drink plenty.

Horse Health

It does not make sense to dwell on a detailed classification of horse diseases, since this is a topic for a separate extensive article. Next, we will familiarize ourselves with the main signs of a sick and healthy horse, since the horse breeder is required not so much to correctly diagnose as to suspect something was wrong in time and show the animal to the veterinarian.

In order to recognize the disease in time, it is important to know the initial symptoms of the disease.

The first manifestations of malaise in many diseases are similar, which gives a right to the existence of a classification of common signs characteristic of an ill horse.

Table 1. Signs of a sick and healthy horse

Healthy manifestationsPainful manifestations
Normal horse temperature is approximately 38 degreesThe temperature of a sick horse decreases or rises by one or more degrees
In the absence of physical exertion, the horse takes from 9 to 15 breaths per minuteThe animal’s breathing, as well as the heartbeat, as a rule, becomes more frequent at the time of the development of the disease
The horse's pulse in a calm state does not exceed 40 beats per minuteThe horse experiences apathy, seems drowsy, or vice versa overly excited
The non-inflamed mucous membranes of the animal have a pale pink tintOften with diseases, hyperemia of the mucous membranes is observed, consisting in their swelling and redness
One of the sure signs of a horse’s well-being is its iridescent silk coat.In a weakened, painful horse, the coat becomes dry. When combing, it falls out in large quantities.

One of the common ailments affecting horses is parasitic infestation. As a rule, horses “catch” parasites on pastures, after which they slowly begin to destroy the host organism. About why parasites are planted on the pasture and how to deal with them can be read below.

Pasture control

Horse Care

Caring for horses is not limited to a comfortable stable and good nutrition - they need individual care, which includes cleaning, bathing and veterinary care. Thanks to competent and regular care, horses maintain good health, working capacity, endurance and good mood.

Veterinary treatments

Not getting proper care, they can get sick. They suffer from skin, infectious, parasitic and other diseases - just like people.

They may get sick:

  • tuberculosis
  • leptospirosis
  • anthrax,
  • rabies
  • tetanus
  • glanders.

These are the most dangerous diseases - they can lead to death. To prevent disease, animals are vaccinated. Be sure to prevent helminthiasis - twice a year. Horse diseases and vaccination rates are shown in table 3.

Vaccination frequency

anthraxannuallyno vaccine available LeptospirosisTwice a yeardo pre blood tests Fluannuallythere are many vaccines - from different strains Dermatophytosisannuallyvaccination is done after the initial treatment, which is carried out with an interval of two weeks Rhinopneumoniadepending on the region - required annually or at the request of the ownerrhinopneumonia is a common cause of miscarriages Tetanusevery 2-3 years (imported vaccine) or every 3-5 years (domestic vaccine)vaccination is required in all regions Rabiesannuallyoptional but recommended

Also, horses are subjected to research on SAP and random disease once a year; INAN is a dangerous infectious disease.

Cleaning and bathing

Cleaning horses is best done outdoors. The animal needs to be tied. The cleaning procedure looks something like this:

  • Cleaning begins on the left and top. They begin to clean from the head, and finish with feet.
  • Go to the right side.
  • When they brush their heads, they stand so that the horse sees the owner. First cleaned against wool, then wool.
  • Having finished working with scrapers and brushes, the horse is wiped with a damp cloth - to remove hair and dirt.
  • Wipe with a dry cloth.

You need to bathe your horses in summer when the water is warm enough. It is necessary that the animal itself showed a desire to swim - it is not necessary to force it. If there is a fear of water, it is better to wash the horse with a hose - first a small pressure, then stronger. During bathing use special horse "cosmetics".

  • Soaping mane, tail, all hair.
  • Brushing - it removes parasites and spools of wool.
  • Watered with warm water, washing off the foam. Rinse thoroughly - so that no traces of detergent remain. Otherwise, allergies or irritation may occur.
  • They wipe the horse - preferably with a terry towel.

During cleaning and bathing, one must act confidently, the movements must be strong and at the same time unhurried, stroking.

Oral care

Dental examination is carried out by a specialist, it is called every six months to a year. The following symptoms warn about problems with teeth:

  • the feed does not stick in the mouth
  • the animal slowly chews food or refuses to feed at all,
  • a horse bites or chews a bit,
  • the animal’s back is tense.

It is impossible to cope with dental diseases on our own - you do not need to try to fix something, otherwise you can harm the animal.

Mane care

Mane is a beautiful “accessory” of a horse. But for it to become a decoration for the animal, and not a source of problems, it needs careful care.

Mane Care Features:

  • Water procedures - as they become soiled. The frequency of washing depends on the individual characteristics of the animal.
  • Mane and tail are washed with special shampoos and conditioners.
  • The procedure is similar to washing a person’s head. The main thing is to avoid getting shampoos in the eyes.
  • Washed hair should be combed and wait for drying. If necessary, the mane can be braided. The most popular versions are hunting braids, western, continental braids.

So that horses do not gnaw at each other's manes - this happens among them, the hair is treated with special aerosols with repulsive odors.

Hoarding and hoof care

You need to inspect the hooves every day - after work or sports training. Hoof Care Procedure:

  • It is recommended to pour the feet of the animal with cool water - to relieve fatigue, and then grease with a fat-containing agent.
  • To clear hooves of manure, soil and other pollution. They use a hook, but carefully so as not to touch the arrow - this area must be brushed.
  • Every 1-1.5 months, an overgrown stratum corneum should be removed from the hooves.
  • If necessary, horseshoe shoe.

The horseshoe horseshoe is trusted by a specialist - he will choose the horseshoes correctly and will not harm the animal. Unprofessional actions can cripple a horse, moreover, make it unworkable.

You need to shoe horses if:

  • they work on hard soils,
  • they carry goods
  • there are hoof diseases.

Shoe horses usually from the age of three - if there are no problems with hooves. If there are any diseases of the hooves, animals are recommended to be shod in 1,5 years.

Features of winter keeping horses

In winter, it is desirable to keep horses in the stall - there is enough space in it, it is easier to clean it, and additional partitions between sections will prevent the spread of infection, if any.

In winter, horses have to spend a lot of time in the stable, they need to be carefully prepared for the “wintering”:

  • provide warmth and good ventilation,
  • remove all sharp corners and dangerous objects.

In winter, it is especially important to change the litter every day - old hay causes respiratory diseases.

Features of winter maintenance:

  • In cold weather, the horse should walk at least 6 hours a week.
  • If it gets very cold, animals are covered with blankets.
  • Regularly comb the hair - this helps the animals to warm themselves.
  • Food and water are changed every day.
  • Hay is planted daily, and preferably more often.

If it is impossible to take a walk, you need to entertain the horse with something - he needs to pay attention, play, give a treat.

In winter, they adjust the diet - you need to replenish the energy that the animal spends on warming. In the winter diet must be present:

  • Hay. It should be a lot - unlimited access. The horse should eat as soon as she wants it. Еда согревает и одновременно развлекает. Желательно добавить ячменной или овсяной соломы.
  • Свежие овощи. Каждый день дают свеклу и морковь – их моют и режут кубиками. В сутки дают 5-7 кг.
  • Злаки. They will saturate the body with energy, and warm it.
  • Vitamins In winter, be sure to add fish oil and yeast to the feed.

In winter, a horse weighing 500 kg is an individual of medium size, it should receive during the day:

  • hay - 10-15 kg
  • vegetables - 7 kg
  • grain - 4 kg
  • vitamins
  • three times water - 20-40 liters.

Horses need to be fed with clean water. Its temperature should be 8-15 ° C. Since the animal eats a lot of dry food, it is desirable for him to provide free access to water. It is also recommended to give water with mineral additives - to replenish energy costs.

Sometimes the winter blues begin in horses:

  • they begin to gnaw at the stall,
  • kicks
  • swallow air with a larynx.

All this is due to boredom and tightness, the horse has nowhere to splash energy. Because of the spleen, colic can begin, toothache. How to get rid of the blues:

  • increase your walk time,
  • give more hay
  • bring special toys to the stable,
  • to mess around with the animal more - to stroke, comb, talk.

Case, draw and foal of mares

For mating, you need healthy, mature individuals. To breed horses, you must have at least two producers. What you need to know about horse breeding:

  • Horses become sexually mature at the age of 1-2 years.
  • In order for the offspring to be healthy, mares should not be allowed to mare under three years of age. And some individuals ripen even later - by 4-5 years.
  • Rysakov happens from 3 years of age. A good manufacturer can be used for 15-16 years.
  • Ideal time for mating - the beginning of spring and mid-summer.
  • When choosing parents, pay attention to their physical form, age, structure, and other features.

Mares carry the fetus for 11 months. Pregnant mare needs special care, she needs:

  • to get moderate physical activity,
  • special nutrition, vitamins and roughage are introduced into the diet,
  • one month before the birth of the foal - tetanus vaccination.

Childbirth lasts about 30-45 minutes. If there are no pathologies, the mare does not need help. It is forbidden to help the foal to stand up. You can only help him find a mare udder. For two hours, the horse and the foal need not be disturbed - the mother herself will take care of the baby.

Before giving birth, a mare should be laid with a clean litter. You can look at the animal, but it is better not to show it to it. When the foal ends, the mare rises - the umbilical cord breaks itself. The mother licks the newborn to release its nostrils and oral cavity from mucus. Having dried, the foal begins to eat.

Within a month, the newborn is fed only milk. On the second day, it needs to be fed with flattened oats - for active development. First, give 100 g of oats and, gradually increasing the rate, bring it to 2 kg.


Cracking is characteristic of the hoofed horn with a lack of moisture. The coarse horn becomes brittle and, if unsuccessful, can be damaged. Normally, horse hooves should be elastic and resilient. To achieve this condition, there are several ways:

  • when riding a horse, from time to time start it on wet ground, or in areas containing a large number of puddles. So the horse will be able to "feed" their hooves on their own,
  • periodically moisten the bedding on which the horse spends a large part of his time in the stable. As a material that does not rot when a liquid gets in, straw is well suited, because it does not clog in the hooves,

So that the horse does not grind its hooves on the hard floor, the stables are covered with a layer of bedding

Paradoxical as it may sound, however, the lack of activity of the horse rather than its oversupply leads to the destruction of the hoof. Hypodynamia is the worst enemy of hooves, as it disrupts their blood supply, thereby slowly destroying the structure.

The longer the horses are held in captivity, the weaker they become

As a result of this imbalance, hoof tissue does not receive enough nutrients, which leads to their rapid wear. In this regard, horses running a large amount of time in the stall are shown mandatory jogging (preferably on natural ground).

Cosmetic care

In relation to cosmetic care, the horse breeder must be careful and remember that excessive enthusiasm for horse "cosmetics" can lead to negative consequences. There are two main cosmetic methods for hoof care:

    hoof treatment with oil. Oils are useful only if they are applied only to the whisk, since they do not allow it to lose elasticity. The whole hoof covered with oil dries out very quickly, since the resulting protective fat layer does not allow the liquid to naturally moisten the hooves,

Hoof Oil Hoof Oil

Regardless of what soil your horse walks on, his hooves under the horseshoes soon become clogged and filled with extraneous objects such as stones, sawdust, and so on. So that this litter does not provoke inflammation, it is advisable to carry out preventive cleaning of the animal's hooves every six weeks. This frequency does not allow the hoof to clog too much, and simplifies the care of it.

Hooves are cleaned with a special tool

There is a certain “ritual" of purification, which involves a strict procedure:

  1. First you clear the arrows,
  2. Then switch to the sole
  3. The bearing edges of the hooves are processed last.

The main thing to remember when cleaning hooves is that you can’t remove the extra layer, as this can lead to horse limp and pain during walking.

Nowadays, you can even find hoof cleaning specialists online.

By the way! If you are not sure that you can handle the cleaning, you can "call for help" kovalya, who often deals with horseshoe shoeing and handling their hooves.

It is recommended to take the forging into your own hands only on condition that you do it professionally, otherwise, contacting a specialist blacksmith will be the best solution. Note that part of the horse breeders refuses forging at all. This solution makes sense if you rarely use your horse and do not subject it to great physical exertion.

The horseshoe must be adjusted to the size and shape of the hoof by a specialist

The following categories of horses are in need of horseshoes:

  • Sport horses
  • individuals with improper positioning of limbs,
  • animals already faced with hoof diseases,
  • horses involved in the transport of heavy loads.

Of course, forging also has its drawbacks - the most obvious is the nails that undermine the walls of the hooves. In order for the horseshoes to be the most effective and least traumatic for horses, the horse breeder must keep in mind a number of nuances:

  • only the highest quality horseshoes made of good materials are allowed,
  • if possible, reduce the number of nails by driving them away from the distal part of the horseshoe,

In the manufacture of a horseshoe, it is advisable to use a minimum number of nails.

Horse cleaning

When cleaning the horse’s body, as well as when cleaning the hooves, it is also advisable to adhere to a certain sequence of actions that will improve the final result of hygiene procedures.

Step 1. Cleansing the horse of wool and dirt. In order to remove dead hairs and accumulated litter from the horse’s body, you will need a comb, most often made of rubber. Skrabnetsa is the first in the list, because its bristles contribute to the heating of the horse and the expansion of its pores, which will be useful in the future. Cleansing is carried out in a circular motion directed against hair growth. Cleaning takes place four stops: neck - withers - back - limbs.

There are many models of rubber scrapers on the market with different stiffness and size of the bristles

Step 2 After the pores of the animal have opened, it is advisable to take another tool with stiffer bristles. If you used the comb correctly, then layers of dirt accumulated in the skin of the animal should come to the surface - you have to work with it. To do this, take a stiff brush and now, with direct movements, move from the neck of the horse to its tail. It is also advisable to use the legs of the horse. Please note that a stiff brush is not used on the face, stomach, mane and tail of the animal.

Stiff bristles allow you to remove the most abundant layer of dirt and hair

Step 3 For the final stage of cleaning the housing, you should take the softest brush. It will allow you to remove the remnants of dirt, as well as be able to clean those parts of the body that were inaccessible to a hard brush. Such a tool can even be used to clean the face, however, be careful and do not press on the “tool”. It is recommended to use a sponge to rinse the areas around the eyes, ears and mouth.

The delicate areas on the animal’s body are treated with a soft sponge.

Step 4 To clean the base of the tail, discard the brushes and arm yourself with simple towels or washcloths. The skin located in the genital area is considered to be very delicate, and due to its constant hydration, there is a possibility of accumulation of mucus and microbes. Therefore, in any case it is impossible to deprive attention of this part of the body. The use of towels should be single-use, the same copy is not used when cleaning different horses.

When processing intimate areas of the animal, use disposable materials

Step 5 The horse finishes cleaning by carefully combing out its thick mane and tail. In order to carry out this procedure without injuring the horse, use special combs that you can pick up at the pet store. By analogy with human hair, do not try to comb the entire mass of hair at once - distribute the mane and tail on the strands, then carefully go through them with a comb. If you come across tangles, do not try to tear them out by force, in extreme cases - remove the tangled area with scissors.

When combing a horse, start with small strands.

When cleaning an animal, follow a few simple rules that will ensure your safety:

  • do not stand near the horse’s feet
  • do not approach the horse from behind. She can lie to you even if you don’t make any serious mistakes,
  • make sure strong brush movements, but watch for the reaction of the animal. As a rule, the force of pressing is generated with time and when working in tandem with the horse.

Horse bathing

Bathing is a form of cleaning in which the animal is completely washed with water from a hose or any other device. It should be noted that you can not always bathe a horse. Water procedures are undesirable in the following situations:

  • You have just finished training with a horse and want to “dive” it. Due to the fact that the animal has warmed up, a sharp temperature drop can lead to colds,
  • You decide to wash your horse in the cold season. Of course, the immunity of many horses will cope with this "hardening", however, washing the horse at low temperatures on an ongoing basis is not recommended.

After bathing, it is recommended to wipe the horse with a towel

When watering, it is advisable to use warm, but not hot water. If the horse categorically refuses to take a bath and is afraid of water, do not force it to undergo this unpleasant procedure.

Horse feeding

Before proceeding to the calculation of the daily ration of the horse, we will briefly dwell on those products that must certainly be present in the menu of the horse:

    green feed. This type of feed is, of course, the main diet of any horse. Due to the fact that year-round grazing of horses is not possible in Russia, horse breeders can use herbal granules in the cold seasons, allowing animals to consume the necessary vitamins. Also, in the fall, you can use harvested corn silage as green fodder,

Horses consume both silage and haylage

Oats must be in the diet of every horse

Daily ration

On average, on one horse, whose body weight is in the range from 450 to 500 kilograms, per day leaves:

  • 5 kilograms of oats,
  • 12 kilograms of hay
  • 1.5 kilograms of bran,
  • 3 kilograms of carrots.

For each horse, the diet is individually adjusted.

Of course, the given daily ration is not a universal food option for each horse. Different individuals have different weights, are in different physiological states and require different amounts of nutrients. Ultimately, each horse gives preference to different products, which the horse breeder also has to consider.

Horse Feeding Rules

When developing a diet, it is important not to forget that the role is played not only by the dishes themselves, but also by the conditions in which the horses consume them. The tips below will help prevent the occurrence of indigestion in a horse:

    give preference to fractional feeding. The small serving sizes should be offset by more frequent meals. This method of nutrition helps to reduce acidity in the stomachs of horses, since the digestive tract is constantly occupied by digestion,

Rare feeding of horses associated with overeating harms their health

The horse’s stomach needs an hour to cope with the food eaten

Nikolay Zhuravlev Chief Editor

Posted by 10/15/2018

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