A horse is more than just a pet. It can be a teammate or a co-worker in addition to a beloved companion. However, a horse has certain basic needs to keep it happy and healthy. Because it is a large animal, meeting a horse’s basic needs can be a complicated and expensive endeavor. You may be able to save somewhat by purchasing discount horse supplies, but in any case, you should be certain that you can afford to meet a horse’s basic needs before you decide to keep one.

1.     Water

Water is as essential to horses as it is to other pets and, indeed, human beings. You should not try to make your horse drink directly from a bucket as it could unintentionally tip it over. A self-filling trough provides a continuous supply of water, which is more convenient for you and the horse alike.

2.     Food

A horse should not be fed food scraps or grass clippings because they can make it sick. Horses need hay or another type of quality feed. They need to eat approximately two pounds of feed per 100 pounds of body weight every day. However, be careful to avoid overfeeding your horse, as that can be dangerous too. In addition to feed, horses also need access to a salt lick.

3.     Space/Shelter

Horses that aren’t exercised every day need space to move around in. Any area where you keep horses should have secure fences in good repair so that they cannot escape but can move at liberty within their designated space.

However, horses also need access to shelter where they can go to get out of the weather when the rain, wind, or sun become too much for them. A stable or a walk-in shed is often a good solution, but trees under which the horse can retreat as necessary may suffice as well.

4.     First Aid

If you keep a horse, you should have a well-stocked equine first aid kit readily accessible. This should include items such as antiseptic wound cleaner, zinc oxide, bandages or leg wraps, and a thermometer. Additionally, the kit should include a book that provides instructions on how to administer first aid to horses and the phone number of your veterinarian.

5.     Socialization

You should not try to keep a horse in isolation. By nature, they are herd animals and need company of their own kind. Improper socialization may lead to behavior problems. However, the other horses do not necessarily have to be in the same space. They can socialize with others in a neighboring paddock.

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