Basic Skills Every Horse Owner Should Have

Print this page    
If you’re planning on looking at horses for sale and buying your first horse, there are some skills that you should have before you make the jump into horse ownership. Here’s a short list to get you prepared.

How to Take a Horse’s Vital Signs

Knowing how to take a horse’s vital signs is an important skill for any horse owner. A horse’s respiration and heart rates will help you inform a veterinarian of the horse’s condition if the horse is sick or injured.

You can check your horse’s respiration rate by watching the flare of his nostrils. Count every flare for thirty seconds, then multiple the number of breaths by two to calculate your horse’s breaths-per-minute rate.

Taking your horse’s pulse can be a bit trickier. It’s best to have a vet or experienced horseperson show you how to take your horse’s pulse under his chin. If this isn’t possible, you can also use a stethoscope pressed where your girth would lie. Count the beats for thirty seconds, then multiply them by two.

How to Safely Feed a Horse

A basic understanding of the horse’s digestive system is essential to feeding a horse safely. Horses are natural grazers and their stomachs are highly sensitive, meaning that feeding them one or two large meals a day is not an ideal approach.

To feed a horse safely, you will need to maximize your horse’s forage while minimizing the amount of grain that he gets, but it’s important to be sure that your horse gets the nutrition that he needs through his diet. You should ideally split the grain feedings into multiple small feedings spread over the course of the day, and you should always feed the horse at the same time every day. If you ever need to change feed, do so gradually, slowly introducing small amounts of the new feed while simultaneously decreasing the horse’s old feed.

How to Recognize a Health Emergency

When health emergencies occur with horses, you need to act quickly. A horse owner should be able to recognize the signs of common health conditions like colic, common viruses, and lameness. You will need to be familiar with what to do in a situation that requires medical treatment. Investing in a quality equine First-Aid book is a great idea for any new horse owner.

How to Handle a Horse Safely

When you’re looking at horses for sale, it’s important that you are able to read equine body language and handle the horses safely. Anyone thinking of buying a horse should be trained by an instructor in how to stay safe around horses. Never approaching a horse from directly in front of or behind him, staying by a horse’s shoulder when leading him, and touching the horse as you walk behind him are some of the basics that will help to keep you safe.

If you’re thinking about buying your first horse, work with an experienced horseperson to learn these important skills. TOPHORSE–browse horses for sale or place an ad to sell horses

Share |

 Send to a friend

Your name

Your Email Address

Your Friends Name

Your Friends Email