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How To Provide Everyday Care For Your Horse

In order to provide your horse with the best level of care possible, you must keep your eyes and ears open at all times. Your horse can’t tell you when something is wrong, so it’s up to you to be aware of any behavior or physical symptoms that are unusual. This will require you to carry out routine checks on your horse and to provide excellent care in order to prevent her from contracting any illness or infection. It will also require you to act quickly and effectively whenever you notice something is wrong, so the problem is not allowed to worsen. Keep reading for some useful information on providing routine care for your horse.

Spc. Kyle Sheridan, 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery Regiment, 75th Fires Brigade, Fort Sill, Okla., grooms Dinges, a horse in the Fort Sill Field Artillery Half Section, Aug. 17. During a brief ceremony at Fort Sill, Field Artillery Half Section personnel gathered to publicly recognize and honor Dinges, who joined the half section in 1989. Fort Sill's Field Artillery Half Section is the only horse-drawn artillery unit in the U.S. Army and one of only seven Army equestrian special ceremonial units. It is an authentic representation of half of an artillery section of the late 1920s. After 21 years of service, Dinges will retire to the Spirit Horse Chisholm Trail Therapy Center in Comanche, Okla. At the age of 28, Dinges will continue to serve the community through service with special needs children in the southwest Oklahoma area. (U.S. Army photo by Jason Kelly)Photo Source

It is a good idea to check your horse’s body whenever you are grooming her. Start from the head and work your way to their feet.

Your horse’s eyes and nose should be regularly cleaned gently with fresh water and separate soft sponges. If you notice the eyes are dull or weeping, and the nose is congested these can all be signs of ill health.

The position of the ears can also give you an indication of stress or pain. If they are strongly pinned back, this could be a warning, so do be aware of this.

If you have noticed a change in eating habits, for example, a lack of appetite or chewing slowly, this could be a sign of a dental problem. You should inspect your horse’s teeth for any unusual swelling, smells or sores.

Your horse’s skin and coat should look glossy and feel smooth and soft. Regular grooming of the coat will keep it in good condition by removing dirt, oil and dry skin, and encouraging circulation. A dull, dry or lifeless coat may indicate an underlying health condition, such as worms. Worms is a nasty condition that often isn’t obvious until permanent damage has occurred. As part of your routine care, you should administer horse wormers as a preventative measure.

You should also examine your horse’s body for any changes in physical appearance. For example, a noticeable increase or decrease in weight could be a sign that there is something wrong. Use your hands to feel gently for any lumps, bumps or sores that may have developed since you last groomed her. If your horse is suffering from back problems, they may not be standing straight and exhibiting unusual movements. Feel their back and if there is any resistance to your touch, this may confirm suspicions of a bad back.

Foot problems are common in horses and if undetected, can exacerbate quickly. As part of your routine care for your horse, you should clean and take a close look at her feet. If you notice an unusual stance or gait when she walks, this could be a sign of a medical condition and you may need a visit from the vet. You should also look out for abnormal marks, damage, smells and objects. Mud and dirt should be removed carefully from hooves.

Horses are beautiful but complicated creates that require a high level of care from their owners. However, if you practice these checks as part of your routine care, you will be doing your very best to look after your horse.

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