Horses are so pleasant to be around, particularly if you have a happy horse! We all want our horses to live a long and happy life and you know how rewarding it feels to home a happy animal and take care of them very well. We have the top checklist for you, to ensure your horse is happy and healthy every day whilst you enjoy their company and all the joy they bring!
We all know how much enjoyment we get out of food, with that being said… so does your horse. The horses’ primary need is food in the form of hay and grass, and lots of it as well. You may find your horse is telling you they want their grain but be sure to have lots of roughage on offer as this is crucial to a happy and healthy gut. We all love a treat occasionally as well, so allowing your horse to have a small amount of indulgence (healthy indulgence) will earn you some brownie points.
Ensuring you get the right feed for your horse is essential to ensure a healthy balanced diet. Different horse feeds offer different benefits to your horse and it is important to understand your horses needs when making your buying decision. Before horses were used for racing and competition their diet was largely based around forage, a much lower calorie intake but as horses are increasingly becoming a part of our day-to-day life the need for a higher calorie intake is important. Ensuring your feed has: consistent ingredients in each portion provided, easily digestible ingredients and consistency, proper nutrients, and extended shelf life is important for a happy, healthy horse. You can guarantee they’ll be your best friend if you have their feeding routine down to a T.
Exercise is key to a happy horse. You’ll likely know from experience how upset your horse gets when not able to exercise due to injury. The exercise routine you adopt will not only allow your horse to keep fighting fit, but it increases the flow of blood to the horses’ feet as well as improving digestion and lifting their mood. Think about how beneficial exercise is to us humans, horses benefit in the same way and even more!
Enrichment activities for your horse are a perfect way to keep them visually and mentally stimulated. A bored horse can turn into a frustrated and unhappy horse so having activities available throughout the day is going to keep them extremely happy and healthy. You could even form an activity routine.
- Get creative with their food, you can wrap their favourite plants around the bars of the stable and hang them from the ceiling
- Mix in a variety of herbs, nettles, and mint. This will encourage the horse to find their favourite flavour and sift it out amongst the rest
- Encourage the horses to use their brains by feeding through forage boxes and treat balls