Basic Horse Care
We’ve compiled the following general guidelines for the basic care required to ensure a horse’s health and well-being.
- Provide good quality hay or forage, 2% of body weight per day.
- Provide 3 – 5 acres of good pasture per horse during summer.
- Feed grain (oats, barley) or commercial feed if additional energy is required.
- Provide salt free choice.
- If a horse is losing body condition or is less than 2 years old, segregate and feed separately.
- Feed to maintain a body condition score of 5 on a scale of 1 to 9. Ribs should not be visible but easily felt.
- Provide access to water on a daily basis. Consideration must be given to the nutrition, age, shelter and body condition of the horses.
- On average, horses require 5.5 litres (1.5 gallons) of water per 100 kg (220 lbs) of body weight. Individual demands vary depending on feed intake, activity and temperature. This means a 500 kg (1100 lb) horse needs from 18 litres (4 gal) to more than 36 litres (8 gal) per day.
- Inspect horses frequently to ensure good physical health and to detect any problems early, including parasite control.
- Consult a veterinarian to develop a health care program.
- Maintain a hoof care program.
- Provide older horses with specialized care and when needed, euthanize in a timely manner.
- Provide natural (trees) or constructed shelter to provide adequate protection from adverse weather.
- Horse paddocks must be properly fenced to safely keep horses confined.
- Paddocks must be free of debris that may cause injury to horses.