Horses, just like people, can come down with illnesses and issues which affect their performance. They can become tired, listless, under the weather, or too thin. This is true even if you do everything right with their nutrition and exercise. In fact, some horses can suffer from chronic conditions such as arthritis and ulcers that are difficult to treat.
These conditions are most common in older horses, but should be watched for in any horse. There are a few things you can do regularly to keep your horse in the best shape possible to ward off potential afflictions or discomfort.
Supplement your horse’s diet
Supplements like Equinety can be a great way to boost your horse’s nutrition. Equinety can aid in quicker muscle recovery, help your horses remain calm and focused, and strengthen their coats and bones. But don’t settle for cheaply manufactured supplements. Make sure you look for natural, high-quality products that don’t contain fillers or artificial ingredients. Also look for non-genetically modified (GMO) supplements to make sure you buy the most natural product.
Deal with your horse’s anxiety
Believe it or not, many horses are prone to nervousness. This is especially true for race horses, who are expected to perform consistently. In order to deal with anxiety, there are a few things you need to do. First of all, recognize their limitations and try not to push them beyond that. Not every horse performs at the same level and it’s important to pay attention to their particular limits, rather than comparing them to other horses. Secondly, be consistent with your training and your use of aids. Horses can get confused easily about what they are supposed to do and experience a lot of tension because of it.
Feed your horse right
Not all hay is the same, and high-quality hay is extremely important for your horse’s health. Find a trustworthy grower who delivers a consistently good product. Choose hay that is leafy rather than stemmy, as too many stems can cause colic. Also, keep your hay off the ground if you have to store it to avoid moisture and mold. This can be done on pallets or in barns.
Give them plenty of room for movement
Horses need exercise to be happy and healthy. But the amount they need may be different for every animal. Race horses, for example, already get plenty of exercise and have their own regimes for days off. But horses that don’t get regular workouts need room to roam. If they are stabled rather than kept in the pasture, you’ll probably need to schedule a few rides per week. Or you can let them out to run for a few hours a day by themselves or with other horses.
Let your horse socialize
Horses are herd animals and therefore need to socialize often. They are used to playing together, keeping watch while the others sleep, and grooming each other. Being alone for long periods of time can cause anxiety, odd behavior, and weight loss. And while horses naturally prefer the companionship of other horses, they will bond with other animals if that is their only choice.
If you pay careful attention to your horse or horses, you will be able to tell if they are healthy or need extra attention. Their eyes should be clear with no discharge or cloudy haze. Their appetite should be strong. Their hooves should be in good shape. And their coat should be shiny and healthy looking. If any of these things seem off about your horse and you’re not sure why, you may need to call your vet for an examination.