If you’re the proud new owner of an equestrian estate, horse ranch or horse farm, you’re about to start the fun part; taking care of it. Besides taking care of the horse real estate you also have to rake care of the horses.

Unfortunately, horses are not cheap to maintain, but owning a horse can be done on a budget. By far and away the easiest way to own a horse is if you have your own horse property, for every horse you have you should allow 1 acre of land. Of course this can vary depending on the type of land and the size and breed of your horses. After all, a 12hh pony won’t need as much land as a 16hh Clydesdale. Horses can also be relatively easy to look after. As long as they have food, water, shelter and companionship, they are pretty happy.

The Essentials of Horse Care

Paddock and /or stable

Whatever way you decide to house your horse there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  1. Good fencing is essential. Ideally the paddock is best with post and rail fencing or white “horse” fencing, however the reality for many horse owners is that their paddock will have plain electric fencing.
  2. Shelter in the form of trees or a man-made structure is another essential for horses. Horses need shade in summer and protection from bad weather in winter.
  3. As horses can drink anywhere from 5-20 gallons of water a day, having a reliable, clean source of drinking water is of vital importance to their wellbeing. This can be in the form of a creek, river, dam, or water troughs. Old bathtubs make great water troughs. But make sure the plug is tight.
  4. Paddocks should also be free of debris and other rubbish so as to avoid injury.
  5. Stables should be large enough to allow for easy movement of the horse and have ample space for the horse to lie down and get up without injuring themselves.
  6. Stables are also best if they have yards or paddocks attached, this allows for the horse to self-exercise when you don’t have time. Having the horse cooped up in a stable 24/7 is a recipe for disaster, as lack of exercise can lead to boredom and stress, which in turn leads to behavioral issues such as wind sucking and weaving.


This must be one of the most debated topics in the horse world, because there are as many different feed options out there as there are horse people. One of the most important rules to feeding horses is the K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid) method. Most paddock horses can maintain condition without the need for supplementary feeding if their grazing area is large enough and the paddock is well maintained. As long as they have healthy shiny coats, well covered ribs, clear bright eyes and strong hooves, your horse is in good condition.

If the horse is in regular exercise and/or stabled, then you will need to supplementary feed. Even paddocked horses may need supplementary feeding in times of drought, floods and during winter.

The Fun Stuff


Grooming, like all horse care should be done on a regular basis. Spending time grooming your horse will allow you to assess its physical and mental well-being, and any issues can be dealt with sooner rather than later.

Hooves should be checked/cleaned out daily and trimmed or shod every 6 – 8 weeks by a qualified farrier. If your horse is without shoes it may need a trim every 4 weeks.

Another essential is worming. How often you worm will depend a bit on how many horses you have and how large a property. The experts now recommend that horses are wormed no more than 4 times a year. Do not to rotate the worming pastes, as this seems to be a contributing cause to resistance in worms.


As horses are herd animals, it is recommended that your horse have a companion. This can be in the form of another horse, a donkey, pony, cows, or even goats, but preferably another equine. Even if it is only “talking” over the fence to another horse, your horse will feel more secure. Some horses do not worry about being alone; others will become very agitated, so it will depend on the type of horse you have as to whether a companion is needed.


In Sickness and in Health

One of the most important aspects of horse care is to know about first aid and to know or be familiar with basic horse disease and illnesses. You should learn what the vital signs are for a healthy horse; things like heart rate and temperature; and learn how to take them. Knowing how just may one day save your horse’s life. Never be afraid to ring and chat to your local vet if you are at all worried, most are quite happy to talk about your concerns and it’s better to be safe than sorry.


About the author: John M. Caviness is a copywriter at MeowEssay. Besides, he spends his time training dogs. Moreover, John is a volunteer at some puppy mills. In this case, he has an opportunity to help animals feel more comfortable there.

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