Note from Art: A happy horse? A great idea – but what if you don’t even have a horse?
Silvia Watson is a freelance writer and horse lover who offered this article for your help and enjoyment. Here’s why you see it on this science-oriented website:
- Silvia’s ideas are sensible, fundamental and clearly expressed.
- These principles can apply to any animal in your household, be it dog, cat, rabbit, tortoise or alpaca. (Perhaps even humans!)
So let’s settle in and take good care of all our family members with Silvia’s advice:
Caring for Our Four-Legged Family
“Dumb” animals? Animals are not stupid but they are indeed different from us. In particular, they aren’t verbal. And this is the reason why as horse and other pet owners, we must be very thoughtful about the way we address their daily care and wellness regime.
The idea of owning a healthy, happy horse or other animal is attractive. However, when it comes to caring for one, it needs our time, commitment and the ability to keep on learning better care tips and tactics.
Many people are of the opinion that only the horses that run on the horse racing tracks need extra care. That is not true. A healthy and happy horse needs effective healthcare and emotional care as well. If you want to know how to go about it, below are some easy tips and guidelines.
1. Make sure there’s movement
A sedentary life with less movement kills the human stamina! The same way, when your horse is standing all day long in a stable, it eats away its vitality. Hence, it is essential to allow for ample movement either on its own or when a handler takes charge of it. So, go ahead and add in basic horse exercises and brisk walking sessions. That will keep the horse mentally stimulated and physically agile. It will result in perfect musculoskeletal health, stronger bones, joints, healthy gut, and powerful feet.
In general, whatever your pet, it needs opportunities for movement proportional to its size and nature.
2. A happy horse stays hydrated
Your horse and other pets need to stay hydrated all-round the year! Make sure that water sources are clean and free of all contaminants.
Horses usually drink water in huge quantities. Thus you don’t have to work hard to make them drink water. You just need to make it easily available to your horse. Also, if you notice that your horse is not drinking enough water, check for signs of any ailments by consulting a doctor.
Alternatively, you can use electrolytes to address this problem.
3. A happy horse is sociable
Like humans, a happy horse needs to socialize! Encourage human interaction as much as possible.
If guests are visiting your horse, allow them the free space to interact with your horse as much as possible. Similarly, when you are taking your horse out for a brisk walk or making way for grazing, it’s a smart call to leave your horse in the company of other horses. This way the horse will develop its social skills. It will be more responsive to the horse lessons and other guidelines it receives during horse training.
4. Avoid instilling fear in horses
Experts say that horses tend to develop fear memories. And when they do so, they don’t function to their optimal mental capacities. Therefore, when you are giving your horse to a trainer, give ample guidelines to the trainer to refrain from any and every kind of fear tactic.
It’s true that the trainer must be firm. Make sure that your trainer exerts a sovereign authority as opposed domination that might make your horse fearful. A happy horse is a horse that feels loved and accepted.
Every horse owner wants a healthy and happy horse! However, this does take a little work on the owner’s side as well. If you want a happy horse or pet, follow the tactics mentioned above to ensure that they enjoy a high-quality lifestyle.
– Photo by Leah Kelley on pexels.com.
– Art thanks Rebecca Priester for helpful advice.