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Care and Feeding of Our Equne Friends
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Most horses are kept in barns at least part of the time. The choice of whether you prefer a horse to live most in pasture or in a barn is up to you. Barns are convenient for getting a horse ready to ride, but keeping a horse in a pasture is less expensive and horses like it better. Most people who own horse keep them in a combination of both a pasture and a barn. Doors in barns should be tall enough so a horse does not bang its head. Their stalls should be roomy, airy and have enough light. Good drainage so bedding stays dry will keep your horse healthy as well. Stalls should have some form of bedding in them. Sometimes horses will lie down and often they will stand in bedding which is much easier on their hooves than the hard floor. Different types of beddings: straw, hemp, rubber matting, wood shavings, and shredded paper.

Mucking a stall Barns and other places that horses live and sleep in need to be kept clean. Stalls should be kept mucked out at least once a day. This takes quite a bit of time and responsibility. You need to be able to do these chores if you wish to own a horse.

You also need to make sure your horse has enough water. Water can be very heavy to carry in buckets when hoses will not reach. Many stables have self–watering troughs which cuts down on much of the work. Pastures should not rely on creeks and rivers for their water supply since they could be polluted or have some kind of parasite in them.

Feeding your horse.

Horses have small stomachs and large intestines. This means horses need a small amount of food, especially concentrated horse feed, at a time but all throughout the day. This made sense in the wild, but is harder for domesticated horses.

Feeding Time at the Ranch There are 2 kinds of horse feed: Bulk and Hard Feed. Bulk feed is made up of hay and grass. You should put the hay into a haynet before feeding so it does not get trampled on and dirty. Most horses eat a hay diet, supplemented by some concentrated or hard feeds. Hard feeds include combinations of oats, barley, sugar beets, corn and other plants. All feed needs to be kept in a cool, dry but airy place with no rats or mice.

There are also snacks and other supplements that often given to horses. Horses love carrots and apples. You need to be careful not to give too many apples, for in some horses this can cause colic. Horses also need salt. Out in the wild, horses will find salt deposits in the rocks and lick them. We give horses mineral blocks to do the same thing.

End of part 1. Coming Soon – learn about grooming your horse friend.

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