It may seem odd to describe horses as “pets”, but this description is more fitting than it may originally appear. After all, horse owners are required to provide and care for their horse in the same way they would care for a more conventional pet. So while the opportunities for sofa snuggles might be more limited with a horse, there’s no denying they are indeed a pet – and, more importantly, a pet that has very specific care needs and requirements. Below, we have put together a list of suggested products that can help make caring for your horse as simple (and as beneficial) as possible.
Food and water
The most common foodstuff for horses is grass and hay, the latter of which is usually provided via the use of a hay net that hangs in the stable. However, many horse owners prefer to add to this diet with a variety of different feeds. There’s plenty of options to choose from in this regard, including feed that is specifically designed for certain breeds, so it’s worth taking the time to research to find the exact food your horse requires for optimal health.
You will also need to ensure that your horse has access to water at all times. This is most commonly achieved using a trough; you will need a large trough for outdoor use, and a smaller, more compact version for the stable.
Horses need to be groomed frequently; preferably both before and after riding, and also if their coat has gathered mud when they have been grazing. You will need standard brushes, as well as options specifically designed for use on the mane and tail. You will also need a hoof pick; these are inexpensive items that are essential for cleaning stones, gravel, and mud from the inside of your horse’s hooves.
A head collar and leading rein
While horses are ridden in a bridle, a head collar is more commonly used for everyday transport – for example, when turning your horse out into a paddock. Head collars tend to come in rather limited standard sizes, so it’s important to double-check that there is a good fit for your horse’s head: the head collar should be comfortable and loose, but not so loose your horse could wrest their head from it. You will also need a leading rein to use with the head collar; these are often sold in combination with the head collar itself.
Straw and shavings are most commonly used as bedding for horses, though you may also want to consider specially designed mats for older horses or those with known joint problems. You will also need a pitchfork, which you will use to muck out your horse’s stable on a daily basis.
Most horse owners opt for two rugs: a lightweight rug for summer use, and a thicker, more robust option for the winter months. Rugs help to keep horses warm and protect them from the elements while grazing, so it’s definitely worth investing in this area to ensure your horse is comfortable outside all year round.
Horses are complex animals that have very niche, specific care needs. The products above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to equine care, but they are the essential items you will need to ensure your horse is happy, well-cared for, and content at all times.