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5 Horse Health Tips To Reduce Vet Visits
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Anyone who has ever cared for a horse knows this: they are expensive! As much as we love our horses, it's still important to do what you can to save money. You also want your horse to be as happy and healthy as possible. Here are some horse health tips to reduce your veterinarian visits and keep your beloved horse feeling its best.
1. Learn How to Examine Your Horse's Teeth
A horse usually has 44 teeth, and you can do a quick test of their oral health by giving them some hay on an empty stomach. Watch how your horse eats, as eating continuously with both sides of its mouth indicates good, healthy teeth. If your horse isn't eating, it may be caused by tooth pain.
As your horse chews, its teeth will slowly wear down. This can result in sharp teeth, which will need to be filed to prevent gum injuries. The next time you take your horse to the vet, observe how he checks its teeth so you can do this yourself to prevent easily avoidable injuries to your horse's mouth.
2. Proper Food for Equine Nutrition
Your horse's health relies a great deal on the type of food you provide. Pasture grass is essential, with hay in the winter. Horses who eat mainly commercial feed or grain will often develop digestive problems. Don't be afraid to give your horse fresh fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, mango with seed removed, pear, carrots, peas, lettuce and green beans, as well as oat meal mixed with apple.
Along with good feed, horse supplements are also important for overall equine nutrition. You can find feed supplements and boosters, as well as horse supplements designed to treat or prevent specific problems your breed may be prone to, including laminitis.
3. Regular Checks
It pays to regularly check your horse every day. Know your horse's normal behavior, including their typical activity level and how much they eat. This allows you to more quickly spot problems early on, when they can be treated at home or with a reduced cost of treatment by a vet. Check your horse's hooves every day and remove any stones, and look for injuries every time you groom.
4. Keep a Safe and Entertaining Pasture
Make sure your horse's pasture is kept safe. Do not use barbed wire anywhere, and make sure any poisonous plants are removed. Green pastures not only support equine nutrition, they also give your horse a chance to socialize, giving them a sense of safety and reducing behavioral problems.
Horses need stimulation just like humans, and they are very intelligent animals. Don't let your horse become bored; buy horse supplies like an exercise ball, food trap toys and milk jugs tied to string so they have something to do.
5. Regular Shoeing is Important
Finally, regular shoeing is important for overall horse health. Find a dependable farrier, as you will get to know him or her a great deal as your horse needs to be re-shoed every 6-8 weeks. Signs your horse needs new shoes include loose nails pushing up from the hoof well, a show that has fallen off, a hoof outgrowing its shoe or a loose or twisted shoe.
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