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Education Is Key
We love to talk about horses. We love to share our knowledge and experiences with groups and organizations interested in learning about horses
Whatever the topic - How to buy a horse - Which kind of horse is the right one for you - Is your family ready for a horse - Why end horse slaughter - Know your State's horse welfare laws - we are interested in speaking to your group.
We believe we have a responsibility to leave a more compassionate and respectful legacy for future generations. The most powerful way we know of doing that through Speak Up For Horses is to teach our children about owner responsibility. The lessons about owning and caring for a horse apply to how we take care of our environment and how we treat our fellow human beings.
So You Want To Own A Horse?
Owning a horse requires a substantial investment of money, time, hard work, and sincere dedication. The initial purchase price of a horse is just the beginning.
You must be willing and able to make a 100% commitment to your horse.
Many parts of horse ownership require hard physical labor: shoveling manure, toting bales, carrying water, training and riding.
You will have to tend to feeding and grooming every day as well as buying feed, cleaning and repairing tack, maintaining facilities and much more.
You have to meet with your farrier or your vet for their scheduled appointments and be available in emergency situations.
However, for all this hard work, you will be rewarded with the most wonderful relationship between you and your horse. You will make friends with other horse owners, who share the same love.
There are many local, regional, and national organizations which are designed for family participation.
Groups are available for all types of horse involvement: trail riding, lessons and clinics, competitions of all levels and types, and groups for "back-yard horsemen"
of many interests.
Since horses are herd animals, we highly recommend you keep your horse in the company of other horses, which may require you to board at a qualified facility.
To help you along in your decision and to provide some basics about responsible horse ownership, we have compiled a few links to resources and information below.
Horse Cost Calculator
Guide To First Time Horse Ownership
Bringing A Horse Into The Family
Housing For Your Horse
Horses Don't Need Blankets
Introducing A New Horse
Are you ready for Horses in Disasters? Download this booklet to help you get prepared.
Old Doesn't Mean Skinny
How often do we hear that that skinny horse in that pasture over there is
"just old" and that weight loss due to aging is normal.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
While all horses need good quality hay, this is especially true for older equines. Avoid hay that is stemmy or too mature as it will not be digested well. Soft pliable hay is the better choice for your older friend.
However, for horses that have trouble keeping weight on, good hay is unlikely enough to maintain a healthy body condition. If your horse needs more calories many suitable feed products and supplements are now available.
Most companies offer so called senior feeds to meet the needs of older equines. In addition to the fiber (roughage) horses receive from hay, age specific feeds will provide the fat and protein needed to maintain good overall weight.
Pelleted or extruded feeds can also be a valuable source, as the processing cooks the feed, making it more digestible for an older horse.
Many of these feeds are beet pulp based and have added fat content.
The more reliant the older horse becomes on its supplemental diet, the greater the benefits of splitting the food into three, four or more meals a day.
Add a general vitamin and mineral supplement at the recommended level to ensure your horse is getting all necessary trace elements.
Many equine feed companies now have nutritionists on staff to answer questions and make suggestions to the inquiring customer.
Depending upon the state of your horse's teeth, which of course should be checked regularly by your vet or equine dentist, you may need to turn the feed into a mash. It's entirely possible that your aged equine will eventually have no teeth left, but will be able to maintain a good body condition by slurping down multiple meals of nutritious mashes per day.
Older horses should of course be wormed just as regularly as their younger counterparts. You can help their system deal with de-worming by adding pro-bios to their meals several days before and after.
If your older equine is still having trouble with his or her weight, please contact your vet to check for underlying health issues or changes.
And always provide plenty of fresh water for all your horses.