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You have just purchased your first horse!   Along with all the fun and excitement comes a lot of responsibility.   You need to insure that your horse is healthy and happy.    Here are some important guidelines for the safe feeding and care of your new partner.

It will first be helpful to know a little about the horse’s digestive system.  The horse is a roughage eater – a grazer.  His digestive system has evolved to be continually working, therefore he needs free choice hay or pasture grass to keep his digestive system working naturally.  The horse’s stomach is very small, so he cannot eat large quantities.  If he needs nutrients in addition to hay or pasture, it needs to be split into small amounts (i.e. two or more feedings per day).

Here are some simple rules for feeding your horse:

Now comes the next question - What do I feed my horse?   Basic nutrition requirements will vary according to age, metabolism, and level of exercise.   You will want to discuss the specific requirements of your horse with your veterinarian.

Here are some basic things to know:

Also important to your horse’s health and well being are regular visits from the veterinarian and farrier.    Before bringing your horse home, it is important to research your area for a vet and farrier who is able to take on a new client.

Here is what you need to know for regular maintenance:

These tips ought to get you started in developing a healthy caring relationship with your new partner.   Though many of these things may be new to you, remember to be an informed consumer. The more you know, the better choices you will make.   There are many products and services for sale and you must know enough so you can decide what feels right to you.


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