Horses are interesting creatures; they are known for their superior strength. They are endowed with wild beauty; no wonder many people adore these animals.
For horse owners and enthusiasts, knowing everything about horses is key to understanding them fully. There is so much to horses: this article looks at some top facts that come in handy when you are caring for horses. If you plan to get a horse or get a job in the horse industry, this information is critical to have on your fingertips.
There are three types of horses
Horses are generally classified into three main types. There are heavy horses, light horses and ponies. This classification is mainly factored on horse size, proportion and overall build. Primarily, the differences are in weight and bone structure of the horses. The equine world goes further to distinguish horses by breeds; there are hundreds of breeds. This is a more detailed look into a horse’s lineage and general characteristics like color. Below is a closer look at the types of horses;
- Heavy horses
These are visibly heavy or big horses that usually come with broad backs. They are known to have short thick legs which make them suitable for performing heavy tasks like farming. They move slowly with short steps which allows them to perform their work effectively. Apart from pulling carts and plowing land, heavy horses are also showcased at fairs. Good examples of heavy horse breeds are the American Cream Draft horse and the Clydesdale.
- Light horses
These are the best horses for riding. They are certainly lighter and linear with longer legs. They do not bend their legs when they walk unlike draft horses. Fitting saddles on their backs is pretty easy making riding very comfortable. Thoroughbreds, quarter horses and miniature horses are a few examples of light horses. However, it is important not to confuse miniature horses with ponies as explained below.
These horses are known for their small stature even when they are fully grown. They come with thickers coats, manes and tails. Their necks are thicker with smaller heads compared to the other types of horses. Child riders love ponies because they are less intimidating and cute. Ponies are very intelligent but can be stubborn. Adults can also ride these horses as long as they are trained for adult riders. Shetland pony is one example of a popular pony breed.
What horses eat to keep healthy
Horses are herbivores and they eat a variety of plant based meals. With a long digestive system, they have to feed on small quantities of high-fibre feeds for many hours for effective digestion. Horses therefore eat pasture grass and tender plants, grain, hay, concentrate mixes, minerals and salt, and water. Oats and corn are the most common grains fed to horses. However, grain like wheat is not suitable for horses. Concentrate mixes are usually made from a variety of feeds including flaxseed, grains, beet pulp, bran, vitamins and many other nutritious ingredients. Hay is the best alternative when pasture grass is not available. Horses are also fed on treats like apples and carrots. Keeping the horse diet nutritious and low in sugar is ideal.
What is the lifespan of a horse?
Because of the advanced knowledge on horse care and health, horses are living longer than before. Today, horses are living up to 30 years while enjoying high quality of life. However, without proper care for your horse, they are likely to live below 20 years. It is therefore important to seek expert advice to ensure that you employ sound equine care.
Fun things to do with your horse
Apart from riding, horses enjoy many other activities. In the wild, horses walk and traverse long distances as they explore the environment. If you are looking to break the monotony for your horse, you can go for a walk within your neighborhood. Allow them to explore and take in the environment. This brings the most natural feeling that keeps the horse entertained and happy.
Touching and scratching your horse is another great way to spend time with your horse. Studies have found that scratching a horse on its withers is calming. Every horse is different and when you are exploring your horse, you are sure to find the right spot where the horse is most pleased. A quivering lip and glazing eyes will inform you when you have hit the spot. This bonding time is also helpful to the horse owner.
Horses also love to play with water at water holes, rivers or ponds. On hot days, this is an activity that will surely keep them happy and cool. You can also give treats to your horse as you train them. Toys can also be incorporated into training to make it fun. However, make sure to use appropriate toys for this task.
Horse care tips
The well being of your horse will depend on what you do and the products you use. You need horse care products that are both safe and effective. From hoof care to grooming products and sun protection, it is critical to give your horse the best treatment possible. Equi-Spa is the best partner for natural horse care. Here, you find balms, gentle antiseptics, essential oils, hoof care and all manner of grooming products for your horse. Help your horse thrive naturally with Equi-Spa products. Horses may be strong but they are very sensitive creatures as well. Infections such as bacterial or fungal can take a toll on them and reduce their quality of life significantly. Therefore, take preventive measures and treat them early to keep them fully productive and happy.