Do you know someone who is an absolutely fabulous horse owner? There are many ways that you can be a great owner to your horse. Here are five ideas to get you started–and give yourself a big pat on the back if you are doing these things already!
Prioritize Your Horse’s Health
When you own a horse, that horse depends on you to keep him healthy. Make your horse’s health a priority by having the vet out at least once a year for a checkup. You’ll also want to make sure that your horse sees the farrier on a regular basis to keep his hooves in good condition. Don’t forget to look other factors which can affect your horse’s health, including regular exercise, plenty of turnout time, good nutrition, and a parasite management program.
Listen To Your Horse
Great horse owners listen to what their horses are telling them. It’s important to not immediately write off your horse’s behavior as your horse being naughty – physical issues are often at the root of behavioral problems. Do your best to listen to what your horse is trying to tell you, and get to the root of what may be amiss with your horse.
Advocate for Your Horse’s Care
At some point during your life, you will likely have to advocate for your horse’s care. Whether it’s seeking out a second veterinary opinion or standing up for your horse to make sure that he gets the care he needs while at a boarding barn, being able to advocate for your horse’s needs is part of being a great horse owner.
One of the common features of great horse owners is that they always continue to learn. There will always be more to learn about horses, their care, and riding, so make sure that you stay open to learning and improving throughout your entire life. From observing other riders to taking parts in clinics or taking regular lessons, there are so many ways to continue learning about horses.
Owning and riding a horse can try your patience sometimes. But it’s not fair to the horse to get upset at him because you’ve had a rough day at work, because you don’t understand why he’s not doing what you ask, or because you’re frustrated with his behavior during a show. Riding, and riding well, takes lots of patience and self-control; make it your goal to never take out your emotions on your horse.
What items would you add to this list? How do you make yourself a better horse owner?