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Care Sheet for Horses

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 0    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 08/29/2008

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Years Experience:

3 to 5 Years



Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:


Sexing and Characteristics:

Stallions are more dangerous and unpredictable. Mares can be stroppy(Stroppy Little Mare didn’t come from no where) Geldings are castrated before the age of 2 and many people say that their not as unpredictable or grumpy as mares and stallions. Horses can be sexed the same way as a dog and cat can.

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Substrate and Water Needs:

Water MUST be clean and there MUST be plenty of it. They can have either straw or shavings as their bedding. If your horse/pony has Asthma then you MUST NOT use straw as it’s dusty.

Lighting and UVB:

Take them out daily into a grazing area also take them out on to the yard to groom them(more room for you and they’ll enjoy it more.)

Temperatures and Humidity:

If it’s cold put a rug on them. If they get to hot try a light-weight rug or medium(depending on what you just had on them.)

Heating and Equipment:

You can get stable/barn heaters but they’re expensive sometimes. You can try a normal stable-blanket if they’re to cold or if it’s to hot try bringing in a fan(not into stable) and put it on as light as it will go.

Stable--> pitch/shavings fork(shaving fork has more spikes that are really close), wheelbarrow, shovel, broom, tack pegs/racks(I wouldn’t recommend this as there is a possibility of it being stolen so preferably tack room or even in a closet/cupboard in your house.) a rug hanger(piece of thick wood on 2 chains outside stable.) Head-collar + lead-rope, buckets.

Paddock--> Wheelbarrow, shovel <-- Poo Picking. Head collar, lead rope, rugs(Optional), padlock(bike chain may be needed.)

Caging Provided:

Big loose box/stable, paddock/pasture.



Description of Diet:

For our purposes, feed for horses can be divided into three categories: pasture, hay and concentrates.


The most natural food for horses is good quality pasture. Most mature pleasure horses doing light work will do well on pasture alone if they have sufficient grazing. However, horses are selective grazers and need a large area to meet their nutritional needs. Just because a field is green does not mean it contains sufficient grazing for a horse, and depending on where you live, for a large part of the year pasture is not available.

You can optimize the amount of grazing available by dividing your pasture into sections and rotating your horses through the different paddocks. That way, you give the grass a chance to grow back and can pick up the manure.


Hay is the basic food of domestic horses. Only feed good quality hay to horses. Inspect hay carefully before buying it, asking the seller to open a bale. Make sure the bales are green and dust and mold free. Stick your hand down into the center of a bale to make sure it’s not warm. Feeding moldy hay can cause colic and dusty hay can cause respiratory problems. (To avoid dust, it’s a good idea to pull the flakes apart and shake them out well before feeding. As a precaution, you can also soak hay before feeding.)

The type of hay available varies according to the area you live in. Three basic types in Alberta are grass hay, alfalfa hay and grass/alfalfa mix. Common grasses are timothy and brome. Alfalfa has a higher protein content than grass. Many horse people consider a grass/alfalfa mix the best for horses, and timothy/brome/alfalfa is a common combination.

Alfalfa is also available in cubes and pellets. However, horses need chew time to be content, so except for veterinary reasons, most people feed some hay. Some horses have a tendency to choke on cubes. To be safe, you can soften cubes with water before feeding.

Do not feed your horse grass clippings as they can cause founder.


Hay alone cannot provide enough nutrition for hard-working horses, pregnant and nursing mares, or growing youngsters. They need concentrates to supplement the hay. However, hay should still provide the bulk of the diet. Feeding too much grain can cause problems.

Concentrates include grains (whole, rolled or cracked), sweet feed (grain mixed with molasses), and manufactured feeds (pellets, cubes, or extruded). You can buy bags of feed specially formulated for every stage of a horse’s life from creep feed for foals to feed for senior equines.

Beet pulp provides additional bulk. Beet pellets must be soaked before feeding to allow them to expand. If you use hot water, they expand in about an hour, but with cold water, allow overnight soaking. Only prepare enough for one day’s feeding at a time.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

You can feed treats but I recommend only giving them treats if they’ve done REALLY REALLY well because else they’ll learn to nip.


Plenty of water. Hay or Haylage. hard feed. Fields and boxes/stables. ALOT of money! Farriers, wormers, vets at least yearly, dentist at least yearly. Tack, numnah, saddle, bridle, stirrups.(That’s English tack, I can’t help with western.) Insurance(highly recommended), boarding if needed, there’s loads more but those are basics.

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The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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