I got a horse, now what? update 1-22-11

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by twentynine, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. twentynine

    twentynine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2009
    Okay, first thing, my wife got a horse.

    Tell me everything I need to know about horses in ten words or less.

    He is a paint gelding about 4 years old, very calm, very laid back, easy to handle, like a big huge puppy.

    Got hay, good clean bahayia, 12% horse and mule feed. Got all the certificates for his test and vac.

    Right now he is in the backyard drinking water out of the above ground swimming pool. Then he stands in front of the back window, looking in the house, making horse noises. Must be wanting somebody to come out and play or he may want to come in and watch TV. Guess he'll be staying on the back porch if it rains.

    I figure he is a little bit light for his frame, maybe he needs to be fed up some. Currently he has some green grass in the backyard, I'll keep hay in front of him. But how much feed and grain does he need? I fed him about 1 gallon total today, half this morning half this afternoon. I guess now mind you just guessing he goes about 700 lbs. Course it felt like a ton and a half when he stepped on my foot this morning.

    I am not a total novice when dealing with a horse, but it has been ages and ages.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  2. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    find a trainer ASAP and sign you both up for lessons... shucks, that was eleven words.
    Board that horse with the trainer until you can make him safe at your house. Shucks, Fifteen! I'm going backwards.
    That horse will get a lot friskier when he fattens up. Don't feed him grain. nabbit! Fifteen again. I give up.
  3. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    If you want to know everything about a horse, you better pull up a chair and sit down. There is so much to know that you will never learn it all in a lifetime. I have had horses, shown and bred them for most of my life and I am continually learning something new. But here is the basic bottom line.

    They are accident prone, prey animals who can and will hurt you trying to get away from anything spooky. They have very dilicate constitutions so be careful what and how much you feed them. They cost a fortune in farrier, vet and feed bills. And, right now you are lucky if you can give one away.

    If trained well and handled properly they are a wonderful and endearing life partner but if not, then they can be your worst nightmare. I hope you have a good trainer and a mentor to teach you what to do and more important, what NOT to do.

    Best of luck to you. Congratulations and I wish you the best.
  4. MrsChickendad

    MrsChickendad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2008
    Lennon, Michigan
    Onthespot is right—don't try and fatten him up with grain, he could founder easily if he's not used to it. Keep him happy with hay, but don't give him all he wants. Increase feed gradually. Too many words. . . sorry . . .
  5. TriciaHowe

    TriciaHowe Mother Hen

    Nov 11, 2008
    Trenton, FL
    You should weigh your feed and feed by the pound. Most horse feed have recommended amounts on the back of the bag. Usually 0.5-1 lb per 100lbs of body weight. More or less depending on if horse is an easy keeper or not. Horse should also have a mineral block of salt free choice. Horse also should be wormed 4x a year and with a different wormer depending on where you are and what time of the year. Your vet will help you decide what is best. Has his teeth been floated? If not that will need to be done as well.
    I agree though the best thing you can do is get a good trainer to help you through [​IMG] You will also need a farrier to come out and trim his hooves every 8 wks.

    Good luck!!
  6. Widget

    Widget Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2008
    Limington, Maine
    Money. Farrier. Vet. Hay. Training. Read Mark Rashid. Money. Love.

    There did it in ten words. But all kidding aside I would start learning as much as possible be it reading any book on horses. Even the worst ones can give you a word or two of helpful advice. Take lessons or attend, even audit, clinics. Again there are good trainers and bad ones. The more you see the more educated you will become. Find a farrier. Once you find a good one be nice. A good farrier is worth his or her weight in gold. Get a first aid kit together. Learn how to take the basic vitals (temperature, respiration and heart rate). I swear horses dream of ways to hurt themselves. If the horse has been trained to saddle great. If not don't rush. More time is spent on the ground then in the saddle. And speaking of saddles make sure you get one that fits. Be it English or Western it won't matter how good it looks if it doesn't properly fit the horse. A bad fitting saddle can do a great deal of damage to a horse's back in a short period of time. As for food most horses do well with only hay and/or a high quality pasture. Grain really isn't needed. I would check with the vet and see what they have to say. Of my three horses I have one who would probably survive on air, one who is okay with just hay but does get a bit extra ( beet pulp and forage extender) this time of year and one who needs a high fat grain along with beet pulp and his hay to maintain weight.
  7. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    Oh, my. So many of us have spent a lifetime learning about horses...it's impossible to put it in so few words - maybe you could be happy with 10 important recommendations??

    1) Get in with a good trainer. Quick. No matter how much you know, you can learn more.

    2) Find out if your property is safe for a horse (safe fencing, safe shelter). A horse needs to be far away from anything glass (ie windows). If there is trouble - a horse will find it. No kidding. This photo was taken of a horse in a completely safe paddock - the horse survived - incredibly.

    3) Routine preventative vet maintanance - non negotiable. (vaccines, teeth floating, sheath cleaning, worming)...do it, or pay the consequences - and there can be many: both behavioral and physical.

    4) Regular (like every 6-8 weeks) blacksmith work. Non negotiable. If you don't do this, there will be serious consequences.

    5) Feed a good quality hay - and feed as much of it as is required to maintain a healthy weight. I have 2 horses that need the high calories provided by Alfalfa, and I have one horse that is an easy-keeper and would founder on the amounts of Alfalfa fed to the other two...but he needs to fill his tummy- not just to feel full, but also to keep all the things moving in the gut that need to keep moving...hay makes this happen.

    6) Follow a vets recommendations on feeding pellets/grain - done incorrectly, this can create a lot of problems (both health wise and behavior wise. Two of my horses NEED them, one does not.

    7) Fresh CLEAN water at all times. I dump all water each day and put in fresh - and top off as needed during the day. If you wouldn't drink from it - why would your horse? A horse not drinking enough is a horse that can get sick adn cost you a HEAP of money.

    8) Provide a mineral block. One made especially for horses (this is important). Good for the horse, and will encourage drinking.

    9) Horses don't do well all alone for the long-term...it doesn't mean you need another horse - a horse he can see can be good enough. If not, you might consider a goat.

    10) Horses are NOT big dogs. Don't forget that for a minute. Don't get complacent - that's when accidents happen.

    I hope this helps...really! Horses are such a joy...but like the beer commercial says, "please, drink responsibly" the same thing goes for horse ownership.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  8. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2008
    Holy Smokes, Kelly! I have seen pictures of horses in trouble before, but that one takes the cake! [​IMG]
  9. Grace

    Grace Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 19, 2009
    10 words or less...[​IMG]
  10. highcountrychickens

    highcountrychickens Head Rooster Jouster

    Aug 28, 2008
    Jackson Hole
    #1 - You're already heading down a troublesome road if you have him in with an above ground swimming pool... for a whole host of reasons. (see Kelly G's post... that horse lived, amazingly enough...)

    #2 - I recommend looking on Amazon (or your library) for basic horse management books - it sounds a bit daunting, but really isn't. There is too much information for ten word answers, even given with a grin -lots of enthusiasm though! If you're looking for true honest advice, I would really recommend boarding the horse at a reputable facility until you have educated yourself a little bit (maybe even only a month or two) - horses are delicate creatures, and the stakes for mistakes are very high. Though it sounds like you have a sensible fellow - you don't want to risk something happening to him as endurance to a learning curve. There are also a number of horse management workshops around - or perhaps even horse farms or stables that would be willing to show you the ropes for a modest fee. I'd certainly do that for a new owner for the safety of the horse and for the enjoyment of the experience... It could be that if you found a trainer, as recommended by other posters here - they might be willing to come to your place to help you sort it out.

    #3 - Another really important thing for you to think about is this - horses are herd animals. They suffer when alone more than any other animal I know...

    Good luck with this - they're wonderful amazing creatures...

    Feel free to P.M. me if you have specific questions, or would like any help - I have shown and trained for 30 years. run Thoroughbred sales, breeding and training barns in the U.S., Britain and France... blah blah blah...
    ... but I started with a very wonderful mellow forgiving fellow just like the one you seem to have found!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by