General Horse Care

CONSIDERING THE BASIC HEALTH 
COSTS OF OWNING A HORSE
by
Cathy Rowberry

Again this page is geared toward the new horse owner, or the person making a decision on whether or not they should buy a horse. They must consider that the responsibility of ownership involves at least a minimum of preventative health care costs for owning a healthy horse and keeping it that way. Assuming that a healthy horse has been purchased there are basic preventative measures that must be added to the cost of the upkeep of a horse. A sound program of routine vaccinations, hoof and dental care, and worming can reduce the occurrence of 90% of the problems affecting the horse. This does not take into consideration emergency care which sickness or injury occurs. Sadly even with the best of care horses are subjected to many illnesses and can get hurt doing just about anything.
 
Here are some of the health care measures that a responsible horse owner should provide.
 
*VACCINATIONS: Depending on the area that you live in, and what your horse does will determine the vaccinations your horse will need to prevent disease. Horses that travel and are exposed to other livestock will sometimes require different shots than those that never leave the farm. Breeding and young stock too require different vaccinations as well. Discuss your horses needs with a local veterinarian. 
 
*
WORMING: A regular worming program is of paramount importance to the well being of your horse. Although you can do this yourself it is a smart idea to take a fecal sample to your veterinarian to determine the extent and type of parasite you are up against. Take some type to read some articles about the damage that worms can do to a horse and you will realize the importance of a good program.
 
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DENTAL CARE: Horses usually require a checkup annually to check the condition of their teeth. A vet or an equine dentist will "float" or file down the rough edges or pull teeth if necessary.
 
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FARRIER: Horses will need their hooves attended to by a farrier or blacksmith about every 4 to 6 weeks. The cost will depend greatly on the area in which you live. Horse that require shoes will cost more than one that just requires a trim. There will be a vast difference in cost depending on the usage of the horse and the type of shoes required.
 
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CARROTS AND APPLES: Just as the old saying goes an apple a day keeps the doctor away :-)



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