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Ensuring the Well-Being of Your Equine Companion

As horse owners, the well-being of our four-legged friends is a top priority. The significance of horse welfare is gaining recognition not only among equestrian enthusiasts, but also within regulatory frameworks. At Chasing Gold Performance, we are committed to fostering the happiness of horses by bringing them closer to nature and promoting optimal health and well-being. In this guide, we outline key aspects that horse owners should pay attention to for the overall well-being of their equine companions.

1. Good and Proper Nutrition:

Taking responsibility for our horse's health includes being mindful of their nutrition. While many rely on boarding facilities for feeding routines, it's crucial for horse owners to ensure access to high-quality roughage, preferably unwrapped (not haylage) hay. Additionally, supplementing with a balancer/vitamin pellet becomes necessary due to the insufficient mineral and vitamin content in modern roughage/grass. Careful consideration of the ration, especially in the case of preexisting conditions/illnesses, is essential, incorporating appropriate treatments and supporting medications or supplements.

2. Lots of Free Movement:

Horses are naturally built for movement, emphasizing the importance of providing ample free exercise. Straying away from the traditional 23/7 stable confinement, horses should have at least 6 hours of free movement in a spacious paddock or pasture daily. Encouraging autonomy in choices such as resting, eating, exercising, or social interaction is vital for their well-being.

3. A Clean and Dry Resting Place:

Regardless of the season, horses need a clean and dry area to lie down. For those living outdoors, ensuring a dry and clean space is essential. The resting area should be sufficiently large, acknowledging that horses do not sleep lying down for extended periods but require it for REM sleep.

4. Lots of Contact with Peers:

Recognizing horses as highly social beings, it is essential to facilitate contact with their peers. Ideally, horses should be part of a stable herd, allowing them to engage in play and social interactions. Owners should accept minor injuries or spots that may result from social interactions and provide stallions with appropriate social contact.

5. Stress-Free Training:

Training should aim to be a stress-free experience, acknowledging that some healthy stress is inevitable during learning phases. Tailoring training to each horse's physical and mental capabilities, considering age, and adjusting goals accordingly is crucial. Paying attention to equipment, including saddle checks, ensures a comfortable training environment.

6. Safety:

Ensuring a safe living environment is paramount. Horse owners must take measures to guarantee secure fencing, eliminate protruding parts, and remove any items in the paddock that could pose harm to the horse. Prioritizing safety contributes to the overall well-being and security of our equine companions.

By incorporating these considerations into our care routines, we can contribute to the happiness, health, and well-being of our beloved horses. As responsible owners, it is our duty to provide an environment that nurtures their natural behaviours and safeguards their physical and mental health.

*The information in this article is sourced from AskHeltie, a valuable resource for equine care and well-being.

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