Everything You Need To Know About Keeping Horses On Your Farm

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Image from Pexels.

Have you ever considered getting horses for your farm? Many farmers dismiss horses as they only see them as elaborate pets. However, that isn’t the case anymore. Sure, kids will love getting to look after horses. But there are now many ways you can use horses to help bring in some extra income on your farm. Want to know how to earn some cash from these graceful creatures? Here are some of our tips.

Horse Riding Lessons

Kids love riding, and there will be many kids in your local area already nagging their parents to get them horse riding lessons. So why not start offering lessons on your farm? This won’t take much setting up. You will just need to keep a field that you can use for the rider. If you have an unused barn that you can transform into a gymkhana, then even better. Before you open your horse riding school, you will need to train so that you are qualified to teach new riders. If you don’t have time to get this qualification, you can always hire a professional instructor. Then all need's horses. Make sure you have a range of sizes so that different ages can learn at your farm.

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Show Horses In Competitions

Throughout the summer, there are many agricultural shows around the country. They hold competitions for many different farm animals, including horses. You can enter your horse in these competitions a month before the show. This gives you chance to get your horse smartened up! Some competitions are just based on how the animal looks. So you will need to make sure that your horse’s coat is shiny and glossy, and that their mane is well-groomed. Other competitions are focused on horse jumping and riding. If you are a competent rider, you should enter these as the prize money is often a considerable amount.

Train Race Horses

Another common way to make money is to go into the horse racing business. You could invest in some race horses and keep them on your farm. If you have plenty of experience in this area, you could train them yourself. However, if you don’t really know what you are doing, you could still make your money from race horses. You just need to hire a race horse trainer to work on your farm. If you decide on show horses or race horses, you will need to buy a horsebox for sale so you can transport your horses around.

If you are completely new to keeping horses, you may not be entirely sure how to look after them properly. After all, keeping them is quite a bit different than your usual farm animals like cows, pigs, and chickens! However, it isn’t too difficult. In fact, once you get into the swing of things, you may find it easier than keeping cows! Want to know what you need to do when you have horses? Here is our guide to looking after them.

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Plenty Of Space

First of all, you will need plenty of space for your new horse. Your horse will need a stable where it can go during the winter or when it is raining in summer. When the weather is fine, they should be turned out into a field. Generally speaking, a horse on its own will need between 1.3 and 3 acres of land to feel comfortable. This gives them plenty of space to run around in, and there will also be enough grass for them to munch on.

Horse Feed

As horses are natural grazers, they will be continually eating grass while they are out in their field. However, things can get tricky during the winter when they are in their stable all day. During this time, if you give your horse two meals a day, he could develop digestive problems. There are some ways you can get around this, though. Feed them hay before you give them any grain. This can slow them down while they are eating which can help to reduce their chances of getting colic. You should also feed them little and often. This helps to mimic grazing.

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Vital Signs

All horse owners should know how to assess their horse’s vital signs. This can help them tell whether something is wrong with their horse’s health. Make sure you know how to take your horse’s temperature. To do this, you will require an electronic rectal thermometer. When you insert the thermometer, be sure to clip it to the horse’s tail so that it doesn’t fall out and smash on the stable floor. A healthy temperature for an adult is between 37.2° and 38.3°. You should also take your horse’s pulse regularly. To do this, move the horse’s left leg forward slightly. Place a stethoscope against his chest. Also, place the stethoscope on your horse’s flank. This will help you check his gut sounds. You should hear between two to four soft gurgles every minute or one louder gurgle every two minutes.

First Aid

It is important that you have a first-aid kit on your farm specifically for your horse. As your horse will be galloping and jumping around in its field, it is at a slight risk of small accidents. You should always be prepared in the event it grazes its leg or cuts itself somehow. You don’t need to buy a special kit; in fact, you can put one together yourself. Make sure it includes homemade saline solution as well as bandages and a poultice.

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Exercise

Even though your horse will be able to run around its field, it will still need some exercise a few times a week. The exact amount of exercise required by your horse will depend on its age and breed. But you should aim to exercise your horse at least for 30 minutes at least three times a week. It doesn’t have to be too strenuous; just riding your horse should be enough. Make sure you always warm up and cool down your horse before and after exercising. Treat them as you would treat yourself in that respect.

Grooming

You should aim to groom your horse quite regularly. This will keep him looking good and can help to prevent any skin conditions. It’s all about brushing your horse. In your grooming kit, you should have a variety of brushes, each with different jobs. Make sure you have a brush for knocking off all the dirt in this fur. You should also get a brush that can help smooth over his coat. These are the two most important basic brushes. Make sure you have separate brushes for each horse. This can prevent fungal infections from spreading.

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Horseshoes

This is one part of keeping a horse that new owners are anxious about. But, in actual fact, getting your horse shoed isn’t that difficult. All you need to do is call in the services of your local farrier. You will need to get him to change your horse’s shoes every four to six weeks. When he comes, he will trim down your horse's hoof and also replace the current shoe. If you aren’t too sure about anything to do with your horse’s shoes or hooves, always give your farrier a call. He will be able to deal with most of your questions.

Horses can be a great addition to any farm. Now that you have our guide to keeping and making money from horses, you have nothing to worry about. So why not start looking for your new horse right now!