The following tips can help you in keeping your horses healthy and in good shape.
(1) Hay or non-irrigated pasture is preferred for foraging horses. Give them access to such pasture. This is particularly true if you are transporting your horse in a horsebox and make sure you have adequate horsebox insurance cover.
(2) Overly grazed pastures do not have the necessary nutrients and are prone to parasites which can cause diseases to horses. It's best to rotate pastures to avoid these problems.
(3) Provide additional rations to horses if your pastures do not have the proper nutrients.
(4) Make sure to store hay above the ground to prevent mold and to maintain its nutritional value.
(5) Regular floating and other dental care are essential in keeping horses teeth and gums healthy and efficient in chewing food.
(6) Gradually introduce new feed over several weeks to prevent digestive problems.
(7) Feed by weight instead of volume.
(8) Vaccination is also necessary to help improve your horses' well-being. Remember that even a healthy horse may still be susceptible to diseases and lack of proper nutrients.
(9) Regular deworming is advised to ensure your horses are getting the nutrients they need from feed and pasture.
(10) Regular examination by your vet is essential to keeping horses' health in check. This can be done annually.
(11) Ask your vet regarding dietary recommendations based on your horses' current activities, routines, and weight.
(12) Invest in excellent watering system to be able to provide clean and unfrozen water to your horses. Water is integral in keeping good digestive functions.
(13) Obesity in horses can be prevented through regular exercise and daily turnout in the pastures. Watch out for excess nutrients from pasture in this case.
(14) Horses that are prone to founder should be kept off grass with high sugar content. Avoid brown grasses as well, since they also contain high amounts of sugar.
(15) For senior horses with chewing problems, your vet can give recommendations regarding the food you provide. Soaked hay pellets and beet pulp pellets are great for senior horses. You can also ask about specialised senior horse feed.
(16) If you want your horses to gain weight or energy, increasing forage ration is often recommended. Ask your vet about this and the benefits of supplements for weight gain.
(17) Follow the product label's instructions when it comes to horse supplements. When in doubt, ask your vet for recommendations.
(18) It's best to keep an eye on the ones at the bottom of the pecking order. This way, you can ensure that they are getting their fair share of food and nutrients.
(19) Big belly is common among horses. But this doesn't always mean they are fat or have hay belly. It's possible they are inflicted with health problems. Call the vet to make a routine check-up of your horses to make sure they are truly healthy.
(20) Only give treats to horses moderately.
(21) Pregnant and nursing mares, young horses and foals require specialised diets. Ask your vet for recommendations in order to meet their nutritional needs.
(22) Feed smaller meals several times per day instead of just twice a day and with large amounts.
As always, your equine veterinarian can provide the necessary recommendations regarding feeding, supplementation, and foraging to keep your horses healthy. Any irregular or abnormality in your horses (i.e. behaviour, weight, and other physical signs) should be immediately attended by the vet.