Whether you’re an experienced horse owner or are bringing your very first horse home, there is a lot to keep in mind. With careers, childcare and the general running of your home already taking up plenty of time, ensuring you are able to give your horse the love and attention they need is important before committing. From providing them with mental stimulation to stocking up on seasonal rugs such as horse fly sheets, here are some key considerations to make before bringing in a new member of your family.
Suitable living conditions
Before your horse arrives, ensuring it has safe and secure living conditions which are ready to move into is the first step. The stable should be safe, sanitary and spacious enough for them to live comfortably, and fresh water and hay should be available at all times. For horses who live out, check that the perimeter is well secured and check for any dangerous poisonous plants or ground which can cause them harm. In the wet and cold weather, we recommend keeping them inside more or rotating their paddock space to avoid the ground becoming muddy and uneven and preventing the grass from growing.
Forming a bond
When you get a new horse, you and your family are likely to burst with love and admiration, but this is not always reciprocated instantly. A horse will need to build up trust and familiarise itself with the surroundings before learning to adapt to you, so give them the time they need and teach your children to approach them with caution. To develop a strong bond, it is recommend that you adapt to their body language, regularly grooming, rewarding good behaviour with tasty treats and showing up on a regular basis, not just when essential.
Set a routine
Teaching your children responsibility when it comes to horse care can be a great life skill, building leadership skills and enforcing consistency. Set up regular visiting times, at least twice a day, that align with their daily schedules and can be used for cleaning out their stable, feeding and grooming. Your horse will get used to their daily routine so maintaining some consistency is beneficial from both sides, keeping your horse happy and creating a beautiful bond between your family and horse.
Owning the correct equipment
Ensuring you are kitted out with all of the things your horse may need will ensure everyone is kept safe and secure. Tack, rugs, bathing equipment and feed are just a handful of the standard equipment that every horse owner should have ready so their horse is clean and comfortable all year round. When it comes to riding, it is not just your horse who needs equipment; having suitable riding gear for all of the family is important to ensure you are well protected. A helmet, riding boots, reflective clothing, a body protector and saddle should be used during riding to minimise the likelihood of any injuries and especially for little ones, teaching safety measures is a necessity.