Top Health Benefits of Raising Horses and How to Get Started
If you love horses, then it is a good idea for you to consider raising one. Raising a horse comes with a lot of responsibility. However, the benefits that you can reap will make it worth it. There are several reasons that you should raise a horse.
Keeps You Active
Living an active life is one of the key things that you can do in order to stay healthy. Owning horses will keep you active. Riding a horse is a form of exercise. Grooming and cleaning your horse will also keep you active, and all activities with your horse will encourage you to spend more time outside.
In particular, you’ll find your legs and core to be the most worked out from riding your horse, and your arms will get their workout while caring for your horse. Proper horseback riding also improves posture and can help you achieve a greater sense of balance.
Improve Your Mental Health
Not only is caring for a horse great for your physical health, but it can also improve your mental health. Studies have shown that interacting with any animal can lower your blood pressure and stress hormone levels. Horses are particularly intelligent and social, which opens up the opportunity for closer bonding between them and their owners. Spending a significant amount of time caring for another creature also does wonders for shifting your mind from your own stressors. Because of this, working with horses is often used as a form of therapy.
Know Your Setup Needs
You will need to have the right equipment to raise your horses, particularly if you are housing them yourself instead of letting them live on a rented horse property. You will need a feed pan, feed container and water trough. If you live in an area where the temperature frequently drops below freezing, then you will need to invest in a water heater as well.
You will also need a mane comb, body brush, fly repellent, saddle, English tack, and harness, as well as the materials to polish the saddle and tack. These are just the basics of what any horse needs, and it is important to know that you’ll need to spend more time researching what horses in your particular climate will require.
Keep in mind, horse care requires a great deal of space for the horse to run. A small backyard shed will not suffice, so you will absolutely need to find rentable horsekeeping property for your horse to live on if you don’t own enough land yourself. While grazing grass isn’t necessary on the land itself as long as you are providing sufficient food, you should also be sure that any plants that do exist on the land are either safe for the horse to eat or are removed.
Just like any other pet, horses have particular exercising and veterinary needs that must be met, and they especially need frequent socialization. If you plan to ride regularly, you can contact other horse owners in your area to schedule group rides to keep up the habit. If you aren’t planning to ride regularly, your horse may benefit from staying with a local horse ranch where you can visit and ride at your leisure while still ensuring the horse gets the riding and attention it needs. Make sure you’re getting them to yearly veterinary checkups, as well.
It can be challenging to raise a horse, but well worth the time and effort for those who can afford it. While horse ownership should never be taken on lightly, the rewards on your mental and physical health are immense and can give you a great sense of purpose where it is most needed.