Taking Care of Horses on Your Virginia Property
Virginia is a great state to engage in equestrian activities. When you live in this region, you will find that there is a large equestrian community that shares similar interests. For some, riding horses is not just a hobby, but an entire lifestyle. This is especially true when you choose to keep horses on your own property rather than board them.
Whether you are a seasoned horse owner or just getting involved in all things equestrian, these animals require a lot of care. If you want to care for them on your own property, then it is important you understand their needs and are prepared to meet them.
Here are a few tips to take care of horses as best as you can as a resident of the state of Virginia.
Building Sufficient Stables
One of the basic needs for a horse is shelter, especially when the weather can fluctuate from season to season. They cannot always be out on the fields grazing. For this reason, you need to have sufficient stables with the right utilities to keep them comfortable in both cool and warm temperatures.
You will have to consider elements like ventilation, heating, cooling, stall doors, feeding buckets, flooring, building materials, and more as you design and build the structure. Cleaning supplies should also be near at hand in a stable, as well as a place to store them. Most horse owners will need to consult an architect or structural engineer to ensure they are building a safe structure.
Renting Horse Stalls
Many equine events require temporary housing for horses. Whether you are hosting an event on your property or heading out to another event with your animals, you will need a convenient place for them to be housed temporarily during the day.
Portable horse stalls are a simple solution and are available throughout the state of Virginia. They can be delivered to your property for whatever needs you have, even if it is just to keep your horses contained while you upgrade a portion of the stables. Either way, avid horse fanatics will likely find a use for these convenient stalls at some point.
Horses require the freedom to move around during the day, so they cannot always be contained in a building. To this end, you need a lot of land that is well-maintained so that it is safe for your horses to explore and move around. A general rule of thumb is that each horse should have 1 ½ to 2 acres of intensely managed land for foraging and grazing. That means you will have a lot of work to do to ensure your property is set up well for the health of the animals.
A clean water source will be necessary, as well as adequate fencing around the entire area. If there are old or diseased trees, you will probably need to remove those trees to ensure the area is safe. It will also be necessary to manage unhealthy growths that could develop and limit the use of pesticides or harmful chemicals.
We all know that Virginia can get pretty hot in the summer. Although horses can withstand heat better than humans for the most part, that does not mean they are meant to stay outside in the scorching sun all day in August.
Providing shaded areas on the property where they can cool down and potentially feed is a necessary step for better equine care. It could be as simple as some large trees within the fenced area. You could also build a simple lean-to where they can feed on hay or relax away from the sun.
Horses are social creatures in the same way that humans are. These animals can suffer if they are kept in isolation. If you only have the land space for one animal, then it may not be the right decision to own a horse.
However, if you can accommodate more than one horse at a time, or even a donkey to serve as a buddy, then your horse will be much happier. No matter how much you interact with your horse, having one or more additional animals will be much better for the well-being of that horse.
Is It Time to Take The Leap and Care for a Horse?
Just because you love horses does not mean you are cut out for horse ownership. They are incredibly beautiful animals that require a lot of intense care, which will consume your time, energy, and financial resources. If you plan to care for the horse on your Virginia property rather than board it, then you need to be prepared to handle the burden to ensure the animals are healthy and happy.