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All About Horses

Three horses are eating grass out of a field. There is a lean-to barn to the left

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A large hoofed, warm-blooded mammal (Equus caballus)


Owning a horse is a very rewarding experience, but it is not for everyone. Be sure to thoroughly research before taking on the responsibility of owning a horse. If you want to learn to ride it is a good idea to take horseback riding lessons. If you enjoy it you may want to consider leasing a horse. There are many barns which will board your horse for you and allow you to come and ride anytime. Some of them will do the majority of the work involved in owning a horse, however this can get pricey. Know the horse you are riding. Horses spook very easily. Simple things like sticks and forest animals commonly spook horses. When riding a horse a helmet should be warn at all times.


There are two different types of riding, Western and English. Western generally consists of barrel racing, key hole, pole racing among other events, where as English generally consists of dressage, jumping, polo Lacrosse and more. When dressage is preformed it looks like the horse is dancing. The rider is guiding the horse through a series of complex maneuvers by slight movements of the rider's hands, legs, and weight. The saddles a Western rider uses is different than the saddle an English rider would use. One key difference is the Western saddle consists of a horn, while the English saddle does not.

Spaying and Neutering

Un-neutered male horses tend to fight with other horses. If you plan on keeping a male horse with a herd of other horses it is a good idea to get it fixed.


A normal sized horse is 14 - 15 hands high. ( Hand = 4in.) Horses range from about 1000 lbs to 3500 lbs.

Living Conditions

For every horse you need to have at least three acres and an additional acre for every additional horse. The area must be fenced in. Some use barbed wire or electric fences to secure there horses. Barbed wire is one of the most dangerous fences to use around horses. Most horses wouldn't see the wire because it is too thin for them to see. They can get cut and even caught in it. They need some kind of shelter, at the very least a lean-to to shield them from the wind and rain. Some horses are hardier and can get away with a lean-to, but some horses are on schedules and need to be put in a stall for a period of time during the day or night.


About every two days, you might need to muck ( clean) your horse's stall or lean-to.


Horses need daily grooming. This includes: picking there hooves, combing their mane, brushing with a curry comb (hard brush) then a soft brush after to get the loose dirt off, bathing after workouts, and using fly spray. About every three months, some horses should seen by a farrier to determine if there hooves need to shaped. Daily grooming will reduce stress, keep your horse comfortable, healthy and looking great!


Horses need hay daily or a field with plenty of grass to graze on. Some horses require grain, oats, bran, sweet feed and hay pellets. Horses can eat all the hay they like, however too much grain can harm them. Grain has to be carefully monitored.


Horses require daily exercise. They need to have enough land to exercise themselves and most enjoy having a person to ride them. Horses need companionship. Either another horse(s), or some other farm animal. Some owners have been known to use animals such as: goats, cows and sheep to keep them company. In general, horses will not be happy living alone.

Life Expectancy

A healthy horse will live to about 45 years old.

Health Problems

Some health problems include: colic ( a common killer of horses, a bad stomach ache), worms, lameness, tying-up, hoof cracks, dental problems and hoof wall loss.


The first breed of horses was called the Eohippus. It lived 5000 or 6000 years ago. It had toes unlike domestic horses today that have hooves. It was as big as a border collie and according to research, it had spots on its back.

Terms and Materials

Saddle - A leather seat for a horse rider, secured on an animal's back by a girth

Bridle - A harness, consisting of a headstall, bit, and reins, which fits on a horse's head and used to restrain or guide the animal.

Crop - A short whip used in horseback riding, with a loop at the end.

Halter - A device that fits around the head or neck of an animal and is used to lead or secure the animal.

Hackamore - A bitless bridle, sometimes used to break a horse into a bridle.

Reins - A long narrow leather strap attached to each end of the bit of a bridle and used by a rider or driver to control a horse or other animal

Saddle Pad - A padded blanket that goes between the horse's back and the saddle to prevent irritation.

Bit - The metal mouthpiece of a bridle, serving to control and direct an animal.

Stirrups - a device where the rider puts their foot hung from either side of a horse's saddle to support the rider's foot in mounting and riding

Gelding - a neutered male horse

Stallion - an intact (un-neutered) male horse

Mare - a female horse

Foal - a baby horse

Filly - a female baby horse

Colt - a male baby horse

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A brown with white horse is standing in a field

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