Horses are versatile animals. People ride them for work and pleasure, use them to pull plows and buggies, enjoy watching them race and perform, or simply keep them as pets. There are hundreds of horse breeds to choose from, ranging from draft horses to light horses and ponies. Some farms are specially configured for breeding horses. This Horses Portfolio features a series of horse-themed videos.
Horses require adequately sized living quarters, they must be exercised and groomed frequently, and they need to eat a specific diet. Shelter should be available for horses in the event of inclement weather. Housing may consist of an indoor barn with stalls and bedding, which will require frequent cleaning. Outdoor buildings are usually three-sided shed-type structures where horses can find shelter on their own. In either case, food and water should be available on a regular basis. Horse feed may include oats, grain, and hay.
Horses must be groomed every day. Brushing removes scurf, but a horse’s feet need the most attention to prevent injury and disease. Horse hooves need to be cleaned before and after riding. Horse owners should also be alert to laminitis, a painful, inflammatory hoof disease that causes lameness.
Tack is necessary to ride, work, or drive a horse. Horse tack includes saddles, reins, and stirrups as well as bits and bridles. Tack must be kept clean and stored in a dry place to prevent mildew. Leather components should be oiled to keep them soft and supple.