Although most American households prefer a dog, a cat, a fish or a bird as a companion animal, a large part of rural America adore horses. Great, strong, noble, beautiful, elegant, faithful… always positive adjectives that perfectly define our wonderful horses. Today we will delve a little more into an animal that, like the dog, has accompanied the human being in its historical journey: the Horse.
The beginning of a beautiful friendship
We have to go back more than 5,000 years in time to find the first remnants of the horse’s domestication. The human beings realized, little by little, that these imposing herbivores could serve for much more than as simple food. They began to use it to help in the work of agriculture and as a means of transport (the famous transporter). The examples of the close relationship horse-person throughout history are so numerous that we would lack pages to write them all: The Conquest of America by the Spaniards, the famous colonization of the territories of the American West…
Some basic characteristics of the horse
The horse is a herbivorous mammal (with hooves). In general, we could distinguish two kinds of horses:
The cold-blooded: resilient and hardworking. Very suitable for collaborating in farm work and as therapy animals for children and people with emotional problems.
The hot-blooded: nervous and very active. They are the favourites of horse racing lovers or equine exhibitions.
This beautiful animal, well treated, is very long lived. His life expectancy revolves around 30 years, but it is not uncommon to see animals of 40, 45 and up to 50 years. As for their breeding and reproduction: we can normally cross our horse once a year. The gestation lasts around 11 months and the usual is that the mare of a light to a single colt. The relationship of horses with people is generally very good. This wonderful animal gets along well with everyone: children, adults… It is a very sociable animal and, to be happy, needs to be surrounded by human beings, other horses, dogs, cats, turtles…
There are several diseases that can affect our friend the horse: Equine influenza, Rabies, Nile fever, equine encephalomyelitis, mumps and tetanus. In Mascotea we wrote not long ago an interesting article on the diseases and the vaccines of the horses, remember?
A healthy, balanced and happy horse will need a series of basic care. In this article we summarize them, but you can read more detailed information in this great pet care website.
Nokota Horses Cropped
Space to move and graze: the horse cannot be locked up in a block all day. It needs free air, a meadow where to run and graze… Thus, you need to review the status of your pet’s area: Take care that it is litter-free and that there are no dangerous plants such as laurel, Belladonna or Castor. Of course, we do not need to tell you that the outdoor enclosure also has to be well fenced (but never with barbed wire). Room to sleep and rest: Your pet must have a clean and conditioned place for resting moments. The block must be wide enough, airy and warm during the winter. It is important to place clean, dry straw on the floor and change it at least once a day. Grooming: Daily brushing is essential to keep the fur and skin of your horse in perfect condition of magazine. In addition, it is a very pleasant activity for him or her with which you will be narrowing the ties that bind you to your great friend. Feeding: The stomach of the horses is delicate and not very large. Thus, they cannot consume large amounts of food at one time. Experts recommend that the horse take three basic types of food: grass-you will find in the area that aconditions outdoors-, hay and processed foods (horse food) that will complement your extra needs of vitamins and minerals. Of course, do not forget that the horse drinks a lot of water, so you must have this precious liquid at all times.
Vaccines: As dogs, cats or ferrets, horses need to follow a periodic vaccination schedule, as we proposed in our article on horse vaccines