This complete guide to having a healthy horse is your go-to healthy horse resource.
Your horse relies on you for every aspect of their health and wellness. Because of this, you have a very special connection with your horse.
Just as your horse responds to your mood, body signals, and how you behave around them, you need to be in-tune with your horse and the signals they’re giving you. These signals are your horse’s way of telling you when they’re stressed, happy, not feeling well, or even when they want some alone time.
We know this can feel intimidating – and this is exactly why we created this healthy horse guide.
In this guide we share with you everything we know about caring for and supporting your horse.
Above all else, know that there is a fantastic horse community out there, ready to help you with any questions or concerns you have about your horse and their health. Be sure to read our profiles with horse trainers Dani Sussman and Lynn Acton.
Use this healthy horse guide to learn about:
- What a healthy horse is – including 9 signs of a healthy horse and how to check your horse’s temperature, pulse, and respiration rate
- Getting to know your horse’s body – including 5 things you need to know about horse teeth, horse hoof care tips, and how to give your horse a healthy coat
- The importance of horse joint health – including the what, how, and why of horse joint supplements and how to naturally support horse joint health
- The science of horse health – including learning how joints function, the facts on hoof and coat health, and understanding horse digestion and immunity
What is Healthy Horse?
Every horse is different, but a healthy horse is a horse who has a healthy appetite, drinks water regularly and easily, has the energy to train and ride, and responds positively when they see you in the barn.
You know your horse and you know their behaviors and signals. As a horse owner and rider, paying attention to your horse’s behavior and noticing any changes is key to staying on top of your horse’s health.
Always contact your veterinarian and trainer with any questions you have about your horse’s health. Remember small behavior changes may be indicators of larger underlying health concerns.
To learn more about what a healthy horse is, read these blogs:
- 9 Signs of a Healthy Horse You Need to Know
Learn how to monitor your horse’s vital signs, appetite and water consumption, bowel movements, gum color, hoof health, mood and behavior, gut noises, coat health, and body weight.
- How to Check Your Horse’s Temperature, Pulse, and Respiration Rate
When you have a baseline for your horse’s temperature, pulse, and respiration (TPR) rate you can more easily and quickly catch health problems. Learn why you need to check your horse’s TPR and how to safely monitor these vital signs.
- Grand Meadows Busts 9 Winter Horse Care Myths
In this blog we do our best to bust 9 of the most common horse care myths. Learn the facts and truth on what your horse really needs in the winter.
- Fall Horse Care Checklist: 7 Horse Care Tips to Remember
Your horse relies on you for every aspect of their health and wellness. Learn about the 7 essentials to getting your horse and barn ready for fall.
- Feeding Your Horse: 5 Horse Nutrition Tips and Advice for a Healthy Horse
To ensure nutritional balance, you must understand the ins and outs of your horse’s nutritional needs. Just like us humans, your horse is what they eat. Remember these 5 horse nutrition tips to help keep your horse healthy and active.
Get to Know your Horse’s Body
The health of your horse’s teeth, gums, hooves, coat, and joints must be your top priority. It’s important to understand how subtle changes in gum color or coat glossiness may be indicators of health issues or concerns.
Always consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your horse’s diet, health routine, and exercise schedule.
To learn more about your horse’s body, read these blogs:
- 5 Things You Need to Know About Your Horse’s Teeth
The health of your horse’s teeth and gums tell you a lot about their overall health and wellness. Learn the signs of tooth and gum discomfort and how to properly care for your horse’s teeth.
- Horse Hoof Care: What You Need to Know
Ensuring your horse has healthy, strong, and well-cared for hooves is an essential part of horse ownership and riding. Learn about horse hoof basics, common horse hoof problems, and four essentials to good horse hoof care.
- Healthy Coat: How to Give Your Horse a Healthy Coat and Improve Their Health
Brittle coats, dryness, lack of shedding, and dull color are all signs that your horse is not feeling their best. Your horse should have a shiny glossy coat. Learn how to give your horse a healthy coat and know what your horse’s coat is telling you about your horse’s health.
- Horse First Aid Basics You Need to Know
Having a horse first aid kit and understanding the basics of horse health is the first step in ensuring your horse remains in good health. Learn how to setup a horse first aid kit and how to be ready for horse emergencies.
- How to Care for your Senior Horse: The Top 6 Things You Need to Know About Senior Horse Health
Keeping your senior horse healthy and active requires a good balance of regular exercise, nutrition, and weight management. Learn 6 keys to caring for your senior horse.
Why is Horse Joint Health So Important?
Your horse is a natural-born athlete, yet we ask them to do movements that their body isn’t built for. Circles, lateral moves, slide stops, pivoting and jumping are among the activities that can increase your horse’s risk for developing a range of joint problems.
Always consult your veterinarian with questions about your horse’s joint health and movement.
To learn more about horse joint health, read these blogs and resources:
- The What, How, and Why of Horse Joint Supplements
The challenge for many horse owners is in knowing which horse joint supplement is right for your horse. Learn the facts on horse joint supplements so you can make the right decisions for your horse and their health.
- Horse Joint Health: 3 Ways to Naturally Support Your Horse’s Joint Health
For most horse owners, joint health is synonymous with joint issues and concerns. We want you to understand the keys to naturally supporting your horse’s joint health. The sooner you start thinking about and proactively caring for your horse’s joints, the healthier and more active your horse.
- The Science of Horse Joints
Learn how horse joints work.
- Watch Nick’s Fireside Chat Videos about Horse Joint Health and Care
These videos provide lots of detail and insight into caring for your horse’s joints, how they work, and what your horse needs.
The Science of Horse Health
Understanding the science behind horse health and the health care strategies you and your veterinarian use is essential. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the latest trends in horse health care – and knowing what is and isn’t science-backed.
Above all else, it’s important to know how your horse’s body functions and using this knowledge to make informed decisions about your horse’s health and well-being.
Always discuss questions about your horse’s health, nutrition, exercise, and behavior with your veterinarian.
To learn more about the science of horse health, read these resources:
- About the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC)
Members of the NASC are manufacturers of animal health supplements who work together to ensure quality supplements are available for horses, cats, dogs, and other companion animals.
- The Science of Horse Joints
Learn how horse joints work and how the demands of routine exercises and riding may put your horse’s joints under pressure.
- The Science of Horse Hooves
Your horse’s hooves receive nutrients directly from their bloodstream and need these nutrients to stimulate hoof growth and repair. The building of a healthy hoof is crucial to keeping your horse sound and performing at their best.
- The Science of Horse Skin & Coat Health
Healthy skin and a shiny coat are more than just a sign of a well-groomed horse. Your horse’s skin and coat form an important protective barrier against bacteria and infection. Learn the keys to caring your horse’s skin and coat.
- The Science of Horse Digestion & Immunity
Healthy digestion fuels your horse’s ultimate performance but keeping your horse’s digestive system and immune system in a healthy balance can be challenging. Learn the essentials to horse digestion and immune system health.
Remember to follow the Grand Meadows blog for our latest articles about horse health, horse science, horse training, and horse life.