If you are only familiar with the conventional methods of horse keeping, the natural horse care approach may appear to go against everything that you have learned. The reason for this it that conventional horse care methods seem to have been cultivated from the human perspective, such as stabling your horse because you believe he likes to live inside as much as you do.
However, this does not meet all your horse’s physical needs. Horses are animals of prey, which means they are most content when allowed to live in wide-open spaces or with a herd. Horses do not care about expensive rugs and fancy stalls. Horses need social contact with their peers, as well as enough room to stretch their legs and just be a horse.
By allowing your horse roam around free in open pasture, the stress in his life will be greatly reduced. In addition, you horse will become more athletic and overall horse health will improve significantly.
You will be astounded by just how much changing just the small things can improve the quality of life for your horse, while also increasing his lifespan.
Natural horse care means that you must realise that horses are meant to be in a herd, where they are in the company of other horses constantly. Horses need interaction through touch and play. Horses understand the concepts of safety in numbers, so a solitary horse is likely to be stressed.
Natural horse care is based on how horses live in the wild. This approach to horse care meets the horse’s basic biological needs.
Access to Shelter
Your horse needs somewhere to go when extreme weather conditions occur, a place where they will be safely out of the elements.
In the wintertime, your horse will need somewhere he can go to get out of the rain, wind or snow. In the summertime, your horse will need somewhere to get out of the sun and away from biting insects.
Horses usually do not like enclosed spaces, so they need access to a shed or barn with more than one opening is best, especially if you have a number of horses. This way, your horses will be able to run in freely when they need to escape harsh weather conditions.
Hills and trees are the most natural way to provide windbreaks and shelter for your horse, as opposed to expensive man-made structures.
Access to Clean Water
Horses need constant access to clean water, especially in the wintertime when impaction colic is at a higher risk from eating hay without consuming an adequate amount of water. Add a little salt to your horse diet to encourage him to drink enough water. A great number of horses prefer water that is a little warm, so you may want to invest in a heated water dispenser for the colder months of the year.