If you're like most people who have recently decided to purchase a horse, you're undoubtedly anticipating spending many happy years with your equine friend — and you've probably also familiarized yourself with the basics of owning a horse. You probably also know that there will be times in the future when you and other household members decide to enjoy a vacation together, and it may be in the back of your mind that you'll simply pay a local teenager a few dollars to stop by once a day and put some hay in your horse's food bin.
However, unless the teenager has an immense amount of horse knowledge and experience, you should consider hiring a horse care service instead, especially if you plan on being gone for more than a couple of days. Following are more reasons to hire a professional horse care service when you go on vacation:
Horses Need Exercise
Horses are active animals that require significant amounts of exercise to maintain optimal health. While horses are usually fine going for two or three days without exercise, any longer than that and the animal is at risk of losing valuable muscle tone. Good muscle tone is important for horses because it helps keep them steady on their feet while being ridden, especially over terrain that's even slightly uneven. It's important that your horse care person knows how to ride and is willing to take the time to exercise your horse while you are gone.
Horse Need Clean Environments
Your horse care person also needs to be willing to clean your horse's stall every day while you're gone as well as know how to do it. Horses are at risk of developing severe hoof issues if their feet are in wet or damp environments for very long.
Horses Need Observation
Professional pet sitters are far more likely to take their work more seriously than teenagers who are hired on a casual basis, and they're also trained to know the signs that your horse may require immediate veterinary care. Although most horses are strong and sturdy animals, they can be surprisingly fragile in some ways. For instance, horses have notoriously sensitive digestive tracts, and failure to recognize and quickly act on signs that something may be wrong can have tragic results. Horse care services should have your permission to call your veterinarian in case of an emergency as well as be able to recognize an emergency when it exists.