With more than 300 horse breeds all differing in size, colour and temperament there is a vast choice of equids that can make for the perfect pet. Horse breeds are usually divided into three categories based on general temperament: spirited "hot bloods" with speed and endurance; "cold bloods", such as draft horses and some ponies, suitable for slow, heavy work; and "warmbloods", developed from crosses between hot bloods and cold bloods, often focusing on creating breeds for specific riding purposes, particularly in Europe.
The average weight of a horse spans from 840 to 1210 lb (380-1000 kg) while the average height is approximately between 55-72 in (140-180 cm). Horses are long-lived pets that can reach 25-30 years of age.
Carefully calculate the total daily intake necessary for your horse to be active and healthy without overfeeding it. You may use a specific equine feed calculator to figure out the appropriate amount and ratio or seek professional advice.
Never feed your horse before or immediately after exercise and wait at least an hour before riding it. Equids can become a bit anxious if there is too much time between meals so make sure you follow a strict regime and maintain a regular feeding schedule. Always ensure your horse has plenty of clean, fresh water available so to keep it hydrated throughout the day. A peculiarity in horses is that they must be able to cool off after a work out before drinking water. Allow between 30-90 minutes, depending on the amount of exercise performed and the temperature outside before letting your pet drink all the water it wants.
If you are training your horse, treats are the best way to reward it for doing the right thing. On top of being a great way of bonding with your pet they can also be a good source of nutrition. Fresh apples, carrots, watermelon and green beans all make for ideal food rewards. Determine what type of weight gain you want for your horse based on its stage in life (i.e growing, pregnant, working, older horse). For example, if your horse has some health issue and you want it to gain weight make small changes to your horse’s meals according to the specific health requirements. Never guess or estimate the diet for your horse and refer to an experienced vet instead.