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Though they may be large and hardy, horses require regular attention and interaction. Whether you are keeping or boarding your horses, it is a huge commitment that requires time and money. Depending on the climate, the animal will require a shelter to protect them from the elements. Their stalls should not be smaller than 3.6m by 3.6m and horses will need to be let out daily for exercise. Make sure fences and gates are in good condition, avoiding barb wires as the animal may get caught in it. The horse’s food should be kept in barrels off the ground to prevent ingestion of sand, which can lead to sand colic.
The animals are generally fed twice a day and the main part of their diet is hay. However, if the animal is kept on grass, they may not need to be fed hay. The amount and type of hay depends on your animal's size and the amount of exercise it gets daily.
If you decide to board your animal, you need to find out what is available. For full boarding, the stable house will include all the necessities and turn out the stall for you. The boarding contract should outline what services are available and what are extras. You should still check on your animal regularly to ensure it is in good condition.
For part-boarding, you do not own the animal but pay a portion of the board in exchange for its use. This is a good option if you cannot afford to own and board your own animal. You will need to work out with the stable owner the times you can use the animal. On the other hand, you can offer your animal for part-board to pay less for board but you will also spend less time with it.
With self-care boarding, you will pay for the facilities but will have to do all the work yourself. Some stables offer deals, where you get a reduced rate if you work off part of the board or if your animal can be used for lessons or trail rides.
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