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Horses can be difficult animals to own. After all, they require intensive care and more attention than most pets. When first becoming a horse owner, it is important to keep the following tips in mind.

Tip 1: Take their nutrition seriously.

Horses are similar to many animals in that they can develop illnesses if their diet is poor. Consider what would happen if a human over-ate each day, or didn’t get the right nutrients. Horses can become very sick if they do not receive the right diet. Read up on the nutritional requirements for a horse and consider contacting an equine veterinarian to develop a plan that will keep your horse healthy.

Tip 2: Horses are not a novelty.

Just like with any pet, horses are not a novelty to purchase, ride once, and ignore. Horses are a commitment, and with an average lifespan of 25-30 years, this commitment is a major one. When considering whether to buy a horse, think of it as if it were a child. Are you willing and able to take proper care of your horse for decades? If not, you should reconsider your decision.

Tip 3: Every horse has a unique personality.

Although certain horse breeds are known for distinct personality traits, each horse is an individual and you will never meet two horses that are exactly the same. The way your horse acts will largely depend on your treatment of it, but you may notice that your horse has ingrained traits that will never leave. Do your best to cultivate a great relationship with your horse and you will be a successful owner.

Tip 4: Animals should be kept away.

Horses can be skittish around animals, especially those that are excitable, like dogs. While many people find no harm in introducing their horse to their other animals, it should be done with caution. Do not simply let your animals loose around your horse. Instead, keep them in a close proximity, but where they cannot attack each other. In time, your horse and your other animals will open up to each other and may be able to spend time in the same area.

Horses are unique creatures that need specialized care. Take these tips seriously when buying your first horse in order to ensure you have the best relationship possible.