This is a great article for the non-horsey people in your life!
While everyone knows about horses, you’d be surprised at how relatively uninformed most people are. Myths abound and everybody has an opinion. To help clarify any misunderstandings, here are a few essential tidbits you need to know about horses, especially if you are considering taking riding lessons or purchasing a horse for the first time.
1. They are big.
People usually notice the relatively large size of the horse first thing. Rightly so, because even a small horse can weight 800 pounds and it only gets bigger and heavier from there! Even small ponies give us a run for our money when it comes to strength and power.
Which leads us to the most important understanding when it comes to the intermingling of horses and humans: we can get hurt. It might not even be on purpose. Whenever we are in the wrong place at the wrong time, we will be the ones who incur the most damage.
So one of the first things we need to do is to learn how to be safe working with, around and on horses. We must stay safe AND the horses must stay safe.
2. They eat. ALL. THE. TIME.
This is an interesting concept.
One of the key predictors to overall horse health is to provide them access to forage (meaning hay or grass) as much as possible. Many of us now have high quality hay that actually over delivers-in terms of nutrition and energy. Some horses self-regulate and eat small portions, many times throughout the day.
For horses have a tendency to over-eat (which then can cause unhealthy weight gain), we now have “slow hay feeders” that regulate the amount of hay a horse can eat at a time. In this manner, even “easy keepers” can have access to hay for long periods of time.
3. They have their own personalities.
This is where horses and humans are similar.
Every horse has a unique personality. Some are overachievers. Some are lazy and would rather not. Some are playful and cheeky. It takes a while to identify these traits, but if you listen carefully enough, you will get to know each and every one.