Greenberg Stables, Conroe Texas ~ FAQ

Horse Care Tips:

The following tips are excerpts from the ASPCA Website


A horse’s digestive system is made to process large quantities of grass, which is high in fiber and water. The basic diet for most horses should be grass and good quality hay, free of dust and mold. In most cases, plenty of fresh, clean, unfrozen water should be available at all times, even if the horse only drinks once or twice a day.


All horses need vaccinations and most need regular deworming. The specifics should be discussed with an equine veterinarian. Every horse should be protected against tetanus. Other vaccines given routinely include eastern and western equine encephalomyelitis, equine influenza, rhinopneumonitis (equine herpes), and rabies. Vaccines for West Nile Virus are also available. Ask your veterinarian if other vaccines are appropriate for your horse.


Horses isolated in box stalls can develop behavioral problems from lack of companionship, exercise, and mental stimulation. Whenever possible, horses should be outside with other horses every day.


Hooves should be trimmed every six to eight weeks for horses whose feet do not get adequate natural wear. Despite tradition, most horses don't need shoes if their hooves are given the opportunity to strengthen naturally. In fact, some hoof problems are directly related to shoeing. However, changes should not be made suddenly or without expert guidance. Finding a veterinarian or farrier willing to discuss all the options may be hard, but worthwhile. In any case, neglecting the feet can be disastrous for the horse.


Horses’ teeth grow continuously. Uneven wear can lead to sharp points and edges that cause pain and difficulty chewing. A horse’s teeth should be checked once or twice a year and “floated” (to make them smoother) by a veterinarian or well-trained equine dentist as needed. Dental problems, from painful points to rotting teeth, may cause difficulty chewing or “quidding,” which occurs when food falls out of the mouth. Other signs of dental disease may include foul breath, undigested hay in the stools, or discomfort from the bit or noseband. Dental disease can lead to choke, colic, and weight loss.


The veterinarians at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center have compiled the following list of spring and summer hazards for horses:

  • Wilted red maple leaves
  • Black walnut  (e.g. as shavings in bedding)
  • Oak (especially new-growth leaves in the springtime)
  • Taxus species (yew, Japanese yew, American yew, English yew, western yew, oleander and rose laurel
  • Rhododendron and azalea
  • White snakeroot, richweed, white sanicle, jimmy weed, rayless goldenrod, burrow weed
  • Yellow star thistle, St. Barnaby's thistle, Russian napweed
  • Blister beetles, which can sometimes be found in alfalfa hay, especially in the Midwest and Southwest)

If you suspect that your animal has ingested a poisonous substance, please  call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center's 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.


Horse Trivia:

  • The hieght of a horse is measured in hands and inches. A hand is equivallent to 4 inches, and is abbreviated "h" or "hh" for "hands high."
  • A mare (female horse) will be pregnant with her foal for 335-340 days. Once born, the foal quickly learns to stand and run.
  • Most domesticated horses live to be 25-30 years old. However, "Old Billy" was a barge horse born in in England in 1760, and he lived to be 62.
  • A horse's hoofs grow continually, and need to be trimmed every five to eight weeks. In order to protect a horse's hoofs, horseshoes are commonly applied by a professional ferrier (a blacksmith).
  • The largest horse in recorded history was Mammoth, a Shire horse. He was born in 1848 and stood 21.2½ hands high (86.5 in / over 7 ft.), and his peak weight was approximately 3,300 lb).
  • The smallest horse in recorded history is Thumbelina. She is a fully mature miniature horse, and is only 17 inches tall. She weighs 60 lb. 
  • Horses have a vision range of more than 350° around them, because thier eyes are placed on either side of their heads. They can see approximately 65° with both eyes, and 285° with only one eye.
  • Horses can sleep standing up, or lying down.
  • The only true wild horse breed in existence today is the Przewalski's Horse, and they are critically endangered. They live in China and Mongolia. There are herds of feral horses that are born and live in the wild. However, they are not indigenous, and descended from domesticated horses.
  • Colic is the leading causes of death among domesticated horses. Quality care may help reduce your horse's risk of illness.


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