Debunking the Myths: Three Misconceptions about Horses

Horses in New ZealandHorses have been with us in many aspects of our lives, whether as a pet, an athlete or a soldier. And properly caring for a horse should not depend on hearsay or myths created a long time ago. As a matter of fact, an animal health company just released a mobile application to help owners monitor the health of their horses.

Learn the truth about the most common misconceptions in understanding the needs of horses.

Horses Sleep Standing

Horses can either sleep standing up or lying down. When a horse lies down, it sleeps lying flat on its side or sitting upright with its nose resting on the ground. As they need to undergo the rapid eye movement stage they must lay down as it is necessary for their health.

In a herd, horses get a chance to sleep more on the ground than when they are contained individually. Since their backs are straight, it is hard for them to stand up quickly in times of danger. Some horses in the herd act as guardians to do the alerts while the others sleep.

Hay is Their Only Food

Hay or forage is the basic food of a horse, but it does not necessarily mean that they can live on it alone. Horses need nutrients and minerals from concentrates or grains that are also known as animal feed. These concentrated feeds are necessary for lactating mares, equine athletes or horses that require high energy. But if the horse has low metabolic rates or if it is a retired horse and only do light work, they can have a pasture-only diet.

Choose the appropriate concentrate to complement the forage according to the needs of the horse. Since horses evolved feeding on forages, a balance diet of energy feeds and hay helps keep their digestive system functioning properly.

Broken Leg is their Death Sentence

Back then, people shoot down horses with broken legs believing it will put the animal out of its misery. They cannot put a cast on the injury due to the size of the horse’s legs and its weight. But with the progression of the equine veterinary, they now have the appropriate equipment to perform surgery and leg implants.

Today, these beliefs are no longer applicable and can even jeopardise the horse’s life. With the continuing advancement of science and medicine, you can prove what is true by asking advice from professionals.