Owning a horse can be a very rewarding experience, especially when you take the time to understand and relate to your horse. To get the most out of the relationship you'll want to build trust between yourself and your horse.
Like any relationship, trust occurs when there's a history of positive interactions. Babies trust their parents because their parents take care of their needs, and the same holds true with horses. Building trust with your horse is the bedrock of a long and happy friendship.
Horses may be large animals, but they have small, very tender tummies. Horses are grazing animals, so they eat small amounts of food throughout the day. If your horse spends a lot of time confined and fed according to a schedule, you'll need to be extra careful about when and what you feed. A horse's age, breed, the weather (is it summer or winter), type of shelter (perhaps a climate controlled barn?), and the condition of their teeth are all things that factor into a horse’s eating habits.
Since horses can’t talk, it’s also important to learn the basics of horse communication. The best way to do this is to spend time observing your horse—pay close attention to your horse’s body language and watch the way they interact with other horses as well as people. Be sure to pay special attention to their ears, eyes, face and tail. A horse’s ears usually point to where their attention is, and the way a horse switches its tail also conveys emotion. People who care for horses need to be particularly observant—paying attention to a horse's appetite, body language, and gait.
Caring for a horse is a big commitment, but it can also be very rewarding. If you have a horse, spend plenty of time keeping a careful eye on him or her, and if you have a problem seek the help of a veterinarian who is experienced in equine health matters.