When you have your own horse or pony you take on a big responsibility. Having a good group of experts to ask and to lend their expertise is essential. Some you will need to visit your horse regularly like the farrier, to trim or shoe and some you may just call on occasionally eg: a nutritionist. You will generally find that a good horse vet can advise you on many horse care related subjects and many are only too keen to help.
Riding Instructor: - whatever your riding level or experience having a riding instructor whom you trust is vital. They can help and advise you on so many different horse related subjects and are an invaluable source of knowledge. Find a qualified instructor at http://www.bhs.org.uk/training-and-qualifications/bhs-register-of-instructors-and-grooms
Vet: - it is also important to have a vet you like and trust. Having someone you can call on that is not going to upset you but be supportive, helpful and knowledgeable is essential. You will need them to vaccinate your horse every year at least! Find a local vet at http://findavet.rcvs.org.uk/find-a-vet/
Farrier: - looking after your horse's feet is so important. The farrier is probably the expert you will see the most often. You should have your horse's feet trimmed every 8 - 10 weeks but if he is shod you will need a visit every 6 - 8 weeks to keep the feet and shoes in tip top condition. Find a qualified farrier here http://www.wcf.org.uk/farrieryhorse.php
Equine Dental Technician (EDT): many vets will look after your horses teeth. If you choose to use a specialist then choose a qualified and well trained one. As with vets and farriers it is important to find one that is calm and patient with your horse. To find a qualified dentist have a look at http://baedt.com/
Saddler:- a well fitted saddle can make the difference between pain and comfort for your horse. It can also affect their way of going, so surely it makes sense to have a saddle that is perfect for you and your horse! You will need a knowledgeable and well trained saddler to help, measure and advise you, to find one check out http://www.mastersaddlers.co.uk/
You will also need to find a good hay or haylage supplier. This may be a local farmer but make sure they understand the needs of horses and are aware of the plants which are poisonous to your horse. You can often shop around for the best price but loyalty to a farmer will stand you in good stead in years where hay is short!
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Until next time!