Horse at Grass
A field should be well fenced with a reliable water supply. Mature horses require a minimum of one to one and a half acres of grass, as overcrowding may lead to competition for food, water and space. During the winter months, or very dry periods, supplementary feed will be required. Hay alone may not be sufficient, and if fed, must be supplied so as to avoid trampling into the mud. Horses should be checked twice daily and the grass availability and water supply should be monitored. During the spring and early autumn, keep an eye out for signs of laminitis, especially in ponies. Monitor bodyweight with a weighband. Provide restricted grazing for those animals prone to becoming overweight or who have had laminitis before.
Fencing and gateways
Fencing should ideally be post and rail and be high enough to prevent horses from escaping. Other alternatives include a single top rail with posts and tight plain wire fence strands underneath. Barbed wire fencing should be avoided as it causes injury. Also avoid sheep wire, as horses get caught in it. Use electric tape to keep horses away from barbed and sheep wire. Gateways should be securely fastened and padlocked if near a road.
Horses should have access to a clean supply of water throughout the day, preferably from self-filling water troughs. Buckets and other watertight containers are also an option, although a lot of work. Water troughs and containers must be cleaned regularly to prevent the build-up of algae. Old bathtubs are not acceptable, as they are dangerous. During the winter, water containers often ice up, so they must be checked frequently during cold weather to ensure that the horse can reach water.
Shelter should be provided to shield horses from wind, rain and snow during the winter months and to provide shade and protection from flies during the summer months.