There is nothing harder than owning a horse. Once you’ve got one, however, you’ll find that you’re constantly looking for ways to make it easier on them and to keep them healthy. Read more to know how to keep your horse species-appropriate.

What does “species-appropriate” mean?

The word “species-appropriate” is one of horse breeders’ favorite terms. It refers to how animals are raised as part of its breeding program. It is an important concept to understand when buying a horse to be sure you are buying a healthy one. But breeders and horse show people like to use the term “species-appropriate” because they think it makes their horses sound more special and more “natural.”

There are many important aspects of keeping your horse species-appropriate. If you don’t, your horse will suffer, and you will be subject to penalties at a judge’s conference. Better check your horse’s species-appropriateness.

Things to Take into Consideration

After years of being a popular choice as a pet, horses have become a favorite choice of riding, showing, and breeding across the country. However, with more options are also more challenges. Understanding horse species-appropriateness is one challenge that you should be able to handle, but there are other factors that you have to take into consideration.

Know the Heading Classification.

You can tell if your horse is of a particular species or not by looking at its “Heading.” All of the various headings have 3 categories: Core, Growth, or Condition. In order to determine if your horse is of a particular heading, you must know its most recent heading classification. If your horse has a housekeeping ID number that starts with “H,” you can use the “H” heading classification.

Your horse’s coat is species-appropriate for the climate in which it lives.

It is important to select breeds that are able to weather the conditions best. You’ve probably heard that many horses are susceptible to certain diseases. It’s especially true for breeds like the Morgan, Friesian, and Minature Horse, but it’s a problem for all sorts of horses. The diseases that affect your horse affect him differently depending on the breed, so you have to consider the elements that go into his genetic makeup and the environment and lifestyle in which he lives.

The type of tack your horse was born in can also affect your horse’s coat.

For example, a horse born in the bay pony breed may be more sensitive to a too wide or long saddle. A horse born in the pinto breed may be more sensitive to a too narrow or too short saddle. A horse born in the hackamore breed may be more sensitive to a too loose or too tight saddle. And each of these three groups is distinct.

Know the age of your horse.

Your horse’s age is another factor that determines which species-appropriate coat your horse will have. Young horses tend to grow their coats long, making them unsuitable for hot weather. Even for young horses, however, a few breeds have longer coats, and these should be considered.

Research various factors related to the horse’s species, including your animal's physical traits, history, nutrition, and social needs.

When it comes to domesticating a wild animal, it’s important to consider the characteristics of the species you have chosen, as well as its environment... For instance, horses and donkeys have very different dietary needs, which may cause problems if your horse is crossed with a donkey. If, for instance, your horse is a mustang, you might want to avoid crossing it with a donkey, as the two species are only distantly related.

Have you ever dreamed of having your own horse? How would you take care of it? Share some of your thoughts in the comment section below.