Care for Performance Horses vs. Pleasure Horses

Understanding the Different Needs for Performance Horses vs. Pleasure Horses

While you may believe caring for horses is straightforward, performance and pleasure horses have several different needs. Understanding the care your performance or pleasure horse requires is vital for ensuring it lives a long, healthy life. Winner’s Circle Equine Veterinary Service in Ocala, FL, is here to help you understand the different needs of performance and pleasure horses.

Exercise Levels

Performance horses need to stay in peak physical condition. Your performance horse requires much more exercise than a pleasure horse. You should exercise your performance horse around five to six days a week. Give your horse a 10-minute warmup before doing an hour of trotting or loping. Your horse should then have a 10-minute cooldown to prevent strain and injury.

Pleasure horses do not require as much exercise as performance horses. Your pleasure horse may get by without extra exercise if it spends most of its time turned out with other horses. If your horse is alone, you should give it daily walks, trail rides, or light arena work. How much exercise your pleasure horse needs will depend on what you expect from it, its age, and its fitness level.

Dietary Needs

Pleasure horses have relatively simple dietary needs. They can thrive on hay, pasture, and a combination of grass and sweet feed. You can also give your pleasure horse treats in moderation.

Performance horses require a closely monitored diet since they burn many more calories than horses with a lower activity level. In addition to hay or pasture, you will want to provide specialized feed with a balance of calories, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Your performance horse may also require a customized feeding schedule.

Veterinary Care

Pleasure and performance horses require regular veterinary care, but performance horses need more frequent visits to your horse vet. Performance horses are more prone to injuries and pain due to their activity level. Preventative equine care and frequent health checkups can catch issues early and provide prompt treatment to keep your performance horse healthy and active.

Protect Your Horse’s Health and Well-Being by Visiting Your Horse Vet Near You in Ocala, FL

Understanding the different needs of pleasure and performance horses is essential for ensuring your horse remains happy and healthy, so contact Winner’s Circle Equine Veterinary Service in Ocala, FL, to learn more about ways to keep your horse active and performing its best. Call us and schedule an appointment today at (706) 202-5476 to get your horse the care necessary to live a long, healthy life.