There's no disputing that Haflings are
a hardy breed â hardly as rock and sweet as honey â but that
shouldn't be taken as an excuse to disregard their health care. Like
any horse, you've got to take good care of your Haflinger â it
might be the most important aspect of the horse and equestrian
No matter how much field work you give them, or how many rides, or how educated a trainer you are â when your horse is sick and miserable, so are you.
So what's a devoted Haflinger owner to
do? First, become an expert in all aspects of horse care. Talk to
fellow Haflinger owners â not just about the breed, but about other
breeds too. Sometimes you'll find a horse expert right up the road
who's chock full of tips about good feed and good trails and the best
But don't stop there â go online,
too. There's more horse information online today than ever before.
Not all of it is top notch but plenty of it is helpful and
instructive. You might find other Haflinger owners out there â if
you do, pick their brains a bit. And don't be shy about sharing your
own expertise as well.
At the top of any horse care list, you
have to have an excellent equine veterinarian. Optimally,your vet
will visit rarely to administer some basic vaccines and the like.
Still, even for that routine stuff you want someone who knows their
stuff and wants to please. When you ask questions do they listen
carefully and give you responsive answers? Do they talk about what
they're doing and why they think it's necessary? You have a right to
be involved in the decision-making process.
Not only that, your horse should feel
like they're part of a team as well. So keep a close eye on how your
vet interacts with your Haflinger. Are they gentle and patient? Do
they take a moment to introduce themselves to the horse? How's their
"bedside manner?" And how does your horse seem to feel about the
whole thing? If they seem bored or only mildly antsy you're probably
okay. But if they're a bit more agitated than usual, take that into
Your horse will always keep you posted
about what they like and don't like. Give them the respect of
Your vet isn't the only caregiver that
counts in your new Haflinger family. You also want a good farrier to
keep the horse's feet trimmed and shod, if that's your decision. Most
horses need a good equine dentist as well, though you'll often find
veterinarians who do this for you.
In general, when looking into other equine professionals, the same basic rules apply as to veterinarians. Do they include you in the process? Is your horse content with them?
When it comes to horse health care, take your time and ask around. They deserve the best from you â be sure you give it to them.