A guide to keeping Falabellas.
There is little difference in the keeping and management of a Falabella to that of any other horse or pony. Any good book on horse care will help you to look after your Falabella. The expected life span of a miniature horse is longer than that of their larger friends. You could still be looking after that lovely little foal you buy 20 to 30 years later. A Falabella you buy your child to grow up with could well do the same job for your grand children.
As with all horses there are many things they will need on a regular basis so constant handling will make these jobs easier for you and your Falabella.
The Farrier – teaching a horse to have its feet picked out every day is a good way to accustom your horse to having its feet handled in readiness for a visit from the farrier. It also allows you to check the condition of the feet and spot any problems before they get too serious. The farrier will need to trim the feet every 8 to 12 weeks, this will vary according to how hard the individuals feet are and how much work they do on the ground. Overlong feet will cause damage to the tendons making the horse go lame.
Worming – The control of internal parasites is another important requirement. Just because you cannot see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Keeping your field clear of droppings will cut down on the number of worm larvae your horse can pick up. Regular worming is essential, and will need to be every 6 to 12 weeks depending on the type of wormer you use. Your vet or feed merchant will be happy to advise you. If left unchecked worms will cause your horse to lose weight, become anaemic, prone to colic and have a shorter life.
Teeth – Another cause of weight loss can be the uneven wear of your horse’s teeth. All horse’s teeth are constantly growing. As the teeth are worn down through eating, sharp edges can occur causing pain. Most 'large animal' veterinary practices will have a vet who is able to carry out an annual check of your Falabella's teeth.
Body Condition - Care must be taken to ensure your Falabella doesn't get too fat or too thin, as both of these conditions can cause serious health problems. Special care must be taken in winter to ensure your horse does not become underweight – their thick winter coats disguise weight loss. Regular 'hands on' contact will help you spot the condition before it can affect your horse.
Mental health – All horses are herd animals. This means they are only truly happy when kept with other horses. There is a greater risk of horses developing behavioural problems if they are kept on their own. This can also affect stallions when they are not allowed to run with their mares. Even the company of another animal such as a goat is better than nothing at all, but it will not satisfy their basic needs of playing and mutual grooming.