Keeping horses healthy requires horse-owners, trainers, and barn managers to acquire so much scientific knowledge, it’s a wonder we aren’t all awarded honorary doctorates after a certain number of decades. Working closely with veterinarians, nutritionists, and extension offices gives us a working knowledge of biology our high school science teachers probably never anticipated. Still, one wonder of science continues to evade many horsemen: how to keep the dust down in an indoor arena.
Watering indoor arenas has long been the go-to method for keeping down dust, but since it can cause freezing in winter and mud […]
Carrying heavy water buckets is probably one of the least pleasant aspects of daily barn life. Stall cleaning can be meditative, sweeping the aisle can be relaxing, but lifting buckets, dumping them, scrubbing them out, and carrying them, full of water and splashing on your legs, is never fun.
Thinking of dumping buckets and going with an automatic waterer in your horse’s stall or paddock? Let’s look at some pros and cons and decide if automatic waterers are right for you and your horses.
The first obvious pro is eliminating dragging around a hose or carrying back-breaking […]
They’re a delight in the calendar photograph: a wide-eyed foal gazing at the camera, a golden bed of buttercups peeking through the green grass at his hooves. But buttercups and horses don’t go together at all. In fact, these beautiful flowers grow from toxic stems. Like quite a few other wildflower species which flourish in natural grasslands (and overgrazed pastures), buttercups are poisonous to horses.
Buttercups (also called bachelor’s buttons or butter daisies), are not typically eaten by a well-fed horse. They just don’t taste very nice. But buttercups tend to grow in overgrazed […]
Are you ready to hit the trails now that winter is finally past? Spring trail riding might be the perfect antidote to all those cold arena rides you’ve put in over the past few months, but it’s not without hazards. Stay safe on the trail with these tips.
Get a good weather app. Spring and summer weather can be dangerous and unpredictable. Depending on your region’s climate, you might be dealing with potentially violent storms which crop up without warning… or maybe not. With smartphones, as long as you have cell service, you have warning […]
A while ago I wrote about the need to have a disaster plan, http://equinefacilitydesign.com/equine-care/equine-disaster-plans.htm, recent historic flooding has reached the equestrian community, threatening the lives of hundreds of horses. Do your horses live in a flood plain? Even if the farm isn’t in an area commonly threatened by floodwaters, you might be surprised by the answer.
And even if the flood threat seems distant, consider this: extreme weather events in North America are on the rise, and urban construction only increases the risk of flooding. Rainwater which would have been absorbed […]
Ready to give shavings the boot? If you’ve been thinking for a while, “maybe using chopped up trees as horse litter isn’t the best idea,” you’re in luck. There are a variety of new, environmentally-friendly bedding choices on the market. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of one such choice, corn cob bedding.
Corn cob, ground up and processed into pellets with steam and water, creates an absorbent, biodegradable bedding for horses. The bedding composts much faster than wood shavings (some manufacturers state their bedding composts in as little as six months […]
Ask an expert what a stabled horse is often lacking, and you’ll probably hear the words “fresh air.” Ventilation in barns is of utmost importance; a horse’s sensitive respiratory system is susceptible to mold, fungus, the fumes from ammonia in their soiled bedding, and dust floating through the air. Even in summertime, with all the windows flung open, a barn can be a place of still, unmoving air, which exacerbates heat problems as well.
All sorts of fans exist to help out with still stable air, from massive ceiling fans to discount-store box fans. Which fan is […]
Sharing our farms with wildlife is one of the privileges of country living. Farms serve a vital role in providing green space and habitat to a wide variety of animals who might not find places to survive in suburbs and urban spaces. But it comes with challenges–how do we keep our horses and other domestic animals safe from hazards wildlife might bring? And how do we protect wildlife which might be squeezed out of habitat by construction elsewhere?
Native animals: Animals granted wide-ranging habitats are more genetically diverse, which is good for the species overall. Even […]