Electrolytes: a simple supplement which can cause impassioned arguments in the equestrian world. Feed commercial electrolytes in feed — no, put it in the water! — but electrolytes are to make horses drink more water! — just put salt in their feed — they only need mineral blocks…. And so on.
Here’s the most simple definition of what electrolytes do: electrolytes keep a horse’s cells operational and hydrated. When a horse’s electrolyte levels are off, their cells stop operating properly, water isn’t carried to the cells which need it most, and metabolic problems result — conditions like tying up, which we […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
It has been a while since I specifically wrote about bug control in stables. My last post was a couple years ago on this topic, www.equinefacilitydesign.com/equine-care/fly-control-for-stables-2.htm, and spring is a perfect time to write about it again.
If you’re excited for warm, sunny days, but already lining up an arsenal of fly spray bottles in your tack room, you know that one of winter’s few charms is a lack of biting bugs. Spring and summer bring horse flies, mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and a host of other pests […]
Mention the word “stable” and most people will conjure up images of green pastures surrounding a serene barn where horses lean over their dutch doors, taking in the fresh air and peaceful surroundings. And while that’s certainly a lovely goal, the truth is, plenty of our horses will live much of their lives lives in more suburban, if not completely urban, environments. Does your horse live in a barn where turn-out time is limited, or non-existent? Or does your horse stay inside for health and safety reasons? If so, it’s important to take special measures to […]
Horse theft seems to be as popular these days as it was back in the Wild West. We may not call them rustlers any more, but we still have to be on high alert to protect our horses from thieves who might appear on foot or with a trailer, ready to open our gates, break into our barns, and take our horses from us. In a recent article, we talked about simple strategies to improve security around the barn. Now, let’s look at a few simple ways to mark your horses as your property.
Microchips: Microchipping horses […]