Composting Horse Manure

One constant dilemma facing horse owners, no matter what your discipline, is manure disposal. Horses create manure continuously, and it has to go somewhere. The ubiquitous manure pile that so many barns have used over the years is, unfortunately, a less attractive and useful option as farm properties grow smaller and closer to their neighbors, and as municipalities and water management boards seek to discourage run-off into streams, rivers, and aquifers. What to do with all that manure just piling up?

Try composting!

Compost can create useful, nutritious soil amendment out of manure — truly turning a problem into a […]

Three Easy Steps to Prevent Fire in Your Barn

Three Easy Steps to Prevent Fire in Your Barn

Recently, several barns across the country have been destroyed by massive fires. It’s every horseman’s nightmare, but there are ways to lessen the risk of fire and even suppress fires once they do start.

But what’s that old saying? An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure?  Sadly, President Lincoln experienced a tragedy of his own, as I wrote about in http://equinefacilitydesign.com/equine-care/horse-barn-fire-prevention.htm

Let’s talk fire prevention. Here are three steps you can take right now […]

Run-in Sheds

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Your horse has a stable for shelter. Your horse has a pasture. But does your horse have a shelter in the pasture?

Run-in sheds, or loafing sheds, are a necessity for many turn-out areas. Horses need to be able to get shelter from heavy weather or excessive heat or frigid winds. Trees, though nice, don’t always fit the bill. They can let heavy rains through, and are no protection at all from hail or lightning. And branches laden with snow or ice create a serious risk.

When considering a location for a run-in shed […]

Foal Proofing the Farm

Baby-Proofing the Barn

It’s January, and 2014 foals are coming any day now. (Unless you already have a 2014 foal, in which case, wow — that’s some impressive timing!) Are you ready for your four-legged bundle of joy? Make sure you’ve done your baby-proofing. With a human baby, you get a few months in which to remember to buy those foam strips and put covers on the electric outlets. But foals begin a path of banging, bumping, and general destruction within hours of birth — so the time to check out your barn and […]

Four Amenities Your Private Barn Needs

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Simple is best, right? Just you, your horses, a space to ride and a space to turn-out… what else could a happy horseman want?

Not so fast. For one thing, private barns have a way of becoming semi-private barns fairly easily. Oh, your friend Denise needs a place for her horse to stay during the equestrian festival!  What? Your coworker can’t afford the board at her dressage barn anymore? Come on over, we have a spare stall!

And even if you manage to maintain your privacy, sometimes the walk (or golf-cart-ride) between the […]

Magazine Review: Equestrian Quarterly – Celebrating Country Life

Magazine Review: Equestrian Quarterly

Do you ever find yourself thinking you signed up for the “Town and Country” life, but ended up with Green Acres (and speaking for myself, with a little Minnie Pearl vibe) instead?  Do you imagine yourself with shiny, perfectly groomed, well bred steeds in the fanciest of stables but when you walk out to the barn you find sweaty, dirty and frankly backyard bred (albeit beloved) mutts living in what could hardly be referred to as a ‘stable‘?  And like me, do you think of yourself as leading a Ralph […]

Bringing the Horses Home: Are You Ready?

It’s the dream of many horse owners: to look out the window and see their horses grazing right outside.

Although boarding at a stable is a convenience some can’t imagine living without, there’s definitely something about keeping one’s horse at home that keeps people gazing at real estate ads or imagining just how their little acreage could be turned into farm of their own.

But keeping horses at home is a big step. Here are three things to consider before you decide to fire your barn manager and bring the horses home.

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Health Tips for Horses in Muddy Conditions

Is your farm muddy?

Summer mud. Winter mud. Spring mud. Fall mud. No matter what the season, mud is a part of a horseman’s life. Whether you live in a part of the country with a rainy season that makes mud a daily nuisance, or you just don’t have the best drainage in the world, mud happens.

And mud is more than just a tedious mess that ends up all over your boots. Mud can cause a host of health problems, from soft feet to skin infections. So what should horse owners be aware of when […]