Fencing & Pasture

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Fundamental to owning horses is the fencing used to contain them. In times past, the options were simply wooden boards or barbed wire, both of which are still used in many areas across Canada. Today there are many safe and durable options for containing horses, and horse owners can select their preferences in structure, design, materials, colour, and visibility. Fencing is all about function, and function is dictated by the intended purpose, depending on whether you are running a boarding barn, breeding barn, training facility, or a family acreage with a few ponies for the children.

Early summer is a great time to do a variety of maintenance tasks around your barn and horse property. The time and energy invested now will keep your horses safe and your property looking its best, providing you with year-round peace
of mind and enjoyment.

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Some farms are more susceptible to muddy conditions than others. Mud is a result of prolonged wet soil conditions, which is often dependent on soil type and topography. After a rainstorm or spring snowmelt, clay soils drain more slowly than sandy soils and are therefore more prone to muddy conditions. In addition, muddy conditions are more likely to occur in areas of low elevation because runoff water tends to accumulate in these areas.

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The humble fence post is the foundation of our fencing project, and one of the most important commodities in our equine and farming society. It is the mainstay required to produce and maintain healthy pastures, protect our livestock and food sources from predators, determine our boundaries, and add value to our real estate. Because fence posts are so important, we must chose the right posts for the job, and install them correctly. A good rule of thumb is to never go too small for the job at hand, always go larger. The slight increase in cost will save money in the long run, and the end result will be...

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Everyone knows the seasonal annoyance of flies. For horses they can be a real tail swatting, foot stomping, head shaking, skin twitching aggravation. But flying insects such as midges, gnats, horse flies, deer flies, black flies, face flies, house flies, mosquitos, and others are more than a nuisance – they can cause serious skin irritations and can also carry diseases.

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Watching horses wade into a lush spring pasture is a satisfying sight after a long Canadian winter. Some simple management tips will ensure your horses can enjoy that lovely grass well into the next few months, weather permitting. Allowing your horses to overgraze one piece of land will create problems for both the animal and the pasture. Too much grass too soon can cause founder, and once the grass is gone, horses will often resort to eating weeds, some of which are toxic. As for the land itself, once the roots are exposed and trampled, the grass will not return and you will be left with a dry, weedy wasteland.

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When planning to renovate a horse pasture, the first thing you should do is walk the pasture and determine what plant species currently exist and make an assessment of the overall condition of the pasture. If the pasture consists primarily of grass and\or legume species, but is being considered for renovation due to low productivity, changes in pasture management may be more effective, and more economical, than a complete renovation.

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