Management & Maintenance

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Create a Paddock Paradise - About 15 years ago, I was boarding my mare, Diva, at a private barn in Victoria, BC. The paddocks were very small and flat, with electric fence covering all the boards to prevent chewing, and Diva was on the end of the paddock row beside a forest. It was close to home, which worked for me, but Diva was deeply stressed, making it almost impossible to safely work with her or ride her.

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There is a lot more to haymaking than “making hay while the sun shines,” though doing so is a necessary start. Sadly, each year horse barns and farmers’ storage barns burn down, and horses become sick from respiratory disease and colic, as well as myriad other diseases such as Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID or Cushings disease). Many of these situations are avoidable so here are, in my opinion, the seven deadly sins of horse hay-making, in no particular order.

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Many people dream of leaving the city behind for the slower pace and more natural lifestyle of the countryside. The yearning for country living may be driven by the dream of keeping your horses at home, owning other livestock, developing a large garden, and enjoying a healthier way of life. But this idealized vision of rural life may not reflect reality for you and your family. There are many practical, environmental, and legal considerations to sort through, not to mention the financial costs. So before dropping a down payment on a piece of property, you have some homework to do, and there are some important factors to consider that might save you big headaches later on.

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While one can’t plan for every form of disaster, it’s important to familiarize yourself with any potential risks that could occur in your area and plan for them accordingly. Planning ahead can allow horse owners the opportunity to stay composed and act quickly in an emergency situation.

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There’s Far More To It Than You Might Think - My wife and I recently spent four devastating days in Sumas Prairie, Abbotsford, British Columbia assisting with the rescue and evacuation of animals following the disastrous flooding caused by the “atmospheric river” of torrential rain in mid-November 2021. It’s one thing to watch it on the news — it’s surreal to be on the ground in the middle of it.

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Rotational grazing can help you take better care of your pastures and provide more feed for your horses.

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Horse business owners everywhere know how difficult it is to make money in the horse world. Every equine industry entrepreneur strives to figure out how to build a better and more resilient enterprise that will generate a reliable revenue stream and provide an enjoyable equestrian lifestyle.

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Working and Playing Together - Operating family farms and ranches can be challenging, but according to these three Canadian families, there are plenty of benefits, too.

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Horse owners with a stream on their property know exactly what kinds of headaches a waterway can cause. Besides posing a hazard to your horses and other animals, or being inconvenient when moving machinery and vehicles around your property, use of your stream is likely subject to a host of strict government regulations designed to maintain water quality, which is something we all benefit from.

Biosecurity horse farm, how to protect horse from virus, pathogens horse farm, designing a horse barn for health, safely transporting horses

Protecting Horses and Humans - With the current COVID-19 pandemic and Canadians’ alarm over how quickly a virus can spread across countries and continents, there is an understandable reaction to protect against infection from any and all viruses and pathogens. By extension, it is also essential that there is a level of biosecurity on your farm or acreage to protect horses against agents of disease.

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