Management & Maintenance

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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.

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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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If building a barn is on your horizon, the first step is to make your wish list. Whether it’s a perfect four-stall barn with walk-out paddocks, or a large training and boarding facility, your dream barn will be a major construction project that should create a safe and comfortable home for your horses and their people, both at work and at play.

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Climate change is substantially impacting Canadian horses, horse properties, and their owners. Almost 90 percent of Canadians in recent surveys say they’ve already seen climate change effects in their communities. Horses are increasingly affected by respiratory diseases from wildfire smoke and dust; skin disease and damaged hooves from variable weather; and unforeseen parasites and diseases. Horse owners are struggling to purchase hay, treat unexpected health issues, and adapt to weather-related riding limitations. Meanwhile, property owners are repairing damage from sudden storms, drought, excess water, and wind. So, it’s worth understanding how climate change will affect horses and properties into the future, and what you can do to prepare for these changes.

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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 Inside Story - For as long as horses have been grazing the hillsides and meadows, the pest of parasite infestation has plagued them. Perennial as the grass, intestinal parasites find every possible opportunity to enter their horse host, and live out their life cycle.

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