Management & Maintenance

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Flies can be a major nuisance to your horse during the summer months, and can also carry diseases and cause allergic reactions. But your horse doesn’t have to simply put up with the winged pests causing him stress, skin reactions, or worse.

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Better Breathing in the Barn - Why should horse owners be worried about the air quality in their equine facilities? Is there really anything that can be done to improve the quality once the barn is built?

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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.

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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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Whether you run a large horse business or a small private barn, finding good employees to help with the daily duties of horse care, training, and lessons is usually a difficult task. Some horse owners freely admit that their “horse resources” acumen is better than their “human resources” insight. In reality, good management of both takes similar talent and is easier to achieve than you might think. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

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“Mowing” is a term used to describe the cutting or trimming of grass. The mowing process cuts grass to a uniform height in a pasture or lawn. If your pasture management plan doesn’t include mowing, you may be asking the following questions:

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There are a vast number of plants located throughout Canada that are toxic to horses in some respect. Many need to be eaten in large doses to cause much of an effect, while others require only a few mouthfuls. There are a variety of resources on plants toxic to livestock, but the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System seems to be the most comprehensive. It lists over 250 poisonous plants found in Canada, their lethal dose (if known), and symptoms of poisoning.

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Hay is the bulk of the horse’s diet. Recognizing and purchasing good quality hay that’s of high nutritive value is of the utmost importance to horse owners. Test your knowledge of hay with the following quiz.

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Grass clippings and yard waste trimmings can be toxic. As horse owners, we spend a lot of time and effort making sure our horses are healthy and well cared for. However, a simple mistake by a family member or neighbour could be disastrous.

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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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