Feed & Nutrition

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Buying hay for your horse can be a challenge whether you buy it a few bales at a time or purchase a year’s supply when it becomes available in the summer. Supply, price, and quality have always been important parameters to consider when buying hay for horses, but now, more than ever before, horse owners are becoming aware of the importance of the nutritional components of the hay they feed.

And what is natural, anyway? The terms “natural” and “organic” are widely used in today’s horse world. The use of the term “organic” in the manufacturing and marketing of products aimed at horse owners is regulated by government agencies. The use of the term “natural” is not, and so a great deal more caution must be exercised by horse owners when sourcing these kinds of products for their horses.

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“The stable environment invariably presents challenges of dust, mould and proper ventilation,” says Susan Raymond, instructor of Equine Guelph’s Management of the Equine Environment online course. “Most horses are well equipped for living outdoors and thrive, provided certain provisions are met.” Dr. Raymond completed her PhD in investigating the effects of exposure of horses to mycotoxins. She has also been involved in air quality research, which provided practical recommendations to the horse industry on stable design and management.

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Winter can make the most mundane tasks challenging. This reality is clearly illustrated when it comes to watering animals. For as long as man has worked alongside horses and livestock, there have been different watering methods and their seasonal variations.

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You chose both the mare and the stallion, and you have waited almost a year during the gestation of your anxiously anticipated foal. Now the foal is here and approaching the age to wean. The mare has done an admirable job of supporting that young life for the past 15 months during pregnancy and nursing, but now you must take over the task of meeting the nutritional requirements of your growing horse.

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Fall is here! The leaves are changing and the temperatures are cooling off. It’s hard to imagine that such a pretty time of year could possibly be harmful to our horses. However, fall leaves can pose a potentially deadly threat. The following are trees that are highly toxic to horses.

How many of us remember the days when the only way to find out the facts on a subject was to go to the library and look it up? Answers to questions we had about the care or feeding of our horses might have been found in one of the many reference books we all owned. Or, maybe we would find the information we were looking for by perusing the many equine magazines we kept “just in case.”

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Riding Vactions in California with Jec Ballou