Our rough itinerary for the next year or so…

Feb 2017 to May 2017

Stuart - Australia

Jane - UK, then Aus

June 2017 to Oct 2017

Stuart and Jane - UK

Oct 2017 to Dec 2017

Stuart - Australia + New Zealand

Jane - UK, then Aus, then NZ

The Workshops and Clinics page of this website is a good place to find out what we are doing and when.

Join us on Facebook so that you are kept up to date with developments.

You can access a full list of our Facebook pages on the contact us page.

Learn how to improve your balance so that you feel more secure when riding. This book is the second in this series and it shows you how to increase your balance. It contains 18 lessons for you to follow in your own time.

Begin reading this book for free now!

click here

Reviews

What a simple way to improve balance, I now teach this method to all of my students, from beginners to advanced. Fiona, Toronto, Canada

I am now much closer to achieving a truly ‘independent seat’. Feeling secure and confident. Bring on the next book! Megan, Cambridge, UK

This book is very easy to follow and has saved me money. My own instructor is great but she does not cover these fundamental basics. Thank you Jane for making it so easy to improve my riding, Jan. Kent, UK

Click here to go to our bookshop

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Our books

© Equiculture and Horse Rider’s Mechanic 2000 - 2016

This is a large website - make sure you check out the site map below to make sure you have not missed anything!

Our books have lots of information about sustainable horsekeeping practices:

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Horse keeping has changed dramatically in the last 30 to 40 years and there are many new challenges facing contemporary horse owners. The modern domestic horse is now much more likely to be kept for leisure purposes than for work and this can have huge implications on the health and well-being of our horses and create heavy demands on our time and resources.

You can begin reading this book (for free!) right here on this website…

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In an ideal world, most horse owners would like to have healthy nutritious pastures on which to graze their horses all year round. Unfortunately, the reality for many horse owners is far from ideal. However, armed with a little knowledge it is usually possible to make a few simple changes in your management system to create an environment which produces healthy, horse friendly pasture, which in turn leads to healthy ‘happy’ horses.

You can begin reading this book (for free!) right here on this website…

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It does not matter if you are buying an established horse property, starting with a blank canvas or modifying a property you already own; a little forward planning can ensure that your dream becomes your property. Good design leads to better living and working spaces and it is therefore very important that we look at our property as a whole with a view to creating a design that will work for our chosen lifestyle, our chosen horse pursuit, keep our horses healthy and happy, enhance the environment and to be pleasing to the eye, all at the same time.

You can begin reading this book (for free!) right here on this website…

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See our bookshop for some great deals where you can combine books and save lots!


Why not have a look at our other website:

www.horseridersmechanic.com

For a full page version of this Facebook social plugin go to this page

Buying a horse property might be one of the most expensive purchases you ever make - so it is vital that you get it right. This book will guide you through the process, wherever you live in the world.

Begin reading this book for free now!

click here

Reviews

I wish this book had been out when I bought my first horse property, it would have saved me a lot of anguish. I love the check list and I am using it as we look for our next property. Vicky, Texas, USA

This book has brought up so many points that I just would not have thought about if I had not read it. Thanks a million! Bob, Nottingham, UK

So many great pictures and such a straightforward way of explaining how to work out what is important, and what is not. Kirsty, Geelong, Australia

Disclaimer

The authors and publishers of the Equiculture and Horse Rider’s Mechanic websites, social media pages, books and other resources shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, damage or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information contained in or on them. While the information is as accurate as the authors and publisher can make it, there may be errors, omissions and inaccuracies.

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We have just launched our brand new Equiculture site - we will be closing this site down shortly.

Please go to

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where you can join our mailing list and find out about our new developments.

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The Equicentral System

See also:

How to set up the Equicentral system

We have been teaching horse owners about The Equicentral System for many, many years now (as part of our Healthy Land, Healthy Pasture, Healthy Horses talk). It has been implemented in countries all over the world (from Panama to Perth!), ranging from hot dry climates to very wet climates (hot and cold) and everything in between. Currently is is experiencing a surge of interest in the UK as it suits wet muddy conditions so well (and the UK is brilliant at wet muddy conditions!).

This system works by utilising the natural grazing behaviour of horses to benefit the land (and ultimately the horses) and the wider environment.

 The Equicentral System utilises  the natural grazing behaviour of horses to benefit the land (and ultimately the horses) and the wider environment.


It works best on a property where the horses live together as one herd (otherwise you will need to replicate the system for each herd - this is perfectly possible but requires more infrastructure). Basically, in this system, all of the paddocks/fields are linked to a communal surfaced holding area by gates.

Laneways may be needed in order for the horses to get to a paddock/field but if possible, laneways are not used or are at least minimised - because laneways are difficult to maintain and need a surface in order to not become too muddy or dry/dusty.

The system works in conjunction with good grazing management (rotational grazing). In fact, utilising a rotational grazing system for managing your horse’s land is integral to this system - as you will see below.

This diagram below is The Equicentral System in its most simple form.

 The Equicentral System in its most basic form.


The diagram shows a property with a combined communal yard/arena but this just one option. You could have these facilities as separate features (or indeed you may not want or need an arena) but if you would like to have a riding surface this example is a way of maximising the use of space while saving money by combining these expensive facilities. Remember the smaller the property, the more the facilities need to be dual purpose so that you have as much land in use (as pasture) as possible.

Instead of watering points being situated in each paddock/field, there is just one main watering point which is situated in the large communal yard. This large communal yard must also have plenty of shade/shelter. It can be sand covered or have some other surface (careful consideration of the surface is required especially if it is to be a riding/training surface as well). Bare dirt is not an option as it will be dangerously slippery (and muddy) when wet and dusty when dry.

Individual holding yards (with water) may also be necessary if you feed concentrates and/or if you want to separate the horses for periods. Feeding concentrates causes horses to be competitive so it is not usually safe to feed them to a group of horses yarded together. Any necessary hay can be fed either in the individual yards or in the larger communal yard if the horses get on well enough, generally horses will share hay. Creating a feeding area using large rubber mats can be a good way to feed horses hay on sand if you have a sand surface.

We have a publication that covers horse facilities in detail. Back to top


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It does not matter if you are buying an established horse property, starting with a blank canvas or modifying a property you already own; a little forward planning can ensure that your dream becomes your property. Good design leads to better living and working spaces and it is therefore very important that we look at our property as a whole with a view to creating a design that will work for our chosen lifestyle, our chosen horse pursuit, keep our horses healthy and happy, enhance the environment and to be pleasing to the eye, all at the same time.

You can begin reading this book (for free!) right here on this website…

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬


This is how The Equicentral System works…

in this example we will assume you are keeping the horses in the large communal yard (or individual smaller yards) at night and out (at pasture) through the day (but you do not have to confine the horses overnight, it all depends on how much available pasture there is - this will change from season to season and if you increase or decrease the number of horses in the herd).

A grazing ‘bout’ typically lasts around three hours.


The horses bring themselves back to the large communal yard.


The Equicentral System encourages the horses to return, rest and congregate in an area of your choosing. You do not have to go and get them. This is particularly handy if you have to see to your horses in the dark, after work. This system has many other benefits:Back to top

The Equicentral System benefits

The Equicentral System utilises the natural and domestic behaviour of horses to better manage the land that they live on. This system of management has many, many benefits including:

Horse health/welfare benefits:

A grazing horse is a moving horse.



The Equicentral System provides a ‘home-range’ whereby the horses can access the available resources in a more natural fashion.

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Horse keeping has changed dramatically in the last 30 to 40 years and there are many new challenges facing contemporary horse owners. The modern domestic horse is now much more likely to be kept for leisure purposes than for work and this can have huge implications on the health and well-being of our horses and create heavy demands on our time and resources.

You can begin reading this book (for free!) right here on this website…

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

Time saving benefits:

You do not have to spend time carting feed around the property.


Cost saving benefits:

This large shade/shelter will be in use every day of the year, unlike shade/shelters that are situated in paddocks and are only in use when the paddock is in use.


Safety benefits:

Land/environmental management benefits:

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In an ideal world, most horse owners would like to have healthy nutritious pastures on which to graze their horses all year round. Unfortunately, the reality for many horse owners is far from ideal. However, armed with a little knowledge it is usually possible to make a few simple changes in your management system to create an environment which produces healthy, horse friendly pasture, which in turn leads to healthy ‘happy’ horses.

You can begin reading this book (for free!) right here on this website…

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

They will tend to carry out any other behaviours in the surfaced holding yard.


Public perception benefits:

There is a general expectation that land should be well managed - e.g. less mud/dust and fewer weeds.


Manure and parasitic worm management benefits:

Manure dropped on the surfaced yard rather than pasture is also far preferable in terms of parasitic worm management (no plants to attach to for any larvae that hatch out).


ConclusionBack to top

The biggest change for most horse owners in in their way of thinking! Once they accept that traditional horsekeeping systems leave a lot to be desired they usually want to make changes that will improve the ‘lifestyle’ of the horses in their care.

The Equicentral System enables them to do this in a way that also fits in with good environmental pasture/land management. It utilises natural horse behaviour to reduce time, money and effort.

Quite simply without good environmental management any system will eventually fall down. Clean waterways, land for wildlife, reducing soil loss and increasing biodiversity are all issues that land managers must prioritise. For more information about how you can improve your land management look out for a Healthy Land, Healthy Horses talk in your area.

See also - How to set up The Equicentral System

A great Facebook group to join (if you have not come across it already) is The Equicentral Group Chat page where you can speak with other people who are using this system.


Back to top

Hi there, we now have a brand new website - can you please go to www.equiculture.net - where you will receive - COMPLETELY FREE the 3 part  (¾ hour) video series called Horse Grazing Characteristics.