Our rough itinerary for the next year or so…

Oct 2016 to Dec 2016

Stuart - Australia

Jane - UK

Feb 2017 to May 2017

Stuart - Australia

Jane - UK, then Aus for 5 weeks, then back to UK

May 2017 to Oct 2017

Stuart and Jane - UK

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.

On-line resources coming soon!

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

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© 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

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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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Horse Ownership - Responsible Sustainable Ethical©

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Responsible horse care and welfare

Everyone who owns or cares for horses should understand at least the basics of horse care and welfare. Correct horse care and welfare is essential for the well-being of a horse - by owning a horse you take on a ‘duty of care’. The basics are introduced here on this page and are expanded on in articles that you can open and read.


The main issues that horse owners and carers need to be aware of are:

Feeding and watering

Horses need clean fresh water ad-lib (as much as they want – when they want). Feeding is more involved but not necessarily as complicated as it is often made out to be. Horses have evolved to eat a high fibre diet so this should be the main component of any feeding regime. On top of that depends on what extra nutrients the horse needs (if the hay or grass is deficient) and what extra energy the horse needs (if it is working hard).

See the articles How essential is clean water to horses?, What is essential feed for horses? and What weight should my horse be?


 


Exercise

Horses are naturally active animals - or should be. Modern management systems often ignore this important point. Lack of proper exercise leads to behavioural problems, obesity (and therefore more risk of Laminitis), circulation problems, hoof problems etc.

See the article What is essential exercise for horses?

 

Rugging

Domestic horses may or may not need rugging. They may be unable to move around as much to keep warm. Older and thin skinned horses often also need extra warmth. Rugging in hot weather however can be a welfare issue.

See the article What is essential rugging for horses?

Grooming

A domestic horse is often prevented from doing the things that would help them to take care of their own skin. Rugging prevents mutual grooming and slows skin shedding among other things. Separating horses obviously prevents mutual grooming. Even though you may not think of this as grooming, your horse certainly does!

See the article What is essential grooming for horses?

Hoof care

For shod and barefoot horses. Irrespective of whether horses are shod or barefoot, they all need good regular hoof care. Again, the domestic horse is unable to wear down their hooves as nature intended. Shoes prevent that wear from occurring at all. Lack of proper movement prevents even barefoot horses from wearing their hooves properly, they too need regular trimming.

See the article What is essential is hoof care for horses?

Dental care

Domestic horses usually eat different quality food to their wild living cousins. This causes them to wear their teeth differently. They also tend to live a lot longer, so they need their teeth to last longer.  Good dental care is an essential part of horse care.

See the article Is dentistry essential for horses?



Gear fitting

The correct selection and fitting of gear is very important if you want your horse to work for you without being in uncomfortable or in pain. It is not always a case of the most expensive being the best. Good gear will last you a lifetime and serve both you and your horse well.

See the article What are the essentials of correctly fitted gear?

Parasites/worming

This subject is one that (along with feeding) is very confusing for horse people. There is so much conflicting information out there. You need a good worming program and this needs to be backed up by good paddock management.

See the article How do parasites affect my horse?

Assessing health

All horse people should know how to do a basic health assessment of their horse so that they know when to call a vet. Learning how to check the hydration status of your horse, take the temperature, check respiration and other vital signs is fun to do and gives you peace of mind. It is also very useful information to be able to give a vet over the phone if necessary.

See the article What are the essential signs of ill health in horses?

Companionship

This is very important for horses but modern management systems often try to disregard the fact that horses need other horses. We also need to keep in mind that wild equines can (to some extent) choose who they spend time with and are not penned in by fences and can escape from bullies.

See the article Is companionship essential for horses?



Shade and Shelter

In hot countries shade is at least if not more important than shelter. In colder countries the opposite is true. Most of the time they are one and the same (i.e. a simple roof will do both as will vegetation). Horses spend a significant amount of their time utilizing shade and shelter, it is very important to them, yet often horses are kept in paddocks with neither. This is definitely a welfare issue.

See the article Is shade and shelter essential for horses?   


Other titles in the Equiculture Essentials Series are:

Should I breed from my horse?

What are the essential horse behaviour facts?

When is the right time to buy a pony for my child?

What is essential care for a horse with ‘the Itch’?

Horses and grass clippings

Back to top

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Understanding horse behaviour is a very important part of caring for horses. It is very easy to convince yourself that your horse is content to do all of the things that you enjoy, but a much better approach is to understand that your horse has very different needs to you. Horses see the world quite differently to humans; they react to situations in a way that can seem illogical to us, but they do this because they have behaviours that have evolved over millions of years and ensured their survival. Horse behaviour is linked closely to their physiology and this is what makes a horse, a horse.

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

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The five freedoms

The subject of horse welfare is multi-faceted. Yes, it is about confronting and responding to instances of neglect, wilful cruelty and ignorance. However it is also about looking at how we keep horses, how we train them etc. It is about challenging, and if necessary rethinking, traditional practices in light of what we know about horses today.

This subject is rapidly evolving and can be highly contentious. What was thought to be good welfare practice 10 years ago may no longer be the case. Opinions can be divided and while there will never be a consensus about what constitutes good horse welfare (or animal welfare in general for that matter), the bar is being raised and conditions continue to (generally) be improved.

It is easy to get bogged down and think that there is nothing that you can do on a personal level about horse welfare but instead of feeling overwhelmed and powerless take an interest, find out about issues and discuss these with friends. In doing so you are bringing difficult issues out into the open and helping to get people thinking (and hopefully taking action).

Many welfare issues are caused not through malice, but through a lack of education or understanding and we as a horse community must take responsibility for spreading knowledge and questioning some accepted practices.

Animal welfare agencies talk about ‘the five freedoms’. These are the five basic rights that all animals should have. Translated into horse parlance these are:


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Understanding horse behaviour is a very important part of caring for horses. It is very easy to convince yourself that your horse is content to do all of the things that you enjoy, but a much better approach is to understand that your horse has very different needs to you. Horses see the world quite differently to humans; they react to situations in a way that can seem illogical to us, but they do this because they have behaviours that have evolved over millions of years and ensured their survival. Horse behaviour is linked closely to their physiology and this is what makes a horse, a horse.

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

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Links to helpful websites

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) (Australia). This website is a great resource! It summarises research on nutrition and general health of horses (and many other animals). It is an Australian site but the information is generally relevant to horse/animal owners everywhere. You can buy books from the site but you can also download many publications and articles (for free!) www.rirdc.gov.au

The National Equine Welfare Council  (NEWC) (UK) has an important, proactive role in raising equine welfare standards nationwide. Its membership base of over 60 welfare organisations, includes equine welfare charities large and small throughout the United Kingdom as well as a multitude of organisations from the equestrian and veterinary sectors of the horse industry www.newc.co.uk

Blue Cross looking after your horse series (UK) from choosing the right horse to keeping your stable yard safe and secure, our equine factsheets are full of help and advice for horse owners and riders www.bluecross.org.uk/looking-after-your-horse

Jessica Jahiel - Horse Sense Newsletter (USA) this is a free, subscriber-supported Q&A email newsletter which deals with all aspects of horses, their management, riding, and training. Over 1450 articles are currently indexed and searchable in the newsletter archives on the HORSE-SENSE Newsletter website, making it one of the largest repositories of equestrian content on the web www.horse-sense.org and www.jessicajahiel.com/horse-sense.

Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) www.australiananimalwelfare.com.au

The University of QLD (AUS) Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics www.uq.edu.au

The Animal Welfare Science Centre in Victoria( AUS) www.animalwelfare.net.au An informative site with many very good links.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) www.rspca.org.au A society created to promote kindness and prevent or suppress cruelty to all animals, to encourage and sustain public interest in animal welfare, and to enforce existing laws relating to the treatment of animals.

Australian Horse Rescue www.australianhorserescue.com lots of information.

Responsible Equine Breeding in the UK www.facebook.com/pages/Responsible-Equine-Breeding