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Horse property

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equiculture

developing responsible horse ownership

 

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Horse property management

 

When you buy or lease land on which to keep your horses you generally do so to provide an environment for them which is safe, provides room for movement and preferably is able to provide them with pasture on which to graze. However you also have additional responsibilities to manage that land so that it does not become degraded and cause problems for the wider environment. The good news is that by responding to and meeting this extra responsibility you provide benefits for yourself, your horses, your neighbours and of course the land. This section of the website introduces you to some of the knowledge that you need for good property management and all the benefits that that brings. Make sure you put yourself on our free mailing list - subscribe -so that you can be kept up to date with additions to the site.

 

 

 

 

 

Land that is dedicated to horse properties is on the increase. As larger farms are subdivided into smaller lots many of them become small horse properties. Land care issues are common, particularly on the urban fringe - the area that surrounds a city or town - where there are many subdivisions. This is because even experienced horse owners do not generally have as much land care knowledge as horse care knowledge.

 

As areas become more divided and developed there is less land available for wildlife, and, there are problems with compacted soil, erosion and polluted water. Also, as horses are not native to Australia or New Zealand, their considerable weight and bulk in relation to small hooves and the fact that they will overgraze a paddock if left to their own devices causes compaction on fragile soils. This means that horses have a detrimental impact on the environment if they are not managed properly.

 

Caring for your property is equally as important as caring for your horses. This is because a good, safe, clean and green property looks after your horses, the environment and your investment all at the same time. Horses thrive much better in an environment that is as close to natural as possible. For a horse, a natural lifestyle is to have a large home range with access to grass and clean water and, importantly, as herd animals, the companionship of other horses, shade and shelter.

 

Natural living equines (wild and feral) have access to very large tracts of land, at least several square kilometres, and their normal behaviour reflects this. When we keep horses in captivity they are generally restricted to paddocks that are quite small (by horse standards). So we have to pro-actively manage equine behaviour otherwise they will degrade the land.

 

Twenty first century horse management need not be detrimental to the environment or the horse. Creating horse and property care systems that, once established, are easy to manage in terms of time and expense - can not only enrich the lifestyle of your horses but are less damaging and can enhance the environment.

 

A better managed property enables a broad variety of plants to flourish which supports wildlife as well as domestic animals. This is called an ecosystem. The more diverse the ecosystem the better it can cope with environmental disasters such as floods, drought, pests and disease. For example, pasture that is grown for horses protects the soil, trees that are grown for shelter or even fodder also provide habitat for birds and other native animals. This promotes a more natural life style for horses resulting in less stress for them and a better lifestyle for ourselves and our neighbours.

 

Good property care does not need to be expensive. In fact often a slight change in operations can lead to big savings, for example improved, nutritious, hard wearing pasture equals smaller feed bills. And, reduction in mud or dust will mean healthier horses and fewer vet bills. Better manure management results in a liability becoming an asset.

 

Good property management integrated with good horse care will enrich the environment and benefit your animals.

 

As a horse owner-carer and custodian of the land you will be interested in the following subjects:

 

 

These subjects and more will be covered by future articles, recommended reading and informative links. Make sure you are on the free mailing list- subscribe so that you are kept up to date with changes and additions to this site (via an email every one to two months).

 

See also the further property support page and more property info page for more information relevant to horse property

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Good pasture management practices result in more feed for your horse and a healthier environment for owners and their horses. A win -win situation all round

We run one day seminars and short talks on this subject - see the seminars and clinics page for more information
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Disclaimer and copyright: Please note that the information contained on this website is the opinion of or is based on the skills/experience of the author/s, and any use or misuse of any of the information is entirely the responsibility of the user. We cannot be held responsible for what you choose to do with the information. Opinions expressed in articles or links on this site other than those created by Equiculture are not endorsed by or not necessarily of the same opinion as Equiculture. This site and all its content are © copyright to Jane Myers and Stuart Myers and Equiculture and may not be copied without direct permission from the authors.