Like many people these days you probably struggle to weave chores, work, riding and family time into your life's fabric, leaving leisure activities behind in the dust.
This month, we're making a case for attending an equine class or event—why it can be worth the effort, and why so many people have thanked us after they finally made time to attend one.
We hope that you might join us this spring, and learn new ways to make life around your farm a little bit easier!
1. For Inspiration
Yes, it's hard to face traffic and schedule time to get away. But by exerting the effort, you are one step closer to making your farm life easier.
Whether it's talking to other horse owners, taking a look around at different farms, or seeing presentations of innovative farm practices that really work—ones you might not have thought of doing—you’ll be inspired to think outside the box and look at fresh new ways to manage your place.
Perhaps you've always wondered about ecotourism, and if it might be a fit for your farm, or you want to learn some ways to improve your paddocks or pastures. These are a few of the topics being offered this spring to help inspire.
2. To Get Help from Experts
Being able to ask questions that directly relate to your own issues and struggles, and to get constructive advice, is a whole lot more productive than going it alone. We all face challenges when managing livestock, and getting some relevant pointers can help.
You probably know more about horses than most people if you're reading this newsletter, but maybe not so much about poisonous plants, soil science, agronomy and making the right plant seed choice for your pastures—and the list goes on. Topics that seem 'off-topic' are often exactly what we need to improve life for our horses, and make chores less time consuming for us.
3. To Save Time and Money
Yes, it's true. You will save money by researching how to do your projects the right way, the first time around. Only it's not always easy to know what the right way is. Horse properties are expensive; we don't want to throw more money down the drain than we have to, we'd rather spend our time and money on horses!
Seeing in person what is working well for others, and tailoring their projects to fit your own needs, can make a big difference in overall, long-term farm expenditures. For example, making a new, heavy-use paddock area, free from mud, can save hours in labor and horse related problems, like parasites.
4. To Network
It can be a challenge to get the right tools and resources when you need them—especially if you don't want to invest in expensive equipment that you use only once or twice a year.
Did you know that many items are available for loan from conservation districts? Or that you might live in an area that has a coop to share resources? Find out what's out there! If you're looking for anything, from Alfalfa to Zeolite, chances are, someone at an event has some suggestions to share with you.
5. To Improve Your Environment
Perhaps you've heard terms like: beneficial microbes, carbon sinking, carbon farming, or regenerative agriculture, and are curious to learn more. Livestock properties are a perfect platform to help keep carbon in the ground and prevent it from becoming more Co2, which pollutes the atmosphere.
In managing land in a more environmentally stable way, you are not only helping our earth, you are setting up your place to: produce more grass and hay than it currently does, conserve water, and help more beneficial insects and wildlife species thrive in times of challenging weather. The bonus is, your horses will be happier and healthier on a field of productive grass than they would be on a muddy, weedy, or overgrazed pasture.
6. They're Fun, They're Free!
No joke. Getting out and seeing first-hand different people's practices and perspectives is mentally refreshing and rejuvenating. Especially after a winter like this last one. And, unlike many educational activities, most farm tours and workshops are free.
Here's what a few participants from some past events have shared about their experience at a workshop or farm tour:
“… We are hoping to start working on our composting area soon. Thanks to you, I feel like we will really make some progress on improving our grass pastures and care of our horses.”
"I wanted to let you know how much my husband and I enjoyed your Spring into Pastures & Paddocks workshop on Saturday. We have been working on our 40 acres in North Central Washington since 1995, and picked up some really good NEW pointers to try out. We both appreciated how the materials were presented and your style. I was particularly interested in the Track Paddock concept."
"Thank you for the informative farm tour. My wife and I are genuinely grateful to you and your team for presenting the learning experiences. We saved thousands of dollars with the tips we learned today."
Creating usable, year-'round paddocks are one focus at these upcoming events. You'll also learn the latest on drainage techniques, footing choices, fencing, choosing shelters and creating sustainable pastures. And if you're looking to reduce plastics in your life, there's a workshop for that too. Check out our Events page.
Hope you can make it to an event this spring—we'd love to see you!