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Blog

Providing winning solutions for horse management and the environment since 1997

Filtering by Tag: horse keeping

Managing the Mud

Alayne Blickle

Trying to create an enriched confinement area for your horse is frustrating when battling mud issues. Mud is nobody’s friend; it creates an unhealthy environment for horses by harboring bacteria, fungal organisms and other pathogens that cause abscesses, scratches, rain scald and thrush. Plus it’s a breeding ground for annoying, disease-carrying insects such as filth flies and mosquitoes.

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Turn Average Pastures into Awesome Pastures

Alayne Blickle

By dividing a pasture into smaller portions and rotating livestock through each section, you encourage even grazing and keep plants from becoming overgrazed. This technique guarantees fresh forage for a longer period of time during the growing season, saving you money on feed bills, and keeping your horses happily grazing.

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Dealing with Ice in Horse Paddocks

Alayne Blickle

Dealing with snow and ice on horse properties is worrisome, especially if you have older horses, horses shod all the way around, or reining horses with slide plates – of which we have some in each category. The other complicating issue is accomplishing chores while skating around with a manure cart in tow. Or picking up frozen-to-the-ground manure. Even things like getting the farrier’s truck in or negotiating a hay delivery is a production in a winter like this with all thick ice everywhere.

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Message from Alayne: Mud on My Mind!

Alayne Blickle

Those of you who follow me on Facebook saw that I posted my annual Winter Solstice test on chore efficiency in mid-December. I have an admission: this year I flunked my winter solstice test. My place was NOT chore efficient on Winter Solstice. My horse’s paddocks were a muddy, mucky mess. About that time they were alternating between being frozen hard and not draining (which mean urine and snow melt were pooling on top and freezing - yuck!) or partially thawed out and muddy, making it difficult to pick up manure.

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Is Mud Always on Your Mind?

Alayne Blickle

Footing choices are just one weapon in a horse owner’s arsenal of tools to combat and win the battle against mud and dust. To learn how to make sure that your footing investment is money well spent, and lasts you more than a few months, check out our tip sheet: Say Goodbye to Mud and Dust. Better yet, come see in person what others are doing to combat mud; consider attending one of the many upcoming workshops, tours and events listed above that are offered this spring from Horses for Clean Water and our partners!

Here's a 'reader's choice' list of footing materials, plus some advantages and disadvantages for each:

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Message from Alayne: Equitation Science Meets Equine Welfare

Alayne Blickle

One of the bonuses of my job is the interesting, innovative new people I get to meet and learn from. One such person is Mariette van den Berg, BAppSc., MSc. (Equine Nutrition), RAnNutr, a registered equine nutritionist working on her PhD in equine nutrition and foraging behavior at the University of New England in Armidale, Australia. Originally I met Marietta in fall of 2012 when I was in Australia participating in a national conference on horses and land management. I was the keynote speaker sharing my American experiences in horse keeping. Marietta was at the same conference speaking on her current research with nutrition and pasture.

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Horses Get Winter Blues Too

Alayne Blickle

Yes, the weather can be frightful as increasing darkness and cold temperatures descend upon many of us around the country. We thought this might be a good time to revisit some of the different ways that you and your horses can beat the winter blues, before boredom (and possibly vices) take hold.

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Take Winter by Storm: A Checklist for November

Alayne Blickle

Review your horse health routine with your veterinarian. Good dental care, a vaccination program and regular parasite control are important components of a regular horse care routine, but with the start of cold weather when your horse may have trouble maintaining body weight or condition, they are even more important.

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Three Steps to Being Firewise

Alayne Blickle

It’s easy to think fires only happen to other people, but unfortunately, this kind of thinking can lead to tragic consequences.

When horses or livestock are involved in a fire event, action needs to be taken quickly to save the lives of animals and to reduce property damage.

Being proactive is the safest firewise plan; late evacuation, or waiting until emergency responders can get to you is often a deadly choice. Once fire is close, visibility may be poor and travel hazardous. Fallen trees, power lines, abandoned cars and firefighting vehicles can easily block roads. Even quiet horses may panic in a trailer filled with smoke or surrounded by sirens.

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Message from Alayne: It’s What I Do…

Alayne Blickle

Every month I am lucky enough to talk and work with horse people from all over the country – all over the world, actually. I love what I do, and I am grateful for the cool horse people I get to work with. Take Katie and Dan Gillis who recently purchased 40 acres of land which includes a barn and alfalfa field in nearby Kuna, ID.

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Picture Perfect Pastures

Alayne Blickle

Do you crave the satisfaction of seeing your horses frolic and graze on lush, green pastures?

May is an optimum growing month around North America, especially for grasses. A quick assessment of your pastures now can ensure they are healthy, productive and beautiful throughout summer and fall.

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Spring Cleaning Tips

Alayne Blickle

Getting Ready for the Busy Season Ahead

Spring is just around the corner, in some parts of the country daffodils are poking their heads up and may even be blooming. That means now is the time to get things done around your horse property so you will be ready for the upcoming growing season. Here are a few tips to get you started:

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