© 2007 Cherry
where these comments come
feet in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies
70 acres - 9 pastures
½ acre to 20 acres
Foals - Seniors
2 person operation
all the credit, all the blame
- Design, build and maintain facilities
- Training, Health Care, Grooming
- Daily Chores
Main horse barn
Equipment Barn with Senior Center
Outdoor arena - 100' x 200'
- 66' diameter
Shop Building, Ranch Office, Sacrifice
Pens, Matted Hitch Rails
- There is no one "correct"
way for all horsekeepers
- There are always new products and information
- Yet, in some ways, nothing is new
- The best bet is to
- open-minded and dedicated to being the best horsekeeper you
- Land & Facilities Management
Daily Chores and Care
- Breeding, Training & Riding
horsekeeping is characterized by effectiveness, not efficiency.
is doing things well.
is doing the
right things well.
Deworming (as an example)
- Master the
- Know WHAT Product to Use
- Know WHEN to use it
Keep RECORDS of what you used and when
- Put a REMINDER on your calendar
for next time
trick is not in the knowing
.But in the doing !!!
of Effective Horsekeeping
- Horses are
fit and content
- Land is healthy and productive
- Facilities are
safe, tidy, functional
- You'll save money !!
- You'll make good
use of your time
- You'll have more time for RIDING !!!
horses be horses.
natural, healthy, and gives the horse's topline a good stretch.
to penned and stalled horses too.
The ideal is a sheltered, matted feeding
"The nearer a horse is made to feed in the stall as he does
in the field, the better. The hay should be measured and put in a corner on the
ground where it can be easily reached.
The importance of this is now so well
understood that all first class horses are fed in this way."
Magner's Standard Horse and Stock Book
grooming might be hard on manes but it is satisfying to horses.
is not optional. It is essential.
are curious and interested in learning. Give them a job.
Horses Like Horses
- Feed according to horse's
- Feed mostly hay
- Feed little or no grain
according to need
- Weigh all hay and grain
Weather Feeding Rules
- Increase hay, not
grain, during cold weather
- Hay is safer to increase
- Less chance of colic
- Grain digests quickly, hay digests
- The heat from digestion is longer lasting from hay
For every 10 degrees F below freezing,
your horse's hay by 10%
- If a 1100# horse gets 16 # hay per day
At 0 F, he would get 30% more hay/day
- 16 x .3 = 4.8 extra pounds or 20.8#
Convenient (Horses are clean, ready)
Safe (No fighting among horses)
(Lack of exercise)
Unhealthy (respiratory, stocking up)
to erect and maintain
Labor twice a day
Increased manure management
Comfortable place to lay and roll
Socialization and Recreation
Low daily labor
Difficult to feed individually in groups
Fighting and injury
and land maintenance time and cost
Horses can become wild and herd bound
toxic plants, sand colic
Insects, wild animals, parasites, hunters
are very hard on land, trees, and water
Can be inconvenient for daily riding
Individual Sheltered Pens
(Horses are clean, ready)
Space efficient (Small acreage)
(No fighting among horses)
to erect and maintain (panels, footing)
Labor twice a day
Unsafe (cast under panels)
Take care of your land
- And it will be there when you need
Cross fence and rotate
- Graze when grass is 6-8" tall
number of hours of grazing
- When 50% of vegetation is gone or 3"
in favorite spots, remove horses
- Mow to uniform height of 4-5"
Seed bare spots
- Keep an eye on weeds
- When grass regrows to 6-9"
(2-6 weeks) return horses to pasture
- Use sacrifice pens when pasture
is not available.
stops root growth
(example - horse turned out on 6-8" grass)
Plant Grazed (%)
Root Growth Stopped (%)
Land - Riparian Areas
refers to vegetation and soils alongside streams, creeks, rivers and ponds.
areas easily damaged by horses
- urine +
- overgrazing +
- destruction of brush
and trees +
- creation of muddy banks =
- Less vegetation
warmer water temperatures
- more algae
- less fish
- Wetlands are sub-irrigated "swampy"
- Often considered undesirable wasteland
- Wetlands filter
pollutants and help prevent flooding
- They are a valuable resource that
should be protect.
- When wetlands are wet, keep horses off.
- Besides protecting the land
You'll be protecting your horse's hooves
- Hooves exposed to too much moisture
can develop cracks, thrush, white line disease, poor hoof quality and loose shoes.
- Manure Management
- 1000# horse produces
50# of manure/day
- 6-10 quarts of urine per day
- 50# of wet bedding/day
5 horses in stalls produce 90 tons of manure and bedding per year.
- Reduces volume
- Reduces insect breeding area
- Prevents water contamination
of composting kills parasite and fly eggs and larvae.
100-150 degrees F (38-66 C)
virus, fungi, protozoa,
weed seeds, fly larvae die
degrees F (54 C)
Parasite eggs killed
F (63 C)
for two weeks
care of your facilities and, not only will they be safe for your horses, but they
will appreciate in value.
affects horse health, facilities value and safety
..it is a bad, unnecessary
Prevention is key !!!
Long stem hay not pellets or wafers
Increase hay during cold, wet weather
Cover all edges with
steel at least .06" thick (1.6mm; 16 gauge)
Apply anti-chew product to
all other wood surfaces
horses must be in off pasture, well-drained, sheltered pens come in very handy.
matter that arises from bare patches of earth such as fields, vacant lots, overgrazed
ens, arenas, and round pens.
Nuisance, health concern and could be legal issue with neighbors.
work on windy days
Apply dust suppression (water, chemicals)
Pave or gravel roads and paths
Minimize areas disturbed
Keep excavation to a minimum on construction sites
Think Ahead and
- Be Innovative and save Money
Grain and Hay by Weight
.. not Volume
To avoid overfeeding, underfeeding, and colic
- And to save money
Hay in Bulk
Factor in labor, fuel cost, delivery cost
and/or convenience, and feeding convenience below. Using some sample prices from
recent Colorado hay sales.
small grass bales
bales - stack 20
bales - stacker
bales - semi trailer
bales - semi trailer
Save time by being on time
- Stay on schedule with farrier & veterinarian
Make an annual TO DO list
- Get organized
TO-DO List (example)
- Buy hay
- Remove bot eggs
- Breeding program dates
- Annual immunizations
- Dental care
- A place for everything
And everything in its place
- Especially important when several people
use the same equipment and facilities