Management & Maintenance

Biosecurity horse farm, how to protect horse from virus, pathogens horse farm, designing a horse barn for health, safely transporting horses

Protecting Horses and Humans - With the current COVID-19 pandemic and Canadians’ alarm over how quickly a virus can spread across countries and continents, there is an understandable reaction to protect against infection from any and all viruses and pathogens. By extension, it is also essential that there is a level of biosecurity on your farm or acreage to protect horses against agents of disease.

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Fundamental to owning horses is the fencing used to contain them. In times past, the options were simply wooden boards or barbed wire, both of which are still used in many areas across Canada. Today there are many safe and durable options for containing horses, and horse owners can select their preferences in structure, design, materials, colour, and visibility. Fencing is all about function, and function is dictated by the intended purpose, depending on whether you are running a boarding barn, breeding barn, training facility, or a family acreage with a few ponies for the children.

Insurance Coverage for horse industry, natural disaster insurance coverage, Homeowners’ Insurance Policy, horse barn fire coverage, mitigate insurance risks

In recent years, many parts of Canada have been devastated by natural disasters, including forest fires, ice storms, and floods. These disasters have impacted the equine community by causing loss and damage to barns, fencing, pastures, feed supplies and livestock, among other things.

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For the horse owner, the onset of fall weather can signal the start of the search for storable forage before winter begins. Considerations such as forage type and storage form, nutritional content, palatability, and cost all become important.

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Horses are naturally designed to live outside. With shelter from the wind and elements and access to fresh water and good quality hay, most horses can live quite comfortably surrounded by their companions without a stable. This is not always a convenient option for their human counterparts.

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“The stable environment invariably presents challenges of dust, mould and proper ventilation,” says Susan Raymond, instructor of Equine Guelph’s Management of the Equine Environment online course. “Most horses are well equipped for living outdoors and thrive, provided certain provisions are met.” Dr. Raymond completed her PhD in investigating the effects of exposure of horses to mycotoxins. She has also been involved in air quality research, which provided practical recommendations to the horse industry on stable design and management.

buy a horse property, horse properties canada, equestrian properties canada, how to buy a horse farm, owning a horse

Many people dream of leaving the city behind for the slower pace and more natural lifestyle of the countryside. The yearning for country living may be driven by the dream of keeping your horses at home, owning other livestock, developing a large garden, and enjoying a healthier way of life. But this idealized vision of rural life may not reflect reality for you and your family. There are many practical, environmental, and legal considerations to sort through, not to mention the financial costs. So before dropping a down payment on a piece of property, you have some homework to do, and there are some important factors to consider that might save you big headaches later on.

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