Barns & Stables

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It’s now nearly 150 years since the Great Chicago Fire, which, according to popular legend, broke out after Catherine O’Leary’s infamous milking cow kicked over a lantern in the barn on the night of October 8, 1871. The resulting barn fire, aided by the wind, destroyed three square miles of the City of Chicago, killing approximately 300 people, destroying 18,000 buildings, and leaving 100,000 people – a third of the city’s population – homeless before it was finally brought under control the next day.

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De-icing water buckets, hauling water by hand, and pushing heavy wheelbarrows through deep snow are just a few of the things that many Canadian horse owners have to look forward to in the winter months. But we do them willingly to ensure the good health of our horses during a season that, along with its rain, snow, and freezing temperatures, also brings equine health issues such as thrush, mud fever, colic resulting from dehydration, and respiratory illnesses.

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Everyone knows the seasonal annoyance of flies. For horses they can be a real tail swatting, foot stomping, head shaking, skin twitching aggravation. But flying insects such as midges, gnats, horse flies, deer flies, black flies, face flies, house flies, mosquitos, and others are more than a nuisance – they can cause serious skin irritations and can also carry diseases.

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Many horse people yearn to leave the city behind, believing that the country provides opportunities for a more natural lifestyle, a slower pace, and a chance to fulfill lifelong dreams such as keeping their horses at home, growing a big garden, and enjoying a healthier way of life.

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Given the varied weather types and landscape in Canada, the threat of severe weather and geological events is a constant reality. Natural disasters can include wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tornados, hailstorms and landslides.

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As property values increase and everyday equine management expenses go up, keeping horses on your own property is becoming more costly. All across Canada, horse and property owners are undertaking myriad activities to make money from their farms and acreages without operating commercial boarding stables or becoming professional coaches. While every potentially money-making activity has benefits and drawbacks depending on the property’s size, layout, and infrastructure, as well as the owner’s interests and talents, there are many options for creating additional income. By implementing a few of the 24 innovative ideas summarized below, owners can start earning additional income from their property to help pay the bills.

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