Barns & Stables

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With the summer sunshine on its way, it’s time for horse property owners to get outside and look for ways to maintain and improve their farms and pastures. The time and effort invested now will help keep your property looking its best and your horses safe, and preserve your beloved country way of life.

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Horses are commonly housed in individual boxes. While this may be convenient and prevent injuries from other horses, it may also be detrimental to the horse’s welfare, especially if access to pasture is limited. A paper by Alice Ruet and colleagues investigated the effect of various management practices on the display of behavioural indicators of compromised welfare in housed horses.

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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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Early summer is a great time to do a variety of maintenance tasks around your barn and horse property. The time and energy invested now will keep your horses safe and your property looking its best, providing you with year-round peace
of mind and enjoyment.

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The stall is the basic functional unit of a horse stable or shelter. A simple backyard pleasure horse stall may at first appear different than a stall in a full-feature boarding operation, but they both provide a suitable environment for the horse and handler. Safety for handlers and horses should be a primary consideration in stall design. Comfort for the horse is very important, as is convenience for the handler in performing chores associated with good horse care. No matter what your management style or needs, the basics of a safe horse stall are the same. Many options that affect function and cost are available for horse stall features.

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The term biosecurity refers to management practices that reduce the chance of infectious disease being carried onto a farm by animals or people, as well as the spread of infectious disease on farms. All infectious diseases of the horse result from interactions between the animal and its environment, and depend upon the animal’s ability to resist disease (immunity) and the infectious agent (bacteria, viruses, and parasites). These interactions provide opportunities for preventing or reducing infectious diseases.

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Everyone everywhere is finding ways to go green and for horse owners that includes the barn. After all, going green should mean going lean on the pocketbook no matter whether it’s an eco-home or a hayshed. Trendy or basic, the goal is the same: lower greenhouse gas emissions and benefit from cost savings.

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