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Equine Management Options in an Urban/Suburban Setting Dr. Christine Skelly, Michigan State University and Dr. Betsy Greene, University of Vermont Sponsored.

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Presentation on theme: "Equine Management Options in an Urban/Suburban Setting Dr. Christine Skelly, Michigan State University and Dr. Betsy Greene, University of Vermont Sponsored."— Presentation transcript:

1 Equine Management Options in an Urban/Suburban Setting Dr. Christine Skelly, Michigan State University and Dr. Betsy Greene, University of Vermont Sponsored by the Michigan Horse Council And Michigan State University Extension

2 Things have changed…

3 Introduction Environmental/Land Use Issues –Turnout and Forage Requirements –Pasture Management –Hay Purchase –Manure Management –Land Access/Open Space –Sacrifice Lots Facility Risk Analysis Current Hot Topics Other Resources

4 Turnout/Housing Options Housing outdoors –Respiratory –Exercise –Behavior Housing indoors –Behavioral & health problems –Increased bedding and time costs

5 Forage Requirement Base for ration – 1% of body weight or – 50% total ration Long stem roughage best for gut motility Saliva production Psychological need Adult horse at light work does fine on all forage diet

6 Pasture Establishment What are your goals? –Exercise v. Nutrition Land Availability –Ideal stocking rate 1 horse/2 acres –Varies with management and land/climate conditions

7 Soil Testing Basis for pasture establishment and renovation Basis for manure management plan

8 Weed Management Getting a good stand is the best weed prevention –Keep horses off of new plants for 6 months –Frost seed Spot spray established grass/legume pastures Pasture Management –Mowing – not manicure! –Rotational grazing –Dragging –Stocking density –Sacrifice lots

9 Clovers and Fescue Tall Fescue and Endophyte James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Alsike White Red

10 Toxic Plants Red Maple (Acer rubrum)Black Locust Hoary Alyssum

11 Over Consumption A concern with both grasses and legumes Occurs in pastures with lush top growth--common in spring time Causes horses to founder/colic –A problem with easy keepers, ponies –Limit grazing of lush pastures –Consider grazing muzzles

12 Hay Quality Criteria: Type of forage Stage of maturation Cleanliness Moisture Content –Mold/heaves Foreign material/pests –Toxic plants –Blister beetles Storage conditions Match nutritional quality with nutritional requirements!

13 Common Hay Species for Horses Legume –Alfalfa –Clover* Grass –Timothy –Orchard –Brome Mixed –Alfalfa X Grass

14 Hay Nutrient Recommendations HighModLow Broodmare (Late gest. & lact.) W & YR Heavy work 2 yr old Mod work Geriatric Light work & maintenance

15 Forage Testing Base horses diets on forage – not grain! Only useful if buying large loads Good information for high performance or growing horses

16 Buying Hay Try to purchase hay by the ton Examine several bales prior to purchase Do not talk about horse hay Try to purchase all hay from one source

17 Overstocking on small acreage Long-term manure stockpiling Manure Management

18 Surface Water Water Quality Do you know whats going on around your wellhead?

19 How much manure will 1 horse produce? Manure volume for 1 horse per month: 1,000 lb horse = 50 lbs manure/day 50 lbs manure X 30 d = 1500 lb/month (1 lb manure:0.3 lbs wood shavings) 1500 lbs manure + 450 lbs shavings = 1950 lbs feed stocks (manure + shavings) ~ 1 Ton dirty bedding/month ~ 1 Ton dirty bedding/month

20 Manure Management Top 10 List 1.Feed management 2.Production of manure 3.Collection 4.Storage 5.Treatment – Value added 6.Transfer 7.Utilization 8.Record keeping 9.Emergency plan 10.Periodic review

21 Compost Management Time –Monitoring –Production Equipment –Monitoring –Production Patience

22 Land application means: Short-term stockpiling –Under roof or away from waterways, downspouts, and low areas Utilization for fertilizer: –On your land –On someone elses land Horse Manure U-haul or I-haul

23 Land Access Urban Sprawl –Unfriendly horse zoning Neighbor complaints –Manure –Decreased trail access

24 Sacrifice Areas Protect pastures –overgrazing –saturated –recuperation time –choice of wasted ground –High Traffic Area

25 Size and Shape Depends on... –Land available –# of horses –lay of land –horse activity

26 Sacrifice Considerations Mud control –high ground location –compost/hog fuel, gravel base for footing –Drain tile –Divert runoff away from area


28 Greener Pastures


30 Virtual Horse Facility Analysis Goals A self-guided analysis to help you fix potential hazards at your barn before the accident happens. To provide a proactive, educational tool for people that work with or house horses. To alert barn owners and users to dangerous environments or procedures in equine facilities. To provide feasible alternatives when developing protocols to minimize liability and risk. To facilitate the understanding of potential liability issues that exist in any equine facility. To decrease exposure of equine enthusiasts to accident or injury through education.

31 Entrances Perimeter fence Gate

32 Office Posted signs should direct all visitors to the office

33 Location, location, location This mare and foal barn has no buffer between the barn entrance and the adjacent parking area.

34 Stable Area Horses head should not have access outside of stall –Stall guards –Windows –Dutch doors

35 Alley Ways Clutter can cause accidents

36 Phone EASY Access Emergency Numbers Address and Directions posted You dont know WHO will be calling visual landmarks Caution emergency vehicles with sirens that horses will be in the vicinity.

37 Hazards The main electrical panel box should be in a dry, dust free area. The panel box should be weather proof.

38 Fire extinguishers within 50 - 75' of any location in your barn. Check with your local fire department for specific guidelines Extinguishers checked on an annual basis. Fire Extinguishers

39 Riding Arenas The arena - enclosed area with fence at least 3' 6" high. Surface suitable for the riding discipline and well maintained. Loose dogs should not be allowed in arena A startled horse is a liability problem.

40 Warnings An electric fence sign warns people to stay away. The electric bolt is universal. A bilingual sign may be important.

41 Hay Storage Hay storage can pose a fire hazard Hay should be kept in a separate area Hay stored overhead may limit barn ventilation.

42 Equipment Storage Equipment should be stored away from horse activity. Equipment usage should be scheduled during non-riding times.

43 Liability Signs Check with your state's Equine Activity Statutes. Notices and Contracts Notices must contain the exact words required by your state's statute.

44 Hot Topics and Resources Unwanted Horse NAIS Resources –eXtension –Extension Bulletins –American Horse Council and State Councils –American Association of Equine Practitioners –Farm Bureau

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