We Track Graze all our horses, in order to balance their green grass intake. So we feed a little bit of grass but mostly hay as to reduce the high levels of sugars and starches found in most of our NZ grasses. Therefore we have an ad lib approach to hay, which is available 24/7 through our Natural Horse Slow Feed Haynets.
This Paddock Paradise/Species Appropriate approach has proved to be a marvellous tool for our herd of beloved waifs and strays, as most of them in our care came in as rescue/rehab horses, who often have special needs, and Tracking has helped us to manage a wide variety of various horses, who otherwise would have had to be locked up.
After many years of rehabbing rescue horses to go barefoot
with pretty much every hoof issue known, and the support and talent of our
fantastic barefoot trimmer, finally earlier last year I started trimming some
of my own horse’s hooves. One thing that struck me from the first trim is why
do we work so hard to do what nature will do for us for very little effort and
What I mean by this is that we know horses living in wild
environments who self-trim their own hooves , without ever being handled in
their lifetime let alone being trimmed every month, or 6 weeks etc……so surely
we have to ask why are we doing all this back breaking work trimming hooves when
if we set things up correctly in the horses environment and lifestyle that the
horse would trim his own hooves, and also do a very good job of it that suited
his unique set of circumstances/physique /terrain and the going too.
Case after case, we have seen the miracle of Vitamin C go to work to help to heal horses from a wide variety of conditions and ailments, over and over again, during the last ten years of running our horse rescue centre.
From wounds to disease and illnesses-to hoof abscesses and thrush, muscle and joint inflammation, to mud fever, to skin allergies and a whole array of dermatitic conditions, to eye problems, and stomach ulcers, to laminitis, to damaged tendons and ligaments, to conditions involving stress and colds, and every other ailment in horses in between.
For anyone who has struggled to float a horse, this can be an invaluable training game that will help your horse be braver in small spaces....making it perfect to help with float training....without the need for a float itself.
What do you need: 2 OLD LARGE TRACTOR TYRES and a shovel and about an hour's hard work digging.
Cost:approx $5-10 each tyre from a tyre dealer or farmer etc
TO MAKE IT:Just dig 2 slots in firm ground and insert tractor tyres upright like they were still on the tractor-pack firmly with the spare soil-there should be enough room between them for a horse to fit through as shown.
It won't be long before we get into the cold and wet winters here in New Zealand, so I thought I would share our idea for a cheap and easy lean to or field shelter as they are sometimes called.
Ours cost about $300 and was made over a weekend....plus if you make it less than 10sq meters in size you don't need a permit either.
So we put ours up against our food room and managed to get away with using only 2 posts for the frame, but most of you will need 4 posts for the main supports-you want the chunky square posts as shown-h treated at about $25 per post-we dug our holes and sank these in with a easy product called post-crete.
I am really pleased to be promoting the excellent and fun sport of Horse Agility within New Zealand, and thought I would share with you on how to make some obstacles. This post is about the Hoop.
The lengths and heights stated below depend on the size of the horse your hoop is being built for-we have minis to draft horses so went for the biggest size as to fit the big fellas.
You will need
2 x wooden rods about 8ft high and broom handle thickness -these cost bout $15-$20 for pair
1 old flexible rod such around 7ft long-we used one from old dome tent pole -also available as a cloche pole from Mitre 10 $20
Here's two of our draft horses hanging out by our shaded area.
We were lucky to have our tack room in the right place to be able to add our shade sail to it but you can also make these with a back and sides on for between $300 to $500 depending on how many sides and posts you need. They are so easy to do too-and work well to provide much needed shade for all animals in our intense New Zealand summers, as well as can work well as a wind break too.
To make-Just dig 4 holes into the ground about 900mm deep, then put your post in the centre of each hole, leveling it with a spirit leveler to make sure it's straight, and adding a small wooden frame around it to keep it in place whilst you add about 3 bags of concrete to each post and fill with water -leaving it till it sets-making sure to keep everyone and all animals away from it in that time.