Smart Horse Keeping

Alternative Beddings: Save Money, Ease Your Workload

The follow up from last week’s Smart Horse Keeping post on using stall mats is talking about alternative bedding products. The point to any bedding is that it should absorb urine and moisture. Using a highly absorbent bedding means that you won’t need to use as much of it. Reducing bedding saves you time and money in many ways: Ease of stall cleaning, Less stall waste to deal with, Less cost, Less... Read More

Reducing Bedding Saves Money and Time

Using less bedding can save you time and money. Less bedding use means cleaning stalls will be easier and quicker (since you won’t have to hunt around for manure hidden in mounds of shavings). It also means you end up with less stall waste to deal with. If you compost, it means that you’ll have less carbon in your compost so it will compost better and faster--and you’ll end up with a nicer finished... Read More

Emergency and Winter Preparedness

No matter where you live in North America, you may have been hearing that long-range weather forecasts are calling for some pretty bad weather for many parts of the country. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports sea surface temperatures along the equator have decreased dramatically, setting us up for a strong La Nina in the season ahead. Generally speaking La Nina, an ocean-atmosphere... Read More

Purchase Your Winter Supply of Hay

If you haven't already done so, fall is the time to buy your winter supply of hay. Be sure to look for green, leafy, fresh-smelling hay without mold, weeds, dust or discoloration. Recent nutritional recommendations are for a horse to receive 2% of its body weight in hay (or forage) per day. For the "average" 1000 lb. horse with moderate exercise that will be about 20 pounds of hay per day. This is... Read More

Mud Management 101: Gutters & Downspouts

A simple investment of making sure your gutters and downspouts are in good working order will greatly benefit you, your horses and the environment over the coming winter months. Fall is the right time to clean as well as make needed repairs or additions to your roof runoff system for all barns, sheds and outbuildings. Diverting clean rainwater away from high-traffic areas reduces the amount of pollutants... Read More

Filed under:

Winter-Time Chore Efficiency Starts With Good Lighting!

This time of the year everything on our small horse ranch is all about winterizing. Heading into fall, chore efficiency is my main mantra. If we can set things up so the barn and horses are easy to manage and chores can be accomplished with a minimum amount of hassle, then it's more likely that things will get done later on when it's cold, rainy or snowy, windy and dark. Speaking of dark, having good... Read More

Getting Pastures Ready for Winter

This past weekend I had the pleasure of offering my Horses for Clean Water workshop to horse owners in the scenic Peace River region of Northern Alberta, Canada. The vastness is impressive with geography similar to the United States' Great Plains, except with far fewer people and more agriculture. It was amazing to talk with horse folks who owned so much land - 100 to 300 or more acres, although still... Read More

The Good Air

This week at our new horse property my focus has been on improving the ventilation in the barn for the horses--as well as for us humans. Our 52 x 44 barn has large, open doors on the front side as well as open doors for each of the six stalls that allow for a good amount of air exchange. The problem is that when we sweep stalls or when the weather is very hot (a common occurrence in sunny southwestern... Read More

Filed under:

Pasture Stress-Reducers

The past two months here in the Bluegrass have been seriously lacking in rain, and the characteristically lush, green horse country is now looking brown and parched. The pastures aren’t the only ones feeling stressed; some horse owners are flying through their hay reserves faster than expected and others are racking up high water bills trying to irrigate their land. ... Read More

Filed under:

Managing Mount Manure

If you care for horses on your own place then at some time you probably have wondered what to do with that huge mound of manure piling up behind the barn. Did you know that one horse produces about 50 lbs. of manure per day and over eight tons per year ? Add to that the 8 to 10 gallons of urine and the wheelbarrow or more of bedding and in no time at all you have a virtual manure mountain. All that... Read More

Filed under:

About This Blog

Smart Horsekeeping aims to provide practical advice for managing horses in a more environmentally friendly way, and on navigating difficult economic times as a hands-on horse owner. Our bloggers believe it’s possible to keep horses in an environmentally savvy way without breaking the bank!