Smart Horse Keeping

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

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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

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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

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Figuring Out Footings

Hand-in-hand with the shelter requirements for the fall/winter is putting down some type of footing. This would be for winter paddocks, confinement areas or high traffic points such as gates or watering points. The purpose of footing material is to build up an area and keep your horse out of the mud. Use of a footing decreases the amount of mud created and allows surface water to drain through--good... Read More

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Gimme Shelter(s)

I mentioned in my first post that we recently moved our farm to a new location in sunny southern Idaho. Part of my business goal at our new location is to set up a small-scale horse motel and boarding operating, maybe branching into a modest guest ranch. That requires the right kind of horse facilities, such as easy-access stalls and paddocks. At the moment we have five stalls and paddocks, but we... Read More

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Howdy from Way Out West!

Summertime and the living is easy, or at least that’s how the George Gershwin song goes. If you’re a horse person, summertime can be a very demanding and exhausting time--at least that’s how it is at our place right now. Besides the fact that we’re always trying to get as much quality ride time in and prepare for reining shows, we’re also trying to do as many projects as possible to set up for a more... Read More

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A Smarter Thrifty Horsekeeping

Great news! After a bit of a hiatus, the Thrifty Horsekeeping blog is being resurrected and revamped to continue dishing out the cost-saving advice. However, there will be a new twist. Starting next week, Thrifty will become just plain Smart.... Read More

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Blanket Repair Tips

Because horse blankets aren’t cheap, knowing how to effectively repair them can save you hundreds of dollars. ... Read More

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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!