Equestrian Farming Safety Tips
Owning and running an equestrian farm is a dream that many people have. However, once you have your farm it is important that you ensure the horses are kept safe and comfortable. There are some safety tips that you should consider to ensure that your horses are safe and healthy and that your farm can continue to function for years to come.
Look At The Confining Spaces
The paddocks on your farm need to be carefully considered as horses are flight animals and will disregard their paddocks when frightened or fighting with each other. To avoid injuries when this happens you need to look at the layout of the paddock and the fencing. It is recommended that you double fence along perimeter roads to ensure safety.
You should also consider having paddocks with round corners. This will limit the chances of one horse being pinned in the corner by another. If this happens the horses will go into flight mode and they could jump their enclosure and hurt themselves.
The fence posts for your paddocks should be well-embedded into the ground. You can also try reinforcing them with concrete so they are strong enough to withstand a horse pushing against them. The fence should be at least four and a half to five feet high as this decreases the chance that the horses will jump the fence. The bottom fence rail needs to be around a foot above the ground to reduce the chance of hoof entrapment should the horses reach for something on the other side.
You run-in shed should also be looked at and it is recommended that you not have metal siding for the entrance. If you do, this will need to be checked on a regular basis to ensure that it is not rusting or creating sharp edges that could hurt the horses.
Look At The Stables
The many risks that stables present, can easily be avoided when you plan them correctly. To avoid injuries it is recommended that you have double-ended bucket snaps on the walls and that all the wiring in the stable is correctly sheathed. This is important even when the wiring appears to be out of the horses reach. Electrical outlets should also be outside the stalls and flush against the wall or encased in weatherproof materials.
To prevent chewing on the wood of the stable doors you can place metal strips along the doors and wall edges. Of course, this will need to be regularly checked as the metal needs to be flush against the wood otherwise it could cause injuries. The wood used should also be splinter-proof and strong as it should withstand the horse kicking at it.
Food And Water Considerations
The handling of hay can bring a number of health problems if not done correctly. Many people use hay lofts to store hay for their horses, but these lofts collect dust and they trap the air which could cause problems in the long-term. It is best to only store a week’s supply of hay in the loft at a time and keep the rest of the hay in a separate hay barn.
The storage barns for hay and grain should be inaccessible to the horses as these animals are known to break out and go find food. Grains should be stored in metal or hard plastic bins which make them inaccessible to horses and mice.
When providing hay to your horses you should reconsider the use of hay bags and racks as they can cause eye injuries. It is best to feed at ground level as you do not need additional equipment and you limit the impact of dust particles on your horses breathing.