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MB Equine - Property & Pastures

Earth Care, People Care, Horse Care by Design: Part 1

August 2018

Throughout the past 30 issues of Horses and People Magazine, Dr Mariette van den Berg has been integrating permaculture principles with other sustainable farming practices as they relate to horse property design, layout and pasture management. In this article, we recap on the basic permaculture principles while we link back to the relevant information and many ways they can be applied to an equine setting to benefit horses, people and the land.

Series: All About Soil - Part 3 - DIY Soil tests

03/26/2018

In this Equine Permaculture series, we ‘dig deeper into soils’ and, to date, we have explored what soils are, how soil is formed, the different types of soil and how they sustain life through the soil-food-web. If you missed those articles, you can find them by clicking on Part 1 and Part 2 In the following parts, we focus on the importance of soil tests - in the lab and DIY - interpreting these soil test results, and, finally, in our last part, we will explain how these tests can help your property’s soil and pasture management. 

All About Soil - Part 4 - Lab Soil Tests

June 2018 by Dr Mariette ven den Berg, BAppSc (Hons), PhD (Equine Nutrition), RAnNutr, Certified Equine Permaculture Design Consultant, MB Equine Services, http://www.mbequineservices.com

In this exclusive Equine Permaculture series, we have been ‘digging deeper into soils’ and explored what soils are, how soil is formed, the different types of soil and how they sustain life through the soil-food-web. 

All About Soil - Part 5 - Using soil tests to improve horse pastures

July 2018 by Mariette van den Berg, BAppSc (Hons), PhD (Equine Nutrition), RAnNutr, Certified Equine Permaculture Design Consultant, MB Equine Services, http://www.mbequineservices.com

In this All About Soil series, we have been ‘digging deeper into soils’ and explored what soils are, how soil is formed, the different types of soil (Part 1) and how they sustain life through the soil-food-web (Part 2). 

Equine Permaculture: Composting!

May 2017

Sometimes, permaculture is as simple as changing the way we look at things. This month we bring you a perfect example:  Instead of looking at all that manure your horses produce daily and the hard work you do cleaning it up as ‘waste’, you can see it as your best opportunity to obtain a valuable resource to help you achieve the holy grail of permaculture - building healthy soil to support your horses’ and your land, helping both become more resilient.

New Forage Feeding Recommendations - Part 2 - Quality

May 2017

While many horse owners are quite aware of the importance of providing roughage to our horses - either from pasture and/or conserved forages - there are different aspects to consider when deciding on what conserved forage you should feed to your horses and how much you should provide (e.g. quality versus quantity). This series explains the latest advances and recommendations for feeding conserved forage presented in a recent review paper (Harris et al. 20161), which was initiated by the European Workshop for Equine Nutrition (EWEN) meeting held in Portugal in 2012.

Equine Permaculture: Amazing Dung Beetles

April 2017

This month, we celebrate dung beetles! For horse owners, dung beetles mean mean less cleaning paddocks and poo shovelling, and great soil development, without cost or effort - all things that align with the permaculture principles.  Dung beetles also benefit your horse’s health by helping control fly and parasitic worm populations. While this is great news for all horse and cattle owners, these tiny workers need the right conditions to establish and thrive.

Forage Feeding Recommendations: Part 1, Type

April 2017

While many horse owners are aware pasture and conserved forages should be the basis of horse diets (even in performance horses), there are different aspects to consider when deciding what type of conserved forage you should feed your horses and how much you should provide - quality vs. quantity.  Over the next three issues of Horses and People, we will bring you the latest advances and recommendations for feeding conserved forage highlighted in a recent review of the scientific findings in equine nutrition. 

Series: Pastures for Horses

07/18/2016

Foraging behaviour in pastured horses: Is variety the spice of life?

February 2015

Australian researchers investigating the behaviour of domestic horses at pasture have found that, given the opportunity, horses will seek and consume a range of non-pasture species (e.g., parts of trees, woody plants and shrubs). This is the first published data on the behaviour of domesticated horses at pasture and their interaction with the available vegetation.

Taking the guesswork out of choosing hay - Part 3 Hay Testing

September 2013

With thanks to SGS Agriculture & Food Laboratories for providing the analysis specifically for this series. Conserved forages can comprise a large part of the diet of horses; therefore, it is important to review the type and quality of all the roughage we are feeding. Last month, we provided a summary of the roughage sources that are available to horse owners such as hay, chaff, haylage, hay cubes and super fibres.

Holistic Planning for Horse & Land Owners-Pastures for Horses Part 4 Australian Native Grasses

June 2013

As horse owners, and even on the smallest of properties, we sometimes forget that we are grass and forage farmers for our horses. Whether you manage grazing pastures or agist your horses, it helps to know more about grasses and legumes. The different types, how they develop and grow, the effect of grazing pressure, what leaf area should remain after grazing and their recovery, all affect pasture management and the health of your horses. When European settlers first arrived in Australia, grasslands and grassy woodlands covered much of the continent.

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