Natural Paddocks
Unnatural behaviours
2 Jan 2016
www.horsesa.asn.au
- How much time in each 24 hours does he
eat, rest, walk, run or drink?
- Do you watch what plants he prefers to
eat in th...
How many “horse” choices do your horses
get to make each day?
• Grazing /chewing hay
several hours a day
• Browsing
• Rubb...
What could the ideal
‘natural’ horse paddock
look like?
? +/- one horse per paddock
? +/- natural exercise, planned training programs
? +/- time available for direct contact with...
Through thinking about what a ‘natural’ living environment can contribute
towards the daily life of a horse, then we can l...
Many horse owners are aware of the
benefit that trees & shrubs can provide
for paddocks
e.g.
Shelter belts
Biosecurity bar...
Tree benefits for horses……
when trees are not available to
horses, consider other ways to
provide “tree benefits” for your...
Providing Tree Benefits
Biosecurity barriers, scratch & rub surfaces, browse (eat at different heights & locations),
place...
Providing Tree Benefits
Shade & Shelter
Drawing: http://www.equiculture.com.au (Jane Myers).
There are lots of other benefits
that the ‘ideal’ paddock may
provide for your horse.
Over a coffee or wine, jot down
your...
Provide the opportunity for
horses to have many
choices in their daily life.
Google Facebook,
Pinterest etc. for ‘equine
e...
‘Reading’ a property can provide some
insights into how horses are using their
living environment.
e.g.
Patterns of walkin...
Health related behaviours (signs / symptoms of a health issue)
e.g. toxicity
Behaviours possibly influenced by property de...
If needed..take a holistic (and detailed) approach to reforming behaviours, consider all
parts of the horse’s life e.g. en...
Horse SA events & info
NRM Adelaide & Mt Lofty Ranges
Visit webpage for services, calendar of
events, newsletter and land
management info + free ...
General info: toxic plants & weeds
- Know the plants in your horse’s
environment that he can reach
(incl. over the fence) ...
More links:
McGreevy, Paul (2012) Equine Behavior: A
Guide for Veterinarians and Equine
Scientists
Australian Equine Behav...
of 19

Natural paddocks unnatural behaviours

Horse SA presentation at the Kersbrook Equestrian Centre Pinery Fire fundraising event, 2 January 2016 www.horsesa.asn.au
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Education      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Natural paddocks unnatural behaviours

  • 1. Natural Paddocks Unnatural behaviours 2 Jan 2016 www.horsesa.asn.au
  • 2. - How much time in each 24 hours does he eat, rest, walk, run or drink? - Do you watch what plants he prefers to eat in the paddock? - Does he mix grazing with browsing? - How does he spend non-grazing time? - Are his companionship needs being met? - Is the shade and shelter provided useful for him? - And for humans: Are we aware of how “trends” & marketing are affecting our decisions? e.g. rugs, de-worming programs? Could you write down how your spends his time each day? E.g. how long grazing, how long snoozing? Developing observational skills How well do you know your horse? iStock
  • 3. How many “horse” choices do your horses get to make each day? • Grazing /chewing hay several hours a day • Browsing • Rubbing • Rolling • Scratching • Running around • Mutual grooming • Swish flies • Walk • Do nothing • Lie down flat • Stand under a tree • Put a rump to the weather • Find peace • Find friends • Enjoy humans • Routine vs stimulating environment • Run, kick and buck • Snort, neigh & nicker • Other behaviours? iStock
  • 4. What could the ideal ‘natural’ horse paddock look like?
  • 5. ? +/- one horse per paddock ? +/- natural exercise, planned training programs ? +/- time available for direct contact with other horses ? +/- trees, variety of grasses- or monoculture ? +/- ground cover, dust, mud ? +/- rugs replacing shade & shelter options ? +/- same diet, same feed times, same feed place year in/year out (routine vs. boredom) ? Anything else Tom Roberts Horse Trail, Cherry Gardens What is (or has become) normal?
  • 6. Through thinking about what a ‘natural’ living environment can contribute towards the daily life of a horse, then we can look to meet any gaps in the current accommodation options our horses have (paddock/stable/yard) iStock Lets take one aspect… trees
  • 7. Many horse owners are aware of the benefit that trees & shrubs can provide for paddocks e.g. Shelter belts Biosecurity barriers Reduce wind erosion Stabilize soil Shade & shelter Promote biodiversity Help reduce soil compaction Part of fire management plan Protecting trees: On smaller properties or in smaller paddocks, especially where a “set” grazing regime is used, trees & shrubs may need protecting if horses have regular or prolonged access. Tree benefits iStock
  • 8. Tree benefits for horses…… when trees are not available to horses, consider other ways to provide “tree benefits” for your horse • Shade from sun • Shelter from wind & rain • Place to “loaf around” & socialise • Somewhere to scratch & rub • Relief from flies (leaves/tails) • Variety in diet (some trees are tasty) • Variety in eating styles – browsing vs grazing • Other? Tree benefits Photo: J Raphael
  • 9. Providing Tree Benefits Biosecurity barriers, scratch & rub surfaces, browse (eat at different heights & locations), places to socialise, undertake mutual grooming Photo: Robyn Warren Photo: MB Equine Services Photo: Equiculture Jane Myers iStock
  • 10. Providing Tree Benefits Shade & Shelter Drawing: http://www.equiculture.com.au (Jane Myers).
  • 11. There are lots of other benefits that the ‘ideal’ paddock may provide for your horse. Over a coffee or wine, jot down your thoughts Here are a few prompts: • Water (over & under ground) • Wet areas • Terrain (e.g. exercise and as shelter from weather extremes) • Types of surfaces (hoof conditioners) Micro-climates • Native or introduced grasses and plants And any artificial inclusions e.g. • Fencing • Water troughs • Area available
  • 12. Provide the opportunity for horses to have many choices in their daily life. Google Facebook, Pinterest etc. for ‘equine enrichment’ or start a discussion group yourself Horse SA iStock
  • 13. ‘Reading’ a property can provide some insights into how horses are using their living environment. e.g. Patterns of walking and standing showing up as ‘wear and tear’ on the ground Patterns of grazing Use of water points Uses (or not) of infrastructure Do we ‘get used to’ paddock behaviours or can we work to new expectations? iStock
  • 14. Health related behaviours (signs / symptoms of a health issue) e.g. toxicity Behaviours possibly influenced by property design and/or social grouping and/or routine choices e.g. playing/fighting over fences banging on gates wearing out gateways Behaviours that are possibly influenced by low roughage diets, long gaps between meals & boredom (+/-gastric ulcers) e.g. oral stereotypies e.g. crib biting, wind sucking aggressive pre-feeding behaviours playing with water/ moving frequently between feed & water Behaviours that may require further investigation e.g. poor social skills in a herd or group constantly acquires low level injuries/problems which may be an indicator for a deeper underlying issue It is worthwhile seeking advice for problems from professional equine behaviour experts and/or property managers to resolve issues early.
  • 15. If needed..take a holistic (and detailed) approach to reforming behaviours, consider all parts of the horse’s life e.g. environment, social, routine, diet, training, history etc. Equine enrichment/behaviour specialists are a newer professional field, compared to many other species including dogs and zoo animals
  • 16. Horse SA events & info
  • 17. NRM Adelaide & Mt Lofty Ranges Visit webpage for services, calendar of events, newsletter and land management info + free property visits and plant ID http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/adelaidemtloft yranges/land/landholder-services Horse SA runs a range of events for horse property managers (incl. agistees or potential property owners) Visit http://www.horsesa.asn.au/events/event/ (or Horse SA Facebook) For the first half of 2016 there are • 5 x indoor sessions at Woodside • 3 x farm walks • 3 x webinars with MB Equine Services • 1 x Jane Myers Equiculture workshop • Pinery fire meetings
  • 18. General info: toxic plants & weeds - Know the plants in your horse’s environment that he can reach (incl. over the fence) or dried in hays - Behaviour change is an indicator for some types of poisoning e.g. head pressing, lethargy Free download https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/items/06-048 Risk factors incl. fire, boredom, season, part of the plant eaten Weed ID App http://www.grdc.com.au/Resources/Apps Weed ID website http://www.weeds.org.au/weedident.htm
  • 19. More links: McGreevy, Paul (2012) Equine Behavior: A Guide for Veterinarians and Equine Scientists Australian Equine Behaviour Centre http://www.aebc.com.au/ International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants https://iaabc.org/ Has equine case studies & articles. Donkey using scratcher https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hid6o PRAf-0 Horse SA E: horsesa@horsesa.asn.au www.horsesa.asn.au