Well Horse People, that’s it–you did it!

Congratulations on the completion of Horse Course – Level 2, your investment into Horse Education and learning more about keeping your horses safe, healthy and happy.

This past Tuesday night, April 12 at Stewart’s we focused on how to Build Right/Buy Right–the ins and outs of buying equipment related to horse care and safe-keeping (fencing and structures) of your equine friends.

Jeff Stewart took us “tractor shopping”, beginning with haying equipment (which Jeff did not recommend buying unless you are somewhat of a mechanic or have extended acreage). With enthusiasm second only to horse people going out to ride, Jeff showed us a variety of tractor makes and models; new and used.  Jeff explained the differences and what to look for when purchasing a tractor.  This was very informative; as with most things, this process is much more involved than it looks.  Jeff’s advice was:

  • Take a mechanic or farmer with you when tractor shopping
  • Talk to the dealer; tell them what you intend to use the tractor for
  • Ask to try it out for a few days
  • Be realistic regarding maintenance and build into your budget something for wear and tear.

Just before break, Diane Gibbard of Equine Guelph spoke to the group about University of Guelph On-Line learning and how the courses work and what subjects are offered.  Dr. Brianne Henderson, who was our Guest Speaker on March 22 at the Horse Course is one of their teachers focusing on Equine Anatomy.  Diane drew our $549. prize (a certificate for a University of Guelph On-line Learning Course).  The lucky winner was Stacey Cloran. Maybe Stacey will be a guest teacher for our next Equine Erin workshop??

After break, Don McArthur from McArthur Fence and Construction presented various types of Equine Fencing. Styles ranging from vinyl, electric rope braid, and wood board fencing.  Don explained the costs and benefits of each system, and why to build a secure fence.  A word of advice regarding various fence power supplies was:  You don’t know the fence is not working until you see your horses on the road.

Some tips regarding electric fences (whether hydro, battery or solar supplied).

  • Buy a good fence to ensure reliable power supply
  • Test it regularly (or add an attachment that flashes to indicate if it has a charge)
  • Keep weeds/tree branches clear of the electric lines
  • Ground properly

Board fencing was touched on with prices varying from $8.00/linear foot and up for oak boards plus cedar posts.

Don finished up his presentation with a review of Calhoun structures; various designs and advantages, uses within the equine arena (no pun intended). Calhoun will be coming out with a unit that can support a full-roof.  In the summer of 2012, there will be a solar-roof option.

Buy Right/Build Right wrapped up with a big selection of prizes for all, complete with another Kubota Tack Box (thanks Stewart’s!), Calhoun Shirts, hats and water bottles (thanks Don!), and a Monty Roberts Book/Coffee compliments of Equine Erin.

Thank you to all you who took part in our program. Lots of interesting questions were asked and in general furthered our horse education.  We have reviewed the survey results and will be publishing the favourable comments only (just kidding!). We do appreciate your constructive criticism, suggestions and ideas for future programs.

From the Equine Erin Herd to all of you:  Thanks for joining us.

This beautiful Spring weather makes for great riding and we hope you are able to get out enjoy some horse time and put to work all your learning regarding happy healthy horses.