Getting into the nitty-gritty with Book Two
This e-book called Healthy Land, Healthy Pasture, Healthy Horses is FULL of practical advice to get small acreage working better for horses and I tells ya, it's sheer genius!
It's also really easy to put into action.
After a quick and easy download, i would read the e-book by night and be tinkering the farm, implementing changes by the next day.
It's been really satisfying and great motivation because the last few months have been a little overwhelming...
Let's not forget the weeds were up to my head 😣
Between the neighbours and Landcare group - I’m getting tired of being told how bad horses are for the land.
‘They’re worse than rabbits - they wreck the land’
‘Gooooooood luck! You’ll never get rid of weeds with horses’
Yada-yada-yada... I'm sure you've heard it before too 😐
Anyhoo, after devouring this book, I had a way better understanding of the links between horses, pasture and the land. Even better, it gave me a roadmap to start making informed decisions and set up my property to best benefit my horses, the land (and of course my back pocket).
Covering horse husbandry and pasture management equally, this book really clarified two main points for me
The first being how pasture improvement for sheep and cattle has resulted in some pretty dire effects for horses. After reading this you’ll understand that it’s no coincidence that laminitis & obesity has become such an epidemic in the horse world.
The second part showed me how I can actually keep horses on small acreage, without causing the dreaded 'horse sick' land degradation.
Seeing as I have the patience of a goldfish, I started implementing the system straight away - with a budget of about $100 and some creative thinking.
- Star pickets: $1 each - from a clearing sale
- Poly-pipe: $20 for a 50m roll - also from a clearing sale
- Electric fence unit: $40 - from eBay
- Creating a temporary laneway in less than an hour so I don't have to cart water to the back paddock: Priceless maaaaaaate 😉
Pls dont judge my fencing skills - it was my first go. More importantly it works! 😀
As I mentioned in the previous article, I’m quite restricted by budget - so I’m not following the Equicentral System to the tee. Instead I’m learning the theories, seeing what other people do and implementing it as best I can within my means.
However, I’ve gotta say - I’m so stoked with the results!
Of all the benefits of implementing the Equicentral System- the greatest is the improvement I've seen with my horses.
My paddocks are improving (even in the freezing conditions of Victorian winter) and I feel quite empowered. I nearly feel smug with my new found knowledge 😉
In no particular order, here are some pearls of wisdom I picked up from this book:
• Poo is pure gold! Instead of dreading the poo pick and hating it's very existence - I’ve been shown some ripper ways to use it to my advantage. Woohoooo!
• Rotational grazing involves more than just changing paddocks. Most excellently, these techniques aren't too labour intensive (great news for lazy bones like me!).
• Clever hay management can provide so much more than forage for the horses… again with no additional effort required (just a different mindset & some nifty tricks).
• The best type and location for planting trees. Previously I was worried that trees & shrubs would compete too much with pasture. But now I’ve figured out the best placement for some new trees on the farm - that will help, not hinder the pasture.
In addition, some of the edible varieties will be a great way to add variety to my horse’s diet.
Last but not least, I have to mention how happy my horses have been since I've started implementing this system!
My nervous horse now shows NO signs of anxiety and they're ALL getting so much more exercise. I love it because I see them quickly moving around the paddock in a group - which is how they would travel in the wild.
No angsty fence walking or spending hours standing like corpses in the one spot.
However, my favourite thing is how they've started 'playing' every morning. It's just about the cutest thing ever <3 🐴
It's still early days but I've added some photos below to give you an idea of 'Before and Afters'.
Bear in mind that the later photos are taken in Winter when everything looks crusty - but I think you'll be able to see the improvements regardless 😉
These clowns and their morning zoomies... Pretty much a daily occurrence out of my office window #blessed #playtime
I cant speak more highly of the Equicentral System. It's so simple but so incredibly smart.
They've just launched a new website that you can check out here
If you've got a horse property and are looking for the BEST way to manage your property, please go and check it out. It will make you & your horses so much happier! 🙏
You can order the books separately or as a series (I recommend the series) and you can get instant PDF access.
That means you can get started reading tonight!
In the meantime, stay tuned for more of my embarrassing handiwork as I keep implementing this fantastic system 😉
If you've got any questions about what or why I've made these changes - feel free to leave a comment below and I'll get straight back to you 🙂