Increasingly biosecurity & health wellbeing is being factored into management & equine property design & layout. What is best practice?
The vast majority of horse owners don’t have the luxury of being able to keep their horses in a ‘bubble’, never to make contact with other horses from other locations. One example, the communal water trough at competitions being a ‘no go zone’ for many.
These days many horses are housed on a small rural acreage comprising of a home, a shed (a stable maybe) & one or more grazing paddocks. The neighbors properties up & down the road are usually eerily the same, due to subdivision back in the day.
Once upon a time all these ‘hobby farms’ were part of larger, productive, working farms.
Many times neighbouring horses can put their heads over the fence ‘where the grass is always greener’ & even have physical contact.
This can be extremely problematic if aggressive behaviours between horses occurs on the fenceline. Injuries are almost certain to occur. It is also easy for respiratory illnesses to spread throughout populations if horses can make muzzle to muzzle contact.
So what can you do to head any issues off at the pass?
1. Ensure that your boundary fence is well maintained & horse safe. In most areas councils stipulate a 50/50 split between neighbours when it comes to fencing costs. That said, don’t expect your neighbour to foot the cost for a high end fence if all they want to run is a couple of cows…
2. Prevent your horses from being able touch the boundary fence.
This can be achieved through a number of means.
– Electric fence offsets.
– New internal horse safe fencing.
– And/or planting thick screening, hedging trees or shrubs.
*Just be sure to ensure that the plant varieties you choose are non toxic.
Something else to consider…
Do you have a quarantine paddock, yard or stall for new or sick horses?
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