We Ride Sport and Trail Magazine July 2016 - Page 41

Planning a free range stable involves a wealth of opportunities for creating new wildlife habitats. It is so much nicer for horses to live in a healthy environment with buzzing bees and singing birds and any amount of silent little inhabitants peeking out from behind a blade of grass.

If this has aroused your curiosity and you would like to construct your own free range stable for your horses, Tanja Romanazzi, PhD, will be happy to support you with ideas and suggestions. Dr. Romaniazzi offers individual free range stabling consultation as well as an entire range of books and ebooks on a number of topics.

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The positive effects can be seen in Paddock Trail 2 in particular, where the plants have proliferated nicely.

If in spite of this you do have problems with your water quality, you could try using effective micro-organisms to improve it.

Does the ford have to be fenced off in winter?

No, you can just keep it accessible. Your horses will know exactly where the ford is, even if it’s snowed under. Most horses will ignore the ford during the winter. Some might walk up to it, crack a hole in the ice and drink from it.

Won’t it attract mosquitos?

I’ve not noticed a difference with ours so far. Ensuring good water quality is certainly important. In addition, it can be helpful to keep your free range stabling facilities as eco-friendly as possible (no artificial fertilizers, plenty of hedges, clearance cairns, deadwood, fallow strips of land …) to provide a habitat for animals that feed on mosquitos.

Every group has a couple of “seahorses” who like to play in the water.

Fenced-off areas planted with aquatic plants can improve water quality

Some horses enjoy a ford all year long

Paddock Trail 2

Tanja Romanazzi, PhD