Your guide to sustainable horsekeeping

The Green Horse section provides practical information on managing environmentally sustainable horse properties, readers stories and tips, as well as advice and articles from equestrian experts in their fields.

April/May '22
Vol 43 No 6

In this issue of The Green Horse you will find the following articles

Japanese Encephalitis and Horse
JEV is a mosquito-borne viral disease that occurs in pigs and horses, and can cause death in people.

Cease To Pump Rules Affecting Property Owners
Farmers and horse studs in the Hunter River Basin, NSW are facing new rules around when they can pump from the Hunter River.

Stages of Grass Growth
by Sophie Fletcher
An ideal horse grazing system attempts to mimic a natural grazing system where animals live in a large herd, grazing, trampling and manuring in a small area before moving on, not returning to the same area for some time.

Making The Most OF of Mosquito Control

by Rhiannon Brown - Envirapest

Climate change that has brought high temperatures, more rain and increases in humidity will provide ideal breeding grounds for the many species of mosquitoes, including those that spread the Japanese Encephalitis virus (JEV).

Why that Round Yard
by Liz Tollarzo
When constructing your property and working out what facilities may be needed for training and keeping horses, one feature many consider essential is a ‘round yard’.

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by Sophie Fletcher
There has been a relatively big shift in deworming treatment strategies in recent years, due to increasing levels of worm resistance to the chemicals we have been using for decades to control them, resulting in a lot of confusion among horse owners.

December/January 21/22
In the many areas where horse owners live this season's fire preparation should be well underway; if you’ve not already started preparing your property for summer then now is the time to do so.

The good news is that there is no longer any need for a snake to be identified to administer antivenom. A universal antivenom is now used that covers the five genus of snake that will cause serious harm or death.

August/September 21
by Rhiannon Brown - Envirapest
The prickly weeds that grow on our properties across Australia usually have long classical Latin names, are often known by a variety of common names in different localities but are regularly called very rude names when we happen to stand on one (or a dozen) or when they find our hands as we are dislodging tangles in the horse’s mane or tail.

June July 21
BARN OWLS by Wendy Elks
A silent partner in rodent control.
Non-toxic pest management is the most humane and ecologically sustainable way of bringing nature back into some kind of balance during non-plague times.

April/May 21
by Rhiannon Brown - Envirapest
On a horse property there always seems to be hectares of grass, but we all have that little bit of lawn we want to look luscious all year round.
It could be the entrance to the stables, laneways bordering the driveway, that little ‘special’ snack paddock or you could even dream of a beautiful green arena.
So, how do we achieve this?

Feb/March 21
by Elizabeth Tollarzo
They say that horses are accidents-waiting-to-happen as they are inclined to find every conceivable way to injur themselves, usually just before a competition. Being aware of potential dangers in the stable - and addressing these - may help aleiviate injury.

Dec/Jan 20/21
Can they share space on the property?
by Wendy Elks

Oct/Nov 20
by Celine Bønnelykke
In previous issues we have discussed the economics of setting up a solar-driven property, but if finances don’t stretch to installation of the whole package, there are ways to ease into the solar-world.

by Elizabeth Tollarzo
Horses love to run, play, buck and then run again and we often, through lack of risk assessment or management practices, place them in areas that are fraught with dangers.

JUNE JULY 20 GOING SOLAR ON THE HORSE PROPERTY Where to put your panels Part 2
Once you have selected what solar system best suits your needs, then you need to look at how you can maximise the advantages.

Once you have selected what solar system best suits your needs, then you need to look at how you can maximise the advantages.

by Mark Brown Envirapest
So, what can you do to deter ants from your house and your stables??

Snakes may be protected under Wildlife regulations in Australia, and they may be great for keeping the mice and rats down, but do we want to find them in our stables near our horses and pets?

ON19 - TERMITES- common myths
by Rhiannon Brown, Envirapest
Your house and stables are looking wonderful this spring, but do you know what is happening inside the walls of your brick or timber building?

by Catherine Bird for Country Park Saddlery
The extent of the swelling is usually an indication of the severity of the infection or injury and the cause needs to be established before giving herbs.

by Rhiannon Brown, Envirapest Healthy pasture means healthy horses.

Property biosecurity
by Rhiannon Brown, Envirapest
Putting simple precautionary steps into place can make it tough for weeds to get a hold on your equine paradise.



by Rhiannon Brown- Envirapest

Research has shown that temperature and rainfall are found to be closely associated with mosquito density. The recent high rainfalls resulting in floods across New South Wales and Queensland are said to be on track to be one of Australia’s worst-ever natural disasters. These, and other areas of Australia affected by climate change that has brought high temperatures and increases in humidity, will provide ideal breeding grounds for the many species of mosquitoes, including those that spread the Japanese Encephalitis virus (JEV).
This virus has recently been found in parts of Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia and has caused the death of three people to date.

Mosquitoes bring with them an uncomfortable bite for humans and a growing range of viral infections, such as Barmah Forest (Vic, Qld, WA, NSW), Ross River Virus (widely in Aust), Murray Valley Encephalitis (WA, NT, Qld), dengue (Qld), West Nile (WA, NT, Vic, Qld) and now JEV (Vic, NSW, Qld, SA ).

Mosquitoes and Horses
Yes, mosquitoes do bite horses and can cause irritation. In hypersensitive horses, the allergic reaction can become more severe with repeated annual exposure, or with ageing. While this allergy can be managed, viral diseases spread through a bite, such as Ross River and West Nile Virus-Kunjin viruses, can be more challenging. 

Breeding Habits
Managing the breeding habitats of mosquitoes around your property can help to reduce the numbers and create a safer, less ‘annoying’ place for your horse and for yourself. There are over 270 described species of mosquitoes in Australian. These small flying insects have a piercing and sucking mouthpiece and their favourite meal is blood from other animals – or humans. Only the females bite as they need this blood as a protein source for their eggs. They are very persistent in their search for the next meal, which brings them into our backyards, stables and barbecue areas with considerable annoyance from their constant buzzing as they look for a landing place, or the sharp sting as they start drawing blood from your exposed flesh.

Mosquito Proof your Property
Adult mozzies lay their eggs in standing or stagnant water. Typical areas where they might like to breed include water buckets and horse troughs, wheelbarrows, flower pots, blocked gutters, water tanks, swings made of old car tyres and even unmaintained swimming pools. Once the eggs are laid and the larvae hatch they go through metamorphosis and change into an adult mosquito. This can take place in as little 7-10 days.

So, it goes without saying that the first step in reducing mosquito activity is to make sure you limit these standing water situations.

- Keep your gutters clean (this also doubles as reducing bushfire risk)
- Clean out your water troughs and bowls regularly
- Store buckets, old pots, wheelbarrows upside down so they don’t hold water if it rains.
By making your property less desirable for breeding, the fewer mozzies you will have.

Protect Yourself and your Horses
Mosquitoes enjoy hanging around in dense shrubbery in humid, warm weather, so clearing these areas or applying mosquito sprays - like outdoor fogger - to shrubbery close to your horse stables or outdoor entertaining area should discourage them
Install electronic mosquito zappers or automatic sprayer systems in your outdoor areas and stables

• Reduce the chance of getting bitten by wearing long sleeves/long pants to minimise the amount of skin you have exposed. Use repellents
• Use lightweight fly sheets on your horses or keep them stabled at the dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active
• Have fans installed in stables and entertaining areas as mosquitoes are ‘weak flyers’ and research has indicated this will deter them
• Use a good quality spray, wipe of pour-on repellent (check for allergic reaction before using on humans or horses)
• Use natural repellent herbs such as citronella geranium, rosemary, catnip or basil. Crush and spread leaves in stables or entertainment areas.

Professional pest controllers may be able to apply longer lasting insecticides to your property and stables if the situation requires it.

By using a range of different control techniques (called integrated pest management) you give your stables, home, horses, family and pets the best chance at enjoying the Aussie outdoor life – mosquito free and hopefully virus free.

The air is full of mosquitoes, and there is question mark on every one of them until someone unravels the mystery of what’s behind the viruses they inflict on so many Australians and their horses.



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