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.

December/January 21/22
Vol 43 No 4

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

Controlling Cotton Bush
by Rhiannon Brown - Envirapest
Toxic to horses and other livestock, this weed can invade paddocks and form thickets.

Are you prepared for the bushfire season?
If it’s not already happened, or it needs redoing, the time to get physical around the property is now. Consider your options if a fire threatens, and if you have the equipment with which to protect your property.

When hormones make the rules.
by Country Park Herbs
Controlling hormones with herbs has to be balanced with regulations for performance events, and with this berry being declared a controlling medication in competition, it must be cleared from the horse's system prior to competing.

Turmeric and gastric ulcers

by Sophie Fletcher
Turmeric has become a popular supplement in horse diets for a variety of ailments, ranging from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis through to cancers and sarcoids. Now research shows it can affect the outcome for gastric ulcers.

Growing your own turmeric.
An easy D.I.Y project for producing your own turmeric.

Fencing Foes and Woes - common fencing accidents.
by Liz Tollarzo
Fencing's main purpose is to keep your horse secure in its paddock but many accidents are from a horse's 'fight' with a fence. Kiz looks at someof the commonfencing accidents and offers some options for different fecning.

YOUR PLACE - Improvements for sustainability.
by Sophie Fletcher
You can follow the steps that this NSW couple achieved as they progress along their sustainability journey for their equine property.

share your equine property management tips and each issue one reader will win.

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The Green Horse Support <>



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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.



It goes without saying that Australia is a diverse country and is known for its extreme weather. While there’s no definitive bushfire season across all of Australia, and the states have differing periods for their ‘bushfire’ season, the temperatures are rising across the country.

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 message to be prepared for bushfires is made loud and clear every year and, as horse owners, it’s even more important to have a well prepared bushfire plan in place with a clear understanding of how the horses will be managed in the event of a fire.

Without a set of clear guidelines that you can follow, your actions might be affected by panic and confusion; whereas if you have pre organised a plan and made the decisions and arrangements in advance, in regards to what you would do, what you’d take, where you’d go and how you’d do it, then you just have to follow the plan.

If it’s not already happened, or it needs redoing, the time to get physical around the property is now.


Vegetation around your house, stables, farm sheds and important infrastructure should be managed and cleared, along with twigs and sticks, mulch and dried leaves, both on the ground and in gutters. Shrubs and branches should be trimmed, lawn areas should be mowed - and kept mowed - firebreaks done and overhanging vegetation on the firebreaks cleared. Checks need to be done on a regular basis to ensure the the external areas of your property are managed to reduce the fuel load where possible.

We all know firefighters do an incredible job, however as property owners we can not assume that they can and will be able to always defend our properties, it’s up to us to do all we can to ensure our property is as 'fire safe' as it can be. Mind you, as history has shown, the best preparation is not always enough to save a property, especially when the bushfire is out of control.

Scheme (or town) water can not always be maintained in the event of a bushfire, so an independent water supply and pumping capacity in the event that power is lost, is vital.

Anyone with thoughts of staying to defend their property must ensure that they have continuous access to water. This should obviously be in place well before the risk of a fire, if it’s not, then it should be a given that the advice to leave early would be the course of action that should be taken.

The decision to stay on your property is one that requires considerable thought as few property owners understand the physicality of defending a property from fire. It’s hard work, physically and mentally, and that’s the case even for those tackling a fire with the very best plans and preparations in place.

Supplies considered essential would include water, as mentioned earlier this needs to be a back up to any scheme water that could be lost. So for example a rainwater tank, one that is not at risk of loosing any structural integrity in the event of a fire (eg a steel lined water tank) and it must have metal valves and pipe fittings when above ground, as exposed PVC pipes and fittings will melt in the heat of a fire. Pools and dams can also be used for water (drinkable water is required too).

In the event that power is shut down as a fire apporaches, which happens in many instances, the property will require a generator to drive a home pressure pump, or a petrol or diesel firefighting pump. Pumps and generators should be able to pump a minimum of 400l per minute (lpm) and need to be shielded from high temperatures caused by a bushfire. Anyone that is likely to stay and defend your property must know how to start and operate the pump and generator and have practised it, as well as keeping the equipment in working order and running it regularly to check this.

With engine driven, electric powered and jet pumps it’s important to research what will suit your requirements and your property’s requirements.


Many horse property owners will want to investigate having their own fire fighting pump, giving them the option of putting out spot fires, dampening embers and using it where it can be most useful in the event of a fire. An important piece of equipment that will require research as to what you’re after in regards to performance, consider the unit’s flow rate, and water pressure. Consider also, for any portable unit, how you will move it and how easily, its weight and how easy it is to start, especially if it’s being started in a high stress situation.
A popular unit with many small horse properties is the water crate, firefighting pump and hose, mounted on a dedicated trailer.

Check with your neighbours and other horse owners to see what they have, then chat to your local fire brigade for their suggestions, and you may decide that a back pack will give you enough to put out spot fires as you intend to evacuate early, or investigate available transportable units, but whatever you decide on make sure you know how to use it, and keep it in good repair.



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