Generally, horse keeping is considered to be a costly hobby or business, especially with current rises in living expenses and feed costs. Horse and land owners also encounter high input costs and difficulties to maintain pastures to sustain the dietary needs of their horses.
New approaches to meeting these challenges are now gaining traction in the equine community and sport industry. To be able to make horse-keeping more economically viable and productive, we must develop sustainable horse properties and pasture management plans that cater for both immediate and long-term needs, our own personal goals (social and economical), our horses’ well-being, and the environment.
By applying the ethics and principles of permaculture design and integrating knowledge about biological pasture management, holistic grazing planning, horse behaviour, horse nutrition, and horse management, we are able to create a more sustainable and healthy equine system. All horse and land owners of small and large acreage alike are able to restore their land, improve soil carbon, regenerate pastures, drought-proof their farms, and close the input cycle of chemical-based fertilisers by developing their own compost (tea) alternative, reduce supplementary feed cost by designing horse forage systems, and improve natural feeding behaviour by forage enrichment and slow feeding strategies.
This booklet is a collection of articles that have been written for various national horse magazines in Australia. They provide comprehensive information about integrative systems and how to develop and regenerate horse properties and manage horses in an ecologically sound and cost effective way to ensure the health of our horses and our land.