FARGO, N.D. — Horse owners and stable managers will have the opportunity to learn management strategies during a webinar that North Dakota State University Extension is hosting at noon CDT on April 27 and May 4, 11 and 18.
Topics will include mortality management, geriatric horse and foal care, hay management, and bedding management.
“While the death of a horse is not something we like to discuss, proper management of the mortality is important for water quality and disease mitigation,” says Mary Keena, Extension livestock environmental management specialist at NDSU’s Carrington Research Extension Center. “We will discuss approved disposal methods and take a deeper dive into mortality composting.”
With flooding on the eastern side of North Dakota and drought conditions persisting on the western side of the state, discussing care strategies for the most vulnerable horses in the herd becomes important.
“The oldest and youngest horses in the herd tend to be managed similarly to the ‘healthy’ animals, especially during stressful weather events such as the drought we are experiencing, or the very cold winter we’re just coming out of,” says Rachel Wald, NDSU Extension’s agriculture and natural resources agent in McHenry County. “Unfortunately, our geriatric horses and foals are the ones who need the most attention when stress is elevated.”
One way you can reduce stress on animals is by making sure your horse is getting the best nutrition at appropriate times. Managing hay production, especially with limited grazing resources due to lack of moisture, is very important.
While bedding may not be something horse owners or stable managers want to think about as we are heading toward warmer temperatures and likely more animal time spent outside, it is something to plan for as we get into summer and the production season, advises Wald.
“Learning about which bedding product is the best for your given situation makes a happy horse and owner,” says Wald.
The webinar presenters are NDSU Extension specialists and agents, an assistant professor of Equine Science at NDSU and a University of Minnesota Extension equine specialist.
Visit www.tinyurl.com/Spring2022NDSUHorse to register for the webinars.
— NDSU Extension