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.

Dec/Jan 2017/18
Vol 39 No 4

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

Talking Point

Information Exchange - Horse Shelter - YES OR NO?

FRUIT AND VEG for the horse
by Andie Wyatt
Fruits and vegetables are a good way to provide natural and tasty variety to the domestic horse’s diet, though not all are suitable, so care needs to be taken.

by Mark Brown - Envirapest

One of the things that causes horse owners much pain and frustration is property fencing.
When we put our horses or ponies out in the paddock, we want to ensure they are safe and still where we left them in the morning.

Following a landmark decision in April this year to legalise the human consumption of hemp food products, horse owners can expect to see products emerging that will bring their horses the benefits of this herb.

See article opposite.


by Wendy Elks
Transformation of their Thoroughbred property,Three Bridges, by committing to ‘green’ principles, is starting to pay off for the Liston family, with a more productive farm and greater returns on fewer but better quality horses.

The second in our series on properties across the country; where owners chat about THEIR PLACE and what they have done to improve the land and develop the property.

by Plan-it Rural
Sounds involved, but i's not. What we are considering is how we can incorporate terrestrial carbon – that is trees, shrubs, perennial pasture ground cover and healthy soil – into our horse management system.

share your equine related recycling ideas or property management tips and each issue one reader will win.

Send ideas to -
The Green Horse Support <>





Every summer, thousands of horses around Australia are affected by annoying insects and the diseases they carry, and owners continually search for ways to protect their horses and help prevent disease and itch problems. Better ways to help your horse are being discovered and utilised as more research is conducted.

Insects and Disease
Apart from being annoying and upsetting to your horse, some insects can pose a health threat as well. Many horses become allergic to saliva in the insect bite, causing itching and irritation. Mosquitoes can also transmit a myriad of diseases including Ross River and the Kunjin-West Nile Viruses that can cause severe physiological and neurological problems. Sandfly/Midge bites have now also been linked to diseases.

Utilising Technology
Advancements in textile technology have progressed to allow insect controls to be bonded to fabric fibres. Initially, inexpensive spray-on treatments were used but these treatments do not last long-term and can cause chemical overdoses or contamination of streams and waterways during the first few exposures of the fabric to water .

It was found that using a patented binder process to deeply impregnate the fabric fibres with permethrin – one of the most successful natural insect controls – was up to 91.7% effective after 100 washes and 12 months full time weathering. This ensures a long-lasting, odourless and colourless barrier against many common insects. Using this process to bind the permethrin to the fabric is more costly but the results for long term effectiveness are far better than spray on applications used in some treated rugs.

How does this work?
Permethrin-impregnated fabrics work on insects in two different ways. Some insects like mosquitoes, midges and sandflies are repelled by the fabric and won’t come near it. Others, like some species of flies, need to come into contact with the fabric for the permethrin to affect their neurological system and stop them biting blood sucking or feeding; this is why it is called an insect control and not a repellent. A control-treated textile is thoroughly tested using knockdown testing - a widely accepted methodology for determining the efficacy of insect control-treated textile products.

The issue with most horsewear is that it doesn’t always provide the effective physical barrier your horse requires for protection from insects. Many horse rug manufacrurers promote their rugs to be anti bug, anti itch or insect free but insects are still capable of biting through most standard fabrics. Insects will also look for ways to bite around or under the fabric, and untreated rugs can offer both food and shelter to mosquitoes, especially at dusk and dawn. An advantage of permethrin Control-treated textile is that the repellency is long lasting - no more twice-daily applications.





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