Tag Archives: Horse Industry

Horses and Genetically Modified forages: Are we Moving Our Horses Toward Extinction?

Hello everyone. I rarely speak about “issues” in the horse world, but this is too big and too important to walk away from.

Our horse’s forages: alfalfa and hay – are in potential peril, and within a few years may be gone forever. Here’s the story:

All Alfalfa and Wheat may be Genetically Modified in North America in the next few years

GE corporations (Monsanto & others) are working hard to push their untested GMO alfalfa and wheat crops in the US and Canada. The US already has 5332 acres of RoundUp Ready alfalfa (since 2004). There is no wheat yet anywhere. Because the alfalfa was grown before it was approved, it was halted and is undergoing additional testing and environmental studies. No human or horse studies have been done to prove this is safe. No long term studies are ever done on any GMO foods. Many independent tests show serious health issues (Genetic Roulette).

Horses have evolved over thousands of years, naturally

Horses are sensitive to their environments and their feeds: any horse owner who has any level of awareness of their animal understands this. Their bodies have evolved slowly over time to adjust to changing plant types and feeds. However, along came man, and believed that he/she could do better than Mother Nature. As we asked more of our horse, we began to alter the feeds we give them.

The horse, though, has evolved for years, slowly, methodically, and if you look at the timeline to how many years we have been changing his natural diet, it’s really not that long (20-30 years). It has been a dramatic ride for the horse: from field to stalls: from hay to concentrates and feeds he would never find in the wild (soy, corn, heavy oils).

It’s not working. Horses are getting fatty liver diseases, insulin resistance, heart attacks, cancers and the same type of health issues humans have (that eat high fat and carb diets). And now there’s another issue to add to the mix: genetic modification. Thirty years ago this was unheard of. Last year 6 horses under the age of 10 died from cancer in my area.

What is Genetically Modified foods and why should you be concerned for your horse?

Genetic modification has many levels of concern attached to it, from health to environment and corporate control. We’ll take a look at each one so you have a good general knowledge of the problems horse owners may face.

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The next decade is going to be the best!

January 1st and my optimism is already at an all time high! It’s suppose to be a day of rest and already I have had 3 calls and emails to “come here and help us” and “where will you be this year”? For now I am not sure what my clinic schedules are. 99% of my Horsemanship clinics are private, but I may change that this year.

I am also involved in political matters this year, specifically the GM alfalfa issue, and the creation of GE Free (genetic engineering) zones in Canada. Why GM alfalfa? Because my horse and your horse will be exposed to this, and there has been no testing on the Canadian government side as to whether there are harmful effects to our horses or not. I have researched the possible consequences of this crop getting ‘out of hand’ and it’s not pretty. I will be writing on this in the future, and I hope you watch and learn all you can.

I see the next 10 years as one of the biggest decades of change on this planet, as we speed forward, faster and faster. I have always felt that I was going to live to see the single largest impact on planet earth, and it may be this next 10 years. Old habits, rituals and industries will fade out. New emerging ideas will be more sustainable, and the ‘energy’ of the planet will rise as a result. Even the way we keep and maintain our horses will change. For the better. In ten years I will repost this – should be interesting!

Horse Business: additional income from horses: tree farming

Question: I was wondering what other ideas you had for making money on a horse farm?

Question: I have a boarding facility, 40 acres. What else can I do to earn more money?

Question: How can we make additional incomes on our horse boarding facility?

Answer from April Reeves: This was the most responses I received from any post – total of over 100 as of only a week or so since I put the post up. Since this seems to be the question of the ‘times’ we are in, I will wander into my memory banks and pull out some of the tricks I did with my horse facilities. While I made a good income with just horses alone, I enjoyed trying my hand at other things, and took advantage of all the tax breaks available to me.

I will post one at a time, so I don’t spend half a year writing a long winded post, which I have been known to do…..

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Make money with your horse manure

By April Reeves

There are so many ways to make additional incomes with equine facilities, I could write a book!

I use to make income from my horse facilities from sources other than the training and boarding. In fact, there was a time in Alberta where I made more ‘profit’ from the business of manure than the horses. Horses come with heavy expenses.

Recycling Manure for Money

I sold all my manure (and then some). How I started:

I created 3 large compost areas (I made them bigger each year). Check your local bylaws for info.

I put mostly manure, with very little shavings or wood fibre. Try to avoid hays. Keep another compost for hay and shavings for yourself.

I made sure they were always wet.

Each bin represented one months worth of manure.

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Video Applications for Horse Industry Websites

Can I, Should I, and HOW Do I?

A good friend of mine sent me an email about the confusion of video and web technology, so I felt compelled to write about it.

Video Formats
Because a few very skilled geniuses created programs for web video, and didn’t talk to each other while they were doing that, we now have a variety of ways to watch video on the web. While free enterprise is good for the economy, it really messes up the people who want to show video to their audience. Which format should you use on your website?

Flash – flv.
Let’s start with the best, or easiest (for the viewer) – Flash Video Format, or .flv . This is the video you see when you come to a site and don’t have to download a player or plug-in to view video. The second you click the PLAY button it’s broadcasting. Sometimes it even plays by itself. Flash reaches your entire audience, allowing everyone to watch it. Viewers do not like to have to work at anything, especially watching video. Flash just plays directly from your web page. You don’t have to go out of your way and waste time to explain to your viewers how to download this and click on that.

In technical terms, Flash (.flv) has decent quality-to-file-size ratio, meaning it can deliver decent video with lower sizes.

Flash is used on Horseman’s U.

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Estimating Customer Value for Coaches/Instructors

We should consider the overall value of our customer.

What is the value of a customer? We often overlook the amount of revenue a single client generates for us. This article will explore only the value of each industry segment (the ‘costs’ will be a following article). It will change the way you look at your bread-and-butter clients.

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Horse Industry Business: The Truth About New Sites and Blogs

Question: How long does it take to get visitors and what is the difference between sites and blogs?

It will take time for your new website to build a visitor (traffic) base. No website gets instant recognition and numbers, even if you submit the site to the Search Engines (see below) and post (add stuff) daily. Expect to take 6 months before you see any substantial visitor numbers coming in (see below).

Why? Because websites are found by visitors organically at the beginning. That means, visitors come across your site in a keyword search or a link from another site. There are ways to increase traffic fairly quickly, but be prepared to do the work.

Here’s how sites and blogs work:

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