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Future-proof your horse
A community-based organisation working with horse owners and enthusiasts in South Australia has developed a horse owner education program. Through this program, Horse SA has helped horse owners develop action plans to install and manage their property infrastructure to prepare for future changes, including climate change.
NCCARF’s prestigious ‘Climate Adaptation Champions’ awards recognise the achievements of people taking real steps to change behaviour, techniques, businesses practices and policies to adapt to an uncertain future.
Winner of last year’s community category was the Horse Federation of South Australia – Horse SA.
Horse SA is a community based non-profit organisation working with and for horse owners on a range of topics of common interest. Climate change is one such topic.
In her award acceptance speech, Julie Fiedler, Executive Officer of Horse SA, explained, ‘We asked horse owners what their concerns were in relation to climate change through discussion, an online survey and a full day workshop. From the information gathered, a climate change adaptation plan for horse owners and organisations was prepared.’
The term ‘climate change’ proved to be problematic for some members. So, Julie says that Horse SA developed ‘more horse owner friendly language, such as “Future Proof Your Horse”, which became the title for the subsequent action plans developed.’
‘Horse owners and organisations that conduct sport and recreation events are interested in finding out more about how to sustainably manage land, to prepare and recover from natural disasters and to better meet challenges associated with heat,’ Julie explained. ‘The action plans underpin the horse owner educational programs and activities provided by Horse SA, which are delivered in partnership with a wide variety of agencies from all levels of government.’
Suggested actions include:
- Limit activity, and ride in the mornings or late evenings, during hot weather
- Provide regular breaks and water for you and your horse when riding during hot weather, ensuring shade for tying up horses and water to cool off horses
- Provide and maintain a range of shade options for paddocks
- Maintain adequate stabling with appropriate ventilation for hot periods
- Restrict horse access to watercourses and steep slopes to minimise erosion potential
For more information, visit http://www.horsesa.asn.au/horse-care/future-proof-your-horse/
Are your animals properly protected against the heat?
Do you have plans in place to protect your animals in the event of a climate extreme such as heat or downpours?