Holistic equine farming differs greatly from conventional agriculture and livestock systems. It entails a new kind of design. One that focuses on grassland regeneration techniques and forage diversity with consideration that horses evolved different feeding strategies and digestive physiology than cattle.
Key to any holistic farm design is water harvesting in the landscape and soil restoration. Swales designed by Ecologia for equine systems can harvest water, grow wind breaks, rehydrate land, provide shade, grow forage, flood proof land, filter nutrient runoff and much more. Combined with manure management to optimize compost and compost tea application even the most degraded farm land can be regenerated quickly. The improved pasture ecology reduces long term input costs and can save property owners considerable amounts of money and time.
Trees & Shrubs
Choosing the right trees and shrubs for horse fodder is very important. Specific tree and shrub selections as fodder supplement can easily be added into an existing pasture plan along fence lines, swales, and in protected clumps within paddocks. The benefits to the quality and quantity of pasture production and reduction in feeding costs of roughage are substantial. The stimulus of diversified forage also helps horses psychologically and reduces stereotypic behavior. Ecologia helps select appropriate species and layout for each pasture based on site requirements, soil types and safety as horse fodder.
Ecologia also designs and installs geo textile installations for horse paths and porous paving systems to replace asphalt and muddy trails that allow storm water to penetrate back into the ground. These porous paving options also help filter nutrient rich run off from barns and paddocks.
Whole Farm Design with Natural Building
Ecologia and natural building partner Down to Earth Design, offer holistic horse farm designs that incorporate sustainable building, renewable energy production, waste water treatment wetlands, compost facilities and much more. Structures are designed for passive cooling, natural light, water harvesting and treatment, energy production and reduction, habitat creation and protection, and long term economics.
Our design focus and materials relate to the whole property in ways that are moving horse farms into a leading role in restoring our Bay watershed ecologically and aesthetically.
Please contact us for more detailed services.
- Equine Permaculture: Regenerative Horse Property Design & Pasture Management. Mariette van den Berg & Nicholas Higgins
- Horse Farm of the Future, Article in Horse Sport Magazine – March 2011 Issue