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If there is anyone that can talk about hot horses on a hack, it is me.  My horse Shandy was a complete nightmare on hacks.  He would attem...

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

How To Add Other Animals to Your Yard

There’s a virtuous circle of animal love; when you start, you’re never quite sure where you will end. For a lot of pet lovers,
everything begins with the realisation that a pet is happier in the countryside than in town. And when you start looking for
the perfect rural home, you might find yourself buying a renovated barn with a large garden…. And suddenly, it’s not just a
dog you have! You have adopted a horse, a sweet kitten and you find yourself keeping a handful of hens for fresh eggs in
the morning. And this goes without mentioning the wild birds, which you feed in your garden, the hedgehogs that live just
outside the homemade chicken coop and the rabbits that come to visit every spring. How can you make sure all your pets
are happy in this environment?  


Keeping horses happy at the farm
First of all, if you’ve chosen to live in the countryside to be able to adopt a horse, you might want to know if you can safely
keep a horse in your renovated barn. The answer is yes, assuming that you can provide quality shelter – a stable can be a
good way of getting the horse used to the noises of your property, especially if you want to keep chicken on the ground or
use motorised machinery to maintain the soil. Your horse needs to graze for up to 18 hours a day, so you can’t keep a horse
without a field.

How to train your dog and horse to get along
If you want to keep a dog, it’s important to ensure that both dog and horse are comfortable with the arrangement. More often
than not, they can live together with minimum training, especially if you take a puppy that can grow while getting used to the
horse. For adult dogs, you might need to train both animals to get to know each other. You might find that senior dogs and
small breeds can be scared of horses – but you can help to reduce stress with cannabidiol treats, read more about their use
here. Introduce the two animals slowly, while keeping your dog on a leash and gradually get closer.

Training your cat and horse to be friends
If you choose to have a cat too, your feline friend will learn to interact with the horse through observation. Cats are naturally
curious so you can be sure that it will follow you to watch the horse. Most cats are comfortable with horses; it’s not
uncommon to find both of them cuddling from time to time. However, you might need to train your cat not to use the stable
as a cat tray!

Poultry and cats can be friends
Can you keep hens if you have a cat? While it will take time, you can get your furry friend used to the chicken coop. Most of
the training consists in getting the cat to meet the chickens peacefully so that it learns to stay unphased by their presence.

Living on a happy farm with animals might seem like a fairytale, but with the right equipment and training, you can make your
dream come true. However, one word of warning: it’s not a good idea to keep different animals together if you don’t have time
to dedicate to their training and daily needs.

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