South Africa:

Cop­ing with drought

EQUUS - - Eq Tack & Gear -

dif­fer­ent North­ern Horses lives Hemi­sphere. in South than Africa those Yet in live some the very ex­pe­ri­ences are uni­ver­sal. “Feeds are typ­i­cally pre­mixed,” says So­phie Baker, a horse owner in Gaut­eng. “Very few own­ers in South Africa mix their own feeds, although some may add oats, bar­ley or beet pulp to an ex­ist­ing pre­made food. Amounts fed will de­pend on the breed, as our hardy na­tive breeds get far less than Thor­ough­breds, most found species keep­ers “Gen­er­ally, The com­mon in African that in South other we may breed feed Africa.” con­ti­nent which parts be er­a­grostis un­fa­mil­iar of of are plea­sure the has prob­a­bly world. grass or to horse teff,” horse- the says types to make Baker, of hay. lo­cal re­fer­ring “Al­falfa grasses is to that called two are com­mon lucerne used and or ‘oomph’ is some­times but in very fed for small ex­tra amounts weight added to nor­mal grass hay.” More fa­mil­iar to Amer­i­can horse-keep­ers may be the strug­gles South Africans can have find­ing hay dur­ing pro­longed dry spells. “With the re­cent drought, grass sup­plies were very low, so a lot of peo­ple have also re­cently turned to oat hay. Be­fore the drought, grass good ma­jor up sig­nif­i­cantly---though prices, was sup­ply read­ily but is­sues the and drought and eas­ily pushed we has avail­able do ex­pect prices caused at this Fi­nally, to nor­mal­ize some feed­ing in time.” prac­tices in South Africa have no coun­ter­part in the United States. “A lot of peo­ple here feed rooi­bos tea to their horses, par­tic­u­larly for those with sweet itch or other skin con­di­tions,” says Baker. “Nor­mally this is dried tea leaves as it’s more cost ef­fec­tive, but it isn’t un­heard of for peo­ple to use brewed tea ei­ther.”

The African con­ti­nent has grass species that may be un­fa­mil­iar to horse-keep­ers in other parts of the world.

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