Coping with drought
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.