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Natural Horse Care - for Calmer and Healthier Horses

Updated on March 16, 2013
 EM - Effective Micro-organisms
EM - Effective Micro-organisms | Source

What are Effective Micro-organisms?

EM or Effective Micro-organisms is a probiotic stock solution that contains of number of different types of beneficial bacteria, fungi and yeasts that work together in a symbiotic relationship in the environment.

EM-1 is a dark brown liquid that smells mildy sour and fruity, containing, lactic acid and photosynthetic bacteria, yeasts, molasses and water. EM-a is activated EM-1 that is diluted with additional molasses and water.

EM is 100% safe to use as many of ingredients have been cultured from natural sources and have not been genetically modified in anyway, indeed many of the ingredients are used in the food and drinks industries.

Using EM-Effective Micro-organisms to treat horses and their environment will prevent a number of different ailments and improve their general condition.

Treat Stable and Paddock with EM
Treat Stable and Paddock with EM | Source

Horse Care with Effective Micro-organisms in the Stable and Paddock

Horses in their natural habit would roam large areas of land that would consist of different types of terrain, from rough, stoney ground to rough pasture and in doing so, they would not be in the same area for long and they would not remain in areas where they have just defaecated or urinated upon.

Therefore, by keeping horses in stables with a small paddock, they are kept in conditions where there is an increased risk of pests and diseases affecting them. If horses are kept on wet ground they could develop problems with their hooves and pickup worms from decaying faecal matter, causing them digestive upset as well as other diseases.

Stables can become a breeding ground for diseases too, the pathogenic bacteria and fungi will develop on the waste products of the horse, often charaterized by bad smells. Also, the over use of disinfectants to clean the stables with, kills the good bacteria as well as the bad, but the bad bacteria will tend to re-populate more quickly, because there are no good bacteria to control them.

This is where the use of EM or Effective Micro-organisms can help.

Simply by spraying the stables with activated EM (also known as Actiferm) at 1:100 on a regulary basis, this will stop any bedding material which has been defaecated or urinated upon, from becoming a breeding ground for diseases that will affect the health of the horse. And because the bedding material is sprayed with EM, mucking out of the stables is required to be carried out less frequently; but a judgement on mucking out is still required by the owner.

In stables treated with EM there is much less dust, cobwebs disappear, and moulds on walls and other surfaces decrease. The stinging odour of horse urine gets drastically reduced, as the development of ammonia is suppressed by the microbes found in EM. And, because there is no longer the smell of putrefication, flies are deterred from laying their eggs and being a nuisance.

Simply by spraying the paddock area on regular basis too with activated EM, 1000 litres per hectare, will greatly insure the prevention of putrefication of faeces and urine, but start the correct process of decomposition.

The health of the grass improves too, by EM improving the accessability of nutrients from the soil, and with the addition of volcanic rock dust, (full of trace elements), the health of the horses improves too. Also, EM opens up the soil, allowing rain to percolate through the soil more quickly during downpours, rather than running off the field into ditches and causing potential flooding.


Horse with Dermatitis
Horse with Dermatitis | Source

Horse Ailments Improved with Effective Micro-organisms

Colic - Colic is caused by the lack of microbes within the horses digestive system. As a result there is improper digestion of the fodder, thus causing a buildup of gases. Application of EM microbes to the horses grazing areas and fodder will significantly reduce the devlopment of gases.

Hoof Problems - Hoof problems are the result of poor pasture or stable husbandry and poor diet. Hoof specialists report that they have rarely seen hooves as good as those where horses graze on land improved with EM, and by adding EM to there food; affected hooves can also be treated directly with EM.

Parasites - Horses treated with EM encounter fewer parasite problems as long as the intestine is free from injury, worm eggs cannot settle.

Dermatitis - Summer eczema is caused by an allergic reaction to the toxins of gnats, which then causes irritation of the skin, as a result they can scratch themselves until the skin breaks, thus allowing possible infections to enter.

These are just some more of the conditions horses suffer from, but here are some more: tendovaginitis, bursitis, hoof ulcers, boils, mastitis, borreliosis, laminitis.

Again, by improving the intestinal flora with EM, correct breakdown of there food is achieved, thus the horse will produce less attractive aromas to the gnats; and also, by spraying the horse with EM regularly, this will help to keep the gnats away too.

Horses Behaviour and Condition - With the addition of EM to their diet and their environment in general, horse owners often report that their horses behaviour has improved. They become much quiter, show great motivation, startle less easily, are more alert, have greater stamina and recover from injury much quicker; also, as a result of better digestion, the shine of their horses coat has improved considerably.

Treating Leather Gear and Other Gear With EM

Much of the equipment used for horses is made from leather and this soaks up any sweat that a horse produces, and as this dries it becomes hard and stiff. By soaking the ropes, halter and saddle girth, etc in a solution of Activated EM (Actiferm) 500ml:10L Water overnight, rinsed off with clean water and allowed to dry, this prevents them becoming stiff and smelly. Also, to help prevent fungal attacked of the leather, mix a good dubbin with EM ceramic powder and rub into the leather.

Spray the underside of saddlecloths with Activated EM 1:10 dilution to keep them smelling fresh or add the EMa to the washing powder or liquid if you wash them; EM will reduce washing powder/liquid by 50-70%.

Horse care and Effective Micro-organisms - Improving Fodder

Poor fodder will contain undesirable microbes which will cause digestive problems, but with the addition of EM to their diet and their environment, all digestive and health issues are improved.

Adding a product called EM-Silage to the fodder during bailing will improve its quality and prevent it deteriorating whilst bailed. Alternatively, adding Syn-Vital (a type of fermented bokashi bran) to their feed stuff will improve their digestion.

by Alistair Olver

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