Jim & Christina Shapiro
130 Greenview Road
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Phone: (204) 255-4717
Fax: (204) 257-2081

Our Location
Riding Arena
The Chute
Quarantine Shelter
5500 sq ft shelter
Trainers / Coaches / Lessons
General Horse Information
General Care of Horses
Herd Concept
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First Aid Clinic for Horses
U-Pick Garden
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General Horse Information

Herd Concept

We try to keep the size of the herd between 15 - 20 horses. The herd is mixed but the horses must be compatible. Their ages can range from 3 - 25 years of age. We do not allow horseshoes or halters on the free ranging horses. We do not want horses injured by a horse with horseshoes kicking it. Similarly, we do not want halters snagged on a branch or grabbed by another horse. Aggressive horses will not be kept in the herd and the owners will be asked to take their horse to another facility.

Horses are creatures of wide-open spaces and feel most comfortable with plenty of room and daylight. We have 35 acres covering eight pastures within which the herd can selectively roam.

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When horses are concentrated in a barn, there is an accumulation of manure, urine, and moist bedding. Flies, pests, and odours (including ammonia) are present. Isolating horses in stalls prevents the protection from flies that comes when horses stand head to tail. The switching of one horse's tail chases away flies from another horse's head. Multiply that interaction in a herd and one has an effective fly and mosquito deterrent. Fly bonnets, fly masks, and fly sheets are not necessary. In addition, when these devices are used, they can be caught on obstacles the horse may encounter or grabbed by another horse causing injury.

The horse is a herd animal. It relies on the herd for protection. The horse is also a prey animal. It flees from potential threats. A horse's size is misleading. We associate large size with strength, fearlessness, and courage. Not so: the horse is quite dependent upon his/her social group and his/her 'flight' reaction to potential threats. The presence of other horses provides additional ears, eyes, and noses that can detect potential threats to the individual horse's well being. A horse left alone or isolated in a stall is a vulnerable horse in a world full of predators.

Living conditions and social relationships are extremely important for a horse. We employ a herd concept in caring for our horses. The whole herd stays together, providing the companionship and social interaction that horses have naturally. We keep the horses together all the time. There are no indoor stalls that serve no purpose other than isolating a horse and increasing its stress level. Damage to a horse from a barn fire is not a possibility because our horses are not confined to stalls inside a building.

Because we use a herd concept, we cannot provide special medications or treatments to individual horses requiring such treatment prior to coming to Poco-Razz Farm. Horses requiring such attention would be better off going to a different kind of facility. Horses already at Poco-Razz Farm who develop an illness can be treated in our hospital stalls or quarantine corrals.

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Photographs by:
Suzanne Turenne Photography & Design: sturenne@mts.net
Talbot Photography: bdtalbot@mts.net