Horse update: January 2011

  • Posted on: 17 January 2011
  • By: Michael Brydon

I received the following update from RDOS staff on January 5th regarding the horse feeding stations.

To date [the hay provider] has delivered 4 bales.  He noted approximately 25 horses on site after the first visit.  His counts indicate approximately 40 horses in the area.  His last delivery was two bales.  One was eaten down in a couple of days, the other is about half consumed. The exposed grass in the area will slow feeding on the hay.  Once we have more snow cover, the hay will go more quickly.

My unscientific conclusion based on my own observation at this point is that the feeding stations are working but not as well as in 2009-10.  I see more horses roaming on the West Bench and there is certainly evidence of their presence along West Bench roads.  Perhaps there are more horses this winter.

I am interested in hearing whether you think the feeding stations are working.



End of season update: After a slow start, the feeding stations seemed to work quite well again.  Although there were definitely more horses on the native strip just above the West Bench this year, the problem was much less severe than in past years.  Again, the horses do seem to be visiting the Penticton River Channel to get water (unlike horses grazing on natural, snow-covered grasses, hay-fed horses normally require water).  This migration along the roads to find water may be an unwanted byproduct of the feeding station approach.