We are currently in the town of Itu, Brazil experiencing the wonderful things that they have been doing with different horse breeds, one of them being the quarter horse. To get this experience we went and stopped at the Haras Raphaela ranch to talk to them about the things that work for them regarding the care and breeding of these horses as well as the barrel racing aspect in which their horses compete in. The ranch is about 160 acres and only about 100 of that is used for horse needs. The manager of the barn informed us that they use a large quantity of mares in the embryo transfer side of things, because by using another horse to raise the young it leaves the top level competitors for barrel racing to continue doing just that. He went on to speak to us about the different things they do for the horses like having an acupuncturist to come around once a month to see if any of the horses need it, as well as at least 3 vets coming and going constantly, with even an agronomist coming once a month to ensure that the quality of pasture stays at its peak condition. After having toured the grounds and seeing the spectacular facilities we even got the opportunity to watch trainers from different areas around Brazil work horses on barrels and see the technique and thought they put into their training. Overall we had the time of our lives and can't wait to see what is next in store!
Dr. Gobaso showed us the school yard and teaching facilities after our morning breakfast. When comparing the buildings to our own, there are several pros and cons to each to take into account. What I believe to be essentially important to their school system is the rustic architectural structure of the buildings, and the food at their cafetaria that is grown right there on the farms. What I like about our classes over theirs is how clean and organized our buildings are because it appears that our educational system is more structured, even with its flaws. On a side note, we all had a great laugh feeding the carp in the pond in front of the school. Afterwards, we took a bus ride to the research barns where we had the privilege of witnessing banana fields, nelore cross cattle, etc. It was great to see that many Brazilian farmers also favor using Alis and Massey tractors to my ammusement. The Brazilian students gave us a quick guided tour of the facilities after we got off the bus, and presented their research findings. It was quite difficult trying to get over the language barrier when asking them questions over their findings, but the overall experience proved to be beneficial in learning their interests. We than rode the bus to a river full of restaurants where we had a fish buffet. The scenery was something I could get use to as the shops and riverbed looked like a scene from the movies. The food was very much like an American buffet, in the sense that there was a couple great dishes with the rest being filler or questionable at best. Following the buffet we said our good byes and took an airplane ride to Gioania. The bus ride to the resort from the airport was long with one sketchy stop along the way, but it was well worth the wait. The resort had many amenities such as two meals a day, swim up bars, and zip lining. Pictures and words alone are not enough to describe the enormity and excitement of this place. The resort was in a gated community of sorts and gave a sense of safety, until you walked in town a couple blocks. Personally, I liked this about the resort because you could escape during the night life to witness tents of the food vendors. Lastly, the waterpark that was included was overall impressive, but it was not as good as the Wisconsin Dells. The water park here had several slides, but it felt like it was going for more of a relax on the beach feel. What shined the most was the hot springs at night with rocks beneth our feet. We all spent most of the night here, and will likely do so tomorrow.
The horse industry in Iowa is growing faster than ever before. From activities surrounding horse breeding, showing, racing, housing, training, riding and care, it employs more than 2,100 people and accounts for millions in revenue each year. The economic impact from horse breeding and owning is doing much to support our state’s ag-centric economy, and we need you to play an important part in making this message heard.
Cold temperatures combined with wet, snowy and windy conditions increase the feed requirements necessary to maintain the body condition in horses. Extra calories are necessary to meet the energy requirements necessary for keeping warm. The best way to meet the increased energy requirements if feeding more good quality hay