Steel is an underutilised and overlooked design material, particularly when it comes to building homes. It’s humble, it’s simple but it’s also strong and attractive.
The Underrated Material
One of the most compelling reasons to work with steel when designing a house is its physical properties. It’s resistant to termites, can’t be water damaged and doesn’t become misshapen with heat. We also galvanise our steel, which means it’s completely resistant to rust.
Steel is also stronger than wood, completely recyclable and it’s resistant to fires. Steel framed homes make sense.
Steel is traditionally used for strong, simple structures that last a long time and do their job well. But it can also be used for complex buildings, which has pushed the form to new heights. It revolutionised architecture when it enables the building of high-rises, but it also has a place for smaller homes.
The building above is a bed and breakfast in Mt Buffalo. The simplicity and humility of the building suits the environment perfectly.
Steel can be combined with other materials, as seen in this home with wooden cladding.
It can also be pared-back to a low-insulation building to encourage a greenhouse warmth that allows plants and vegetables to flourish inside.
If you’re looking to create a unique home, with a memorable but humble personality, a habitable steel frame is the right decision for you.
How To Calm A Skittish Horse
Easy-to-frighten horses are skittish and can be difficult to work with. But if something in the environment is scaring your horse, there are ways to help your horse be more calm.
Researchers tested three different methods to find out which was the most effective.
The Fear Stimulus: A white nylon bag.
This research used a white nylon bag that was able to be moved along a line. This was found to be universally uncomfortable for horses, and provided a good test stimulus.
The Habituation Method
Horses were exposed to the nylon bag repeatedly until they had become more calm.
The Desensitization Method
Horses were gradually exposed to the nylon bag. The first stage was much less intense than later stages and horses only moved onto the next stage when they were totally comfortable with the current stage.
The Counter-Conditioning Method
Horses were given food rewards every time the nylon bag appeared. This intends to build up a positive association that overcomes the negative association of the fear response.
Most effective method: Desensitization
The desensitisation method was the only method that worked for all participating horses. It was the most effective, longest-lasting and fastest process.
To see some of our horse arena photos, download an EquinaBuild brochure here.
Horses Learn Best From Other Horses They Admire
One of the incredible things about horses is their ability to learn. Dressage is, of course, a great testament to a horse’s ability to understand, remember and perform with a trainer.
But what most people (especially non-horse people) often don’t realise is just how intelligent horses are. Not only can they learn by interacting with a trainer, but they can also learn by watching another horse interact with a trainer.
That means that horses can teach themselves how to do something just by watching another horse do it. Pretty incredible, right?
A lot of you reading this might already know about this, and it’s certainly common knowledge amongst some horse people that allowing a horse to observe training is a great way of easing them into the arena themselves.
But here is where it gets more interesting:
A horse will only learn through observation if they are observing a horse that they respect. If the horse that is in the arena (the demonstrator) is of a higher social status than the horse that is watching (the observer), then the behaviour will be learnt. But if the demonstrator is of lower social status, or it is from a different social group, the observer will not learn the behaviour it watches.
The social lives and minds of horses are much more complex than people often give them credit for.
- Horses can learn from watching other horses, but only under some situations.
WILL LEARN: The horse they are watching has a high social status than them.
WON’T LEARN: The horse they are watching has a lower social status.
The horse they are watching is from a different social group.
To see out horse arenas, download our brochure.