At La Corona Horse Residence we want to offer our support in some of the more vulnerable areas related to our business activity: equestrianism, the agricultural environment and the natural world. Our commitment to Corporate Social/Animal/Environmental Responsibility is an integral part of our business, and one could not exist without the other.
Support for equestrian aid associations
At La Corona Horse Residence we offer financial, logistical and publicity support to associations that work to defend, rescue and care for horses in vulnerable situations. We are partners or sponsors of the following organisations:
Adopting horses and ponies in vulnerable situations
We have completed a number of adoptions for equines in at-risk situations, equines whose future was either uncertain or would mean being put down, abandoned horses, and horses that were not suitable for equestrian disciplines, either due to their age, irreversible injuries or for having suffered physical or mental abuse.
We have started a study on the behaviour of domestic horses living in semi-freedom and as part of a herd, simulating their ancestral lifestyle.
We aim to gather information about the origins and experiences of each horse before their arrival at La Corona Horse Residence, and then document how they adapt to living in freedom.
We have verified that factors such as the horse's riding discipline, the intensity of its sporting activity, the time spent with its biological mother, the number of owners it has had, the affection it has received, its experiences with good treatment or abuse, and the type of accommodation the horse is used to, have an impact, to some extent, on the horse's self-esteem, its ability to integrate into a herd, its position in the herd hierarchy, and even the state of the animal's health.
There is extensive literature on the behaviour of wild horses in herds, but scarce studies on the behaviour of the domestic horse once returned to its original lifestyle in a herd, free, and in a totally natural environment.
Insecticide effects of insectivorous birds
In collaboration with the Catalan Institute of Ornithology (CIO), we are carrying out actions to increase the populations of insectivorous birds in the La Corona grounds. Numbers have drastically reduced due to the agricultural practices that used to be carried out on the fields at La Corona Horse Residence, which used powerful pesticide products.
At present, all the agricultural activities carried out on La Corona premises use integrated ecological farming methods. The CIO ornithologists, within the framework of their collaboration agreement with La Corona Horse Residence, are carrying out a study on the insectivorous bird population, in order to increase their number. They placed dozens of nest boxes throughout the farm to encourage reproduction and increase the number of birds of the chosen species (the hoopoe - Upupaepops, the white wagtail - Motacilla alba, the common house martin - Delichonurbicum and the barn swallow - Hirundorustica).
Likewise, CIO ornithologists have already written follow-up reports, which show the use of several nest boxes, both for four of the indicated species and for others, as well as the quantitative and qualitative growth of the populations of these bird species. In other words, bird populations are growing both in terms of number of individuals and diversity of species. An important fact: when samples are made outside the border of the La Corona grounds, both the number of birds and the diversity of species found plummets. We can therefore state that organic and integrated agricultural management practices, as well as the same approach to sustainable forestry and livestock management, have a clear positive influence on bird life, which is reaching high numbers and levels of diversity on La Corona grounds. We can also say that we are very satisfied with the results, and feel we are helping nature and every part of the ecosystem.
La Corona Horse Residence is now a biological platform of the SOCC, the Catalan Common Bird Survey (Seguiment d’Ocells Comuns a Catalunya) and the nests have been georeferenced and are closely monitored and studied.
The synergy of this work with the horses is none other than to reduce the common fly and horsefly populations. The purpose of the study is to assess the role of birds as an insecticide, instead of using chemical products that are not suitable for integrated ecological farming. We have currently managed to increase bird populations both in terms of the number of individuals and the diversity of species. The impact of these birds on common fly and horsefly populations still has to be measured. The CIO is continuing its study at La Corona Horse Residence.
Recovery and enhancement of Mediterranean ecosystems
We have reviewed the Forest Management Tool for La Corona premises, prioritising the ability for herds of horses to live side by side, as well as the main objectives, over the production-focused objectives that previously appeared in our Technical Forest Management and Enhancement Plan.
Using this new forest management tool, we have planned the forest improvement actions we will carry out over the next 20 years. Horses play a leading role in these actions, because the management of the forests on La Corona premises has adapted to them. We have created a magnificent natural wooded pasture for them, to offer them a variety of ecosystems and environments and to provide them with open spaces and forests that offer them shelter when they need it.
Sustainable Forest Management
La Corona grounds have been awarded the internationally-recognised Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). This means that the planned extraction of wood and firewood, in order to achieve the objectives set out in the new forest management tool for La Corona estate, is now certified for sustainable forest management.