Pasture management for horses is much more than simply ensuring that the grass is regularly mowed, it is a key component in the health of your horse.
Having an easy to follow plan which everyone who is involved with the maintenance of the land understands is vital.
In order to keep your pastures healthy and thriving, there’s a few crucial steps that should be taken.
We’ve put together some information and pasture management tips; continue reading to learn more.
Pasture Rotation (Rotational Grazing)
By using rotational grazing and dividing up your pasture area into sections that you can easily rotate is often the best way to ensure that your horses aren’t given the chance to overgraze the grass and leave your pastures ridden with bare patches.
Rotational grazing usually works best using the following system:
- Grazing paddocks (at least 3 or 4): Used for the grazing rotation system.
- 1 “sacrifice” lot (usually a dry lot): If possible, it’s best for the sacrifice lot to be easily and directly accessible by all grazing paddocks. Try and keep your water troughs, hay feeders, and covered shelters inside your sacrifice lot if possible.
It’s usually best to allow the pasture to be used for up to 7 days before rotating the horses out to another paddock. The paddock should then be given two to three weeks of rest before it’s used again; this allows the forage to regrow without being hindered by horses moving about or grazing in the space.
Of course, your rotational grazing schedule will depend upon the number of horses you have in your rotation, the number of paddocks that you have available for use, and how fast your horses typically tend to graze the forage down.
It’s a good idea to ensure that you are harrowing your pastures or paddocks regularly, or at the very least, in the springtime.
There are many different types of harrowing tools, but the basic idea is to move throughout the paddock and break up the soil in order to stimulate growth.
Harrowing your paddocks has many benefits, including:
- Breaking up and aerating heavy, dense soil
- Weed removal
- Fertilizer spreading
- Surface levelling
- Preparing the soil for seeds
Paddock Manure Management
There are multiple benefits to ensuring that you are properly managing the manure in your paddocks, including:
- Parasite and fly control
- Preserving air quality
- Protecting ground and drinking water
- Preserving and improving soil quality
- Low fertilizer costs
Manure management should be part of your daily routine; picking the paddocks daily is a great way to keep the area clean, and makes the job much easier.
But the hard truth is, walking through the paddock and picking it out by hand can be extremely time consuming.
As equestrians, there never seems to be enough time in the day. Fortunately we have the answer to your paddock poo picking nightmares!
Paddock Blade is proud to offer an incredible line of paddock cleaners that make daily horse manure management a quick and easy task.
Simply hook the Paddock Blade up to your mower, ATV, UTE, car, or truck and tow it behind you throughout the paddock.
It will quickly and easily collect the manure as you drive, cutting down your work time to just a fraction of what it would normally take. When you’ve finished, you can simply and easily empty the manure.
With the information you’ve learned here, you’ll be able to move forward with a comprehensive pasture management plan.
For more information about Paddock Blade, read more informative blogs, or browse our inventory, check out our site.