Horse Pasture Protection

Horse pasture maintenance is more than weeding a garden. It requires diligence and hard work. Generally, it is a good idea to try improvement measures as opposed to digging it up and re-seed. If re-seeding is necessary this can be done with the harrowing. It is vital to have the correct mixture of grass seed. Roughage that your horse acquires from pasture feeding is an important component of a healthy diet.

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If you have your horses grazing on the entire pasture, you will soon find that parts of it will be dead or have bald patches, as there is no time for the ground to recover. It is best, if possible, to divide the pasture into sections. This will give the land a recovery period and ensure that your horses will have enough area to graze.

You should allow the grasses to grow from four to six inches before allowing the horses to graze again. This will help to diminish the problem of under-grazing. Under grazing occurs because the horses tend to eat the shorter grass and, if the grass does not get a chance to grow, you will develop bare patches in your land and that will give way to weeds. On the other hand, it is important to not allow over-grazing, which is where the horses eat the grass too low and again allows for the development of weeds in the pasture.

Do you have enough pasture for the number of horses you own? A standard would be two acres for the first horse and an acre for every horse you have after that. You should remove the horse droppings daily and check that the fences are secure. The potential for the ground to become soured or worm infested is likely if the horse droppings are not dealt with. The daily water supply should be monitored as well.

Cultivate the land during the summer when the conditions are dry and hot. When you harrow the land during this time it removes the dead grass and disperses the old dung heaps which gives the fertilizer access to the roots. After you have completed the spread of fertilizer, rolling the ground is the next step to ensuring that the poached areas of the land are seeded. Using a weed killer during this time is not a bad idea if they pose a problem.

If you pasture is poached, this can be a hazard to your horses as their shoes can be pulled off. In addition, keeping your pasture up is important because instead of viewing beautiful grass, you will soon be looking at weeds. To change this from ugly, to a pasture that you will be proud of and your horses will thank you, the items you need consist of a rake, grass seed (appropriate for your land type), and a digging machine.

Once you have the supplies, you are ready to begin digging up the poached areas. You want them in small pieces and you want to remove any rocks as you make the ground level. If you bought fertilizer this is the time to add it then compact the area gently and rake the land again and make sure you are getting the soil into a fine texture. Compact one more time and now evenly scatter the grass seed over the entire area and rake. It is best to keep the horses from going onto the area for a couple of months to give the grass a chance to flourish. If this is not practical consider doing your pasture in sections.

You may be interested in knowing the type of soil you have. You can take a sample of your soil. It should be about one pound and can be placed in a jam jar or other similar container. It is important to take samples from different parts of your pasture and try not to include grass or the roots from the grass. Label your container for the purpose of your pasture, for example; horse pasture. If you do not know where to send the sample your local feed store or agricultural department will have the location for you. Caring properly for your horse pasture will give both you and your animal a lot of benefits.


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