Pasture Management for Better Forage

Implementing a system using sacrifice paddocks, rotational grazing and proper maintenance can improve pasture quality and provide more forage for horses.

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By: Joel Bagg |

Your pastures are a valuable resource that provide the grazing that is so important to horses’ physical and mental health. This Horse Sport article is a useful guide for horse owners which implements a system utilizing rotational grazing to allow forage plants time to rest and re-grow, proper maintenance such as mowing and harrowing, and ‘sacrifice’ paddocks when the weather is unsuitable, to improve the quality and extend the life of your pastures.

Other topics covered include spring turnout and the resulting damage to wet soil (and the colic and laminitis risk to horses); identifying the forage species in your fields; weed control and herbicides; soil testing, and renovation to rejuvenate or re-establish a poor pasture when all else has failed.

Effective pasture management requires considerable work and attention – but the ultimate economic reward for horse owners is reduced hay requirements and healthier equines.

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