Yearly Horse Grazing Pasture Care
Good field management throughout the year will help your fields to remain in good condition. Harrowing, fertilizing, re seeding, resting, rotation, rolling, the amount of horses in each field. fence care, field shelter care, gateways, water troughs and drainage are all elements of maintaining good healthy fields.
- Field Rotation
By having several fields at your disposal will allow you to be able 'rest' different fields to allow them to be treated and recover in plenty of time before horses are put back to grazing on them.
- Number Of Horses Per Acre
As a rough guide allow 2 acres for one horse and then an additional acre for any other horses that you wish to add. Obviously the more room they have the more food there is to potentially go around and the less stressful the field becomes.
- Drainage Ditches
Drainage ditches around the perimeter of your field will need to be cleared out in order for them to remain in good working order.
- Underground Drains
Adding underground drains to your fields will help to improve your fields drainage. The underground drains should lead to either ditches or a stream. If your drains lead to a stream then you must take care when you fertilize to ensure you do not pollute the stream with the contents.
The water trough will need to be checked on a daily basis to ensure that there is a constant supply of fresh water available at all times. If you are relying on a stream then you will still need to check that the horse can easily get access to it and that there is a plentiful supply available.
The water trough will need to be completely emptied and scrubbed clean twice a year so that the trough remains with a fresh supply of water.
- Field Resting
Allowing your fields time to recover is essential so that you can improve the quality of the grasses and conditions within the field. Resting the field will also allow you to make any alterations to the fences, drainage, shelters or water supply as well as assessing the soil acidity so that you know what fertilizer your fields will need to be treated with, if possible rest fields for a year to allow them to sufficiently recover.
- Soil pH Test
This can be assessed by taking a sample of soil and sending it to a lab for analysis. The laboratory will be able to inform you what your soil is deficient in and recommend a suitable fertilizer.
Once you know what your field may be deficient in then you can top it up with the correct type and amount of fertilizer. Fields for horses need the correct balance of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K).
A harrow is a piece of agricultural equipment that has many spikes on it, a harrow is dragged along the ground with the purpose being to to pull up any dead grasses and spread out any droppings that may have been left as well as to aerate and allow moisture into the ground.