Pasture Perfect

Pass these tips along to your hoof-care clients for maintaining healthy and productive pastures

When horses were rotated between six pasture sections, researchers found the length of time before overgrazing took place was extended by 33% compared to continuous grazing in only one field.

Pass these tips along to your hoof-care clients for maintaining healthy and productive pastures

Horsemen, veterinarians and farriers alike have always been aware of the value of “Dr. Green.”

Adaptable creatures they may be, but horses weren’t designed to spend most of their time in box stalls. The most natural way for them to live is on pasture — roaming and foraging with other horses.

Maintaining horses on pasture has several advantages. Not only does it cut down on barn chores and the amount of costly bedding, but it also provides horses with a chance to exercise at will. This helps build strong bones and muscles, while relieving stress through running and playing. Grazing also cuts down on feed costs and may reduce the risk of digestive upset by more closely matching their natural feeding patterns. Horses that are allowed to graze and socialize are generally happier and more pleasant to deal with. The result is a win-win situation for everyone.

Grazing Behavior

In an area with rich soil and a welcoming climate, 1 acre per horse is usually enough land to provide good, steady grazing throughout the year. But with poor soil conditions, such as in the Rockies, a great deal more land (perhaps up to 30 acres per horse) may be needed to supply adequate forage. But even…

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Karen Briggs

As an equine nutritionist, Karen Briggs researched, designed and marketed a line of premium quality feeds for performance, pleasure and breeding horses. She’s also offered nutritional and ration balancing information to horse owners throughout Ontario. Located in Puslinch, Ontario, the award-winning equine writer is also a Canadian Equestrian Federal certified-riding instructor and has managed several Canadian farms and riding schools.

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