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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.
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…