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Increase Grazing Through Pasture Management

Did you know that you can double the mount of grazing your horse will enjoy in your pasture with little expense? If you are well versed with the way horses graze, you can make the process work for you.
Generally speaking, horses will first look for the best plants and eat them from the top down. As they do so, they can graze down pretty close to the ground, which is not good for your pasture. Also, their unwillingness to eat undesirable weeds and unhealthy plants will lead to these plants having an opportunity to go to seed and propagate, while the healthy plants are not given this opportunity. Ironically, your fertilizing the ground frequently will help the weeds and unhealthy plants to establish themselves while choking out the more desirable plants.
Rotational grazing is therefore a clearly indicated method of pasture management. Keeping in mind that for every 1,100 pounds of mature horseflesh you will need to have two acres of pasture, you can do he math and subdivide your pasture with fencing and rotate the animals ever two to three weeks to permit the healthy and desirable plants to re-grow while permitting you the opportunity to do some weed management. Yet lately experts have found a way to reduce the area required by one acre, if you aggressively manage your pasture. This means that you allow your horse to intensively graze and area, then lime it and also fertilize it you will be able to shave off the spatial requirements. Other tests have shown that by following this rotational regimen you will be able to add about two or three weeks of grazing time for your animals!

As you may know, rotational grazing as opposed to continuous grazing is a proven tool in cattle farming, and farmers have reported that they are reaping financial benefits from implementing this procedure on their acreages. Granted, for the horse owner this means spending a bit more time on the pasture to monitor the overall health of their acres, but the results show that this is an endeavor that is well worth the time. While it is true that those with an overflowing personal schedule might be hesitant to sign on to this idea, consider that intensive grazing does not have to be complicated.

At the onset you need to become familiar with the types of grasses planted in your pasture. As you limit the grazing area and get ready to change it, mow it down to permit for a uniform re-growth of healthy plants. Only graze one paddock for about one to three days and then move your animals. To create paddocks, you can simply use the temporarily electric fending that is readily available at hardware stores. Farm stores carry the fancier brands, and while the price tags may be a bit higher the ease of handling is also greatly increased. During the summer you can remove the paddocks. Be sure to drag the pasture to get rid of clumped manure which harbors parasites. For those who own both cattle and horses, you will need to ensure that your cattle graze after the horses because in general cattle will eat the plants that horses will not enjoy.



Read the next horse pasture article on Grazing Grasses Good for Your Horse.
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