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Horse Pasture Maintenance and Equine Foraging Information
Creating proper forage for your horses is a bit more work than just fencing in a pasture. Pastures have to be kept free of toxic weeds and trees; they should be managed so that horses are off them in wet weather, and the ideal pasture system is one in which more than one area is fenced so that they can be rotated to provide the healthiest crop cover for the health of your horses.
Grazing comes naturally to equines, who have only started eating horse feed since domestication prevented them from traveling to southern pastures. The right grass or hay can provide a substantial part of equine nutritional requirements, and pasturing your horse on high-quality grass will reduce his need for grain feeds. Choosing hay is another part of the equation: low quality hay may provide less than 20% of the nutrition found in the best hay. When your horse grazes on a meal of fresh grass or high quality you’re your care is helping him stay healthy.
When you start your first pasture, you will be concerned with safety issues for your horse, fencing, forage, shelter and access to water and minerals. Start by removing any potential hazards such as foreign objects that may be stepped on or eaten, toxic plants or holes and ruts that may cause injury. Buy the best fencing you can afford and make sure to maintain it. Have the soil tested and adjust the Ph by way of annual liming. Finally, plant the finest forage you can find. Start with education and information: read the articles below to learn about the specifics of pasturing your horse.