Monday, November 25, 2013

Essential Paddock Maintenance For A Happy and Healthy Horse


{I am pleased to bring you another guest post to help us get through this winter and prepare us for spring in the best way possible. Our guest Emma shares her knowledge on paddock maintenance on behalf of Broadwood International. }
We all have an image in our heads when we think of our dream horse paddock. The dream is picturesque; we think about rolling green fields bordered by lush hedgerows where our horses can frolic freely and graze as they please. We all want the perfect paddock but, like anything worth having, it takes time and effort. If you want to keep your paddock beautiful and your horse happy and healthy throughout the year then it’s essential to have a care plan in place so it stays under control.  
Boundaries
The right boundaries are essential for ensuring your horse is safe within your property. The right boundary is dependent on a number of factors, you have to consider the resources that are available to you, the size of your field, your budget and, of course, personal preference. Popular choices include:
  • Wooden Fencing
  • Stone Walls
  • Hedges
  • Plastic Fencing
Each choice comes with its own unique advantages; the choice between them often comes down to budget and taste.  Whatever style of boundary you choose for your paddock it is important to make sure that it is an adequate height; it is recommended that boundary height is a minimum of 1.08m-1.38m tall (1.25m-2m for stallions) in order to prevent your horse from escaping.

Seeding
Seeding or reseeding your paddock requires a specific mixture of seeds in order for your horse to maintain proper nutrition. Poor seed mixes can be too rich for the horse and cause it to become unwell, so it is important to consult with a horse nutritionist or equestrian specialist to make sure you’re buying a healthy choice.
After planting, make sure to wait until the grass is at least 5-6 inches long before you allow the horse to graze. If the grass is too young the root system will be poorly established, increasing the likelihood that it won’t grow back.
Using bale feeders can ease the strain on the grass from grazing by providing your horse with another nutritious means of food. They can be attached to the back of tractors so you can drive through the paddock and dispense hay evenly, and your horse can graze without too much damage being inflicted onto the ground.

Grass Maintenance
Your horse paddock serves a multitude of functions. As well as being the area where your horse will play and exercise it is also acts as food and a place for your horse relieve itself, so grass management is of paramount importance for your horses overall health. Investing in paddock cleaners to remove waste from the ground can prevent the spread of parasites and disease and help keep your paddock in pristine condition, with minimal effort from you.
If your soil is low in nutrients it is important to utilise fertilizers which contain nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium which are beneficial for leaf growth, root growth and overall quality. When you add fertilizer to your soil, give it a period of around 3 weeks to work its way into the grass before your horse starts grazing so they are receiving optimum nutrition.

After Winter Care
Grazing during the winter can cause unique damage to your paddock and cause it to suffer from excessive poaching. The only certain way to avoid poaching is to not turn your horse out onto the paddock during the cold, wet weather, but this involves having to make other arrangements for your horse which may not be feasible. Horses can become injured in muggy, poached ground so it is important to ensure it is levelled and the grass seeds are replenished as soon as possible.  
With routine maintenance, a keen eye, and the right equipment your paddock can keep your horse happy and healthy throughout the year.

Horse owner Emma Smith recommends Broadwood International for agricultural machinery to help you maintain the quality of your paddock. They are an exceptional, leading UK supplier of premium quality farming, feeding nd maintenance equipment that can help you to keep your horse happy.

{Nothing makes this farm girl happier than nice pastures, and big, fun, farm equipment.  If you like to take top notch care of your farm, take a look at what they offer.  Thanks Emma and thank you Broadwood International for sharing your knowledge on pasture maintenance!}  
heaven

3 comments:

  1. I do like how informative these farm posts are even if I don't actually have to deal with the same stuff lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gives you an appreciation for what the barn owners deal with!

      Delete
  2. One day I will have property and put all this to good use!!!

    ReplyDelete

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