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Grazing and Pasture

Managing Pastures for Soil Health: Part 2

December 2017

As horse owners, we care for large herbivores and, in order to support them with the food they are designed to eat, we must take care of our land.  Making the right land management decisions - ones that will create healthy pastures, and adequate food resources for our horses and for ourselves - is often easier said than done and certainly not something you can buy off the shelf.  By understanding the ecosystem as a whole and its natural functions, you will be able to make management decisions that support the natural patterns. 

Managing Pastures for Soil Health - Part 1

November 2017

As horse owners, we care for large herbivors and, in order to support them with the food they are designed to eat, we must take care of our land.  Making the right land management decisions - ones that will create healthy pastures, and adequate food resources for our horses and for ourselves - is often easier said than done and certainly not something you can buy off the shelf.  By understanding the ecosystem as a whole and its natural functions, you will be able to make management decisions that support the natural patterns. 

The Pasture Pharmacy - Part 5 - Biodiversity

October 2017

In this exclusive series, Dr Mariette van den Berg has been uncovering the grazing life of horses - exploring the ways in which herbivores and the plants they eat have adapted to not just co-exist, but benefit each other and thrive.  Most articles on pasture and grazing management tend to focus on the horse’s nutritional and behavioural needs. This series of articles looks closer at the complex interaction between horses and plants - how each responds when faced with the challenges of an ever changing landscape. 

Can We Lower NSC in Pastures by Mowing Regularly?

September 2017

With Spring upon us, many horse owners caring for sugar-sensitive horses will be frantically trying to adopt different management strategies to reduce the intake of sugary pastures to avoid weight gain and laminitis. 

Can regular mowing protect from laminitis?

September 2017

With Spring upon us in the Southern Hemisphere, many horse owners caring for sugar-sensitive horses will be frantically trying to adopt different management strategies to reduce the intake of sugary pastures to avoid weight gain and/or laminitis. The approaches used probably involve restricting and/or managing their horses’ access to grazing either strip grazing, fitting grazing muzzles and often, by locking horses out of pasture completely or during parts of the day.

Pasture Bites: June 2017

July 2017

Worm management is an important aspect of rotational grazing and cross grazing pastures. There will almost always be some worms in the pasture and in the horses; the management aim is to minimise loads and prevent adverse effects on the horses from worms.  Removing horse poo from paddocks and composting it is an effective means of controlling worms in the pasture. Active dung beetles will also control worm loads, because worm eggs do not survive the passage through the dung beetles’ digestive tract.

New Forage Feeding Recommendations: Part 3, Amount and Texture

July 2017

While many horse owners are quite aware of the importance of providing roughage to our horses - either from pasture and/or conserved forages - there are different aspects to consider when deciding on what conserved forage you should feed to your horses and how much you should provide (e.g. quality versus quantity).

Pasture Bites: May 2017

May 2017

How many horses can you keep on the land you have? The short answer is it depends on many factors - most importantly the land’s carrying capacity and how you manage it.  The land’s carrying capacity will depend on factors, such as climate, soil type, soil condition and fertility, slope (aspect), water and pasture base. If you want to obtain all your horses’ forage requirements from your land, you will require much more land than you will if you are buying in feed. 

New Forage Feeding Recommendations - Part 2 - Quality

May 2017

While many horse owners are quite aware of the importance of providing roughage to our horses - either from pasture and/or conserved forages - there are different aspects to consider when deciding on what conserved forage you should feed to your horses and how much you should provide (e.g. quality versus quantity). This series explains the latest advances and recommendations for feeding conserved forage presented in a recent review paper (Harris et al. 20161), which was initiated by the European Workshop for Equine Nutrition (EWEN) meeting held in Portugal in 2012.

Pasture Bites: April 2017

April 2017

This is the time when Winter annual plants germinate. Germination occurs due to a complex interaction between moisture, temperature and day length.  In Summer rainfall areas, the newly emergent plants will appear among the remnants of the Summer-growing pastures. While, in Winter rainfall areas, they give a green flush to previously dry, brown paddocks.  This newly emerging green is your horses’ Winter grazing, so nurture it.

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