Pas­ture man­age­ment

Your Horse (UK) - - Your Horse's Care -

Plan ahead to give your pad­docks the best chance of sur­viv­ing the win­ter with as lit­tle dam­age as pos­si­ble — al­though, of course, this de­pends on their soil type. While the weather is still mild, re­move weeds be­fore they seed, check drains and ditches are clear of de­bris and carry out any nec­es­sary fenc­ing or wa­ter sup­ply main­te­nance. Also check ev­ery day for signs of sy­camore seeds or acorns — they are poi­sonous to horses and abun­dant at this time of year. As the winds blow, they can eas­ily drop onto the graz­ing, so fence them off if you can (read about atyp­i­cal myopathy on p70). Also con­sider: Rest­ing an area of pas­ture to save it for spring. Putting drainage in the most-used ar­eas of the field. Us­ing a thick layer of straw to pro­vide a dry area for eat­ing hay, ly­ing down and so on. Cre­at­ing an all-weather turnout area us­ing wood­chip or shred­ded rub­ber. This is par­tic­u­larly use­ful for horses who have arthri­tis or are prone to mud fever.

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