Pasture has the potential to provide
1. The horses nutrition
2. A Safe exercise area
Potentials rarely achieved, often neglected

All information given here is believed to be correct but the author cannot be responsible for any consequences of it's use.

Pasture Management
for
Horses

by Denis Lindsell
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Grassland improvement



 


 

Grassland Improvement

There are five possible options open to you if your pasture needs improvement. The chosen option will depend the reasons for the improvement.

1. Rejuvenation

This can simply be improved management to the existing pasture as follows.

  1. Have a soil sample analysed and correct any pH (acidity) problem.
  2. Using information from the soil analysis consider your fertilising policy.
  3. Controlling weeds by physical or chemical methods.
  4. Controlling grazing by using a rotation of strip graziing methods.
  5. Harrowing to pull out dead grass, alow air into the soil and possibly to spread droppings.
  6. Rolling, to consolidate the soil, encourage tillering, and level rough areas.
  7. Consider collecting the droppings if this is not already being done, ideally twice a day.

2. Slot seeding

It is possible carry out a seeding operation without first killing of the existing turf as follows.

Carry out items a, b, c, and g above, plus -

  1. Use a slot seeder to place seed in the existing turf. The slot seeder is a seed drill designed especially for this purpose.

  2. Diagram showing Slot Seeding principle, placing seed and fertiliseer below existing turf
  3. Roll to press soil around the seed and conserve moisture.

This method may be particularly useful for introducing a new grass species, or clover into an existing pasture.


3. Minimal Cultivations and Partial Reseeding

An alternative method to carry out a seeding operation without first killing of the existing turf as follows.

Carry out items a, b, c, and g in item 1above, plus -

  1. Light cultivations to break up the surface of the soil.
  2. Seed broadcast or direct drilled (using a drill that can place the seed in the ground without the need for cultivations) at reduced rates.
  3. Further light cultivations to mix seed with soil.
  4. Roll to consolidate soil and conserve moisture.

4. Minimal Cultivations and Total Reseeding

Carry out items a and b in item 1 above, plus -

  1. Old sward destroyed chemically.
  2. Minimum or no cultivation.
  3. LI>Seed broadcast or direct drilled at full rate.
  4. Roll to consolidate soil and conserve moisture.

5. Ploughing and Reseeding

Carry out items a and b in item 1above, plus -

  1. Old sward may or may not be destroyed chemically.
  2. Ploughed.
  3. Various cultivations.
  4. Seed drilled or broadcast at full rate.
  5. Light cultivation to cover the seed.
  6. Roll to consolidate soil and conserve moisture.

Ploughing
Plough at work

Cambridge Roll
CAmbridge roll at work

Heavy Roll
Heavy roll at work

Drill
Drill at work