How to Care for a Horse in a Pasture
Horse Pasture Management
Friday 11 December 2009
Keeping your horse in a pasture is the most natural way to keep a horse. Being aware of severe conditions in a pasture is an essential part of horse care. This article outlines the most important points on horse pasture management and horse care.
Horse Care – Things You Will Need:
• Worming medicine
• Fly mask with ear protectors
Horse Pasture Management – Horse Care
• Your horse should have plenty of water available at all times. Horses drink a lot of water; if your horse is healthy it should drink about 25 to 30 gallons of water per day.
• Remember that some horses won’t drink from ponds and streams or even drink dirty water so it is important to keep the water fresh.
• Check the food supply; this is commonly forgotten when a horse is in a pasture. Just because the horse is outside grazing doesn’t mean that there is sufficient food.
• You will probably have to supplement your horse’s diet particularly in the winter months with hay or concentrates.
• If your horse does heavy work or is old it will not be able to maintain its weight just by feeding on pasture grass.
• Make sure your horse has some form of shelter from wind, rain and cold. Bear in mind that if you have a foal or and old ill horse you will need to provide additional protection against the elements.
• Check the fencing for protruding planks and nails. Horses can find anything to hurt themselves on due to their inquisitive nature; so it is important that you do not leave open invitations.
• The fencing should be in good order, strong and high enough that the horse in the pasture will not be able to jump it.
• Have no barbed wire on any fences surrounding a horse. If you have some and cannot remove it immediately then put a small electric fence on the inside of it to stop the horse from hurting itself.
• Make sure there is some dry higher ground so when the weather is really wet the horse doesn’t have to stand in mud. A horse that stands in water and mud can damage its legs and hooves.
• Do not overstock your pasture. If you have too many horses in one pasture you will end up with bare patches which increase the risks of parasite infection.
• Horses are herd animals so you should give your horse some company; however it is important you do not pasture your horse with a more dominant animal as it could get hurt.
• Make sure you de-worm your horses regularly.
• Check the fences regularly to check if it has broken in places and horses could escape; this is a very important part of horse pasture management.
• Have an annual soil test, this will determine whether you should fertilise your land.
• Irrigate your pasture if you need to; this will keep your grass fresh and green for your horses.
• Another top tip is to keep your pasture mowed, horses do not eat long grass very often and by keeping it trimmed down you reduce the spreading of weeds.
Pasture Management Tips and Warnings
• If you have more than one horse in the pasture make sure the shelter is big enough for all of the horses to get in or under.
• Remember to supplement your horse’s diet with vitamins and minerals.
• Use a fly mask to prevent your horse from getting bothered by flies.
• Use a waterproof blanket for your horse in winter months.
• Bring any sick horses under cover and away from other horses do not leave them outside in the pasture.
• Do not forget about your horse; just because it is in a pasture does not mean that you can leave it to fend for itself. Horse care is very important so look after your horse’s health and wellbeing properly.
How to - Care 09.12.2009
How to Care for a Foal
How to - Care 10.10.2012
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