We all put a lot of thought into what we feed our horses. Finding the perfect balance of energy giving feeds and healthy roughage could be considered a fine art! But how much attention do we put into the health of our paddocks, the staple food for our horses?
Paddock maintenance is an often overlooked necessity and it’s something you should be paying attention to all year round. Don’t just wait till you’ve got a field of sloppy mud to contend with! We are nearing the time where you can make the biggest change to your paddocks, so we’ve put together this guide to paddock maintenance to help you out:
Rolling and Harrowing
This is a springtime activity to level any churned up patches from the winter months and to aerate the grass to promote growth. You have to be careful that the ground is the perfect hardness to benefit from rolling. If it’s too soft the soil will be compacted, which is not good for grass growth and too hard and it won’t change at all. Harrowing aerates the soil and will provide the perfect conditions for grass growth, so it’s a great idea to do this before adding your fertiliser.
This is the best way to replace the nutrients in the grass lost by excessive grazing. Our organic based Pony Paddock Fertiliser with added calcified seaweed is completely safe for horses to graze immediately after application. It is easy to spread by machine or hand and can be used from spring onwards and throughout the growing season. A good time for the first application is during April.
This isn’t the easiest option if you haven’t got the extra space, but this is probably the most effective way of preventing the decline of your grass. If you can rotate the paddocks in use, this will give your grass chance to recover. August is a good time to rest a paddock to allow the grass to grow long in time for winter grazing.
Some areas of your field could benefit from reseeding where the grass has been worn down very low, for instance around water troughs and gateways.