Preparing the Horse Paddocks for Spring

Harrowing, seeding and fertiliser.

The wet winter months we have recently had, leave us with a fresh challenge.  To prepare the horse paddocks for turnout in the spring.  As always, the grazing paddocks need careful attention to get them back to a suitable condition for the animals to benefit from eating grass.

Harrow The Horse Paddocks:

The preferred method to prepare the paddock for the rest of the year is harrowing, which removes dead vegetation and aerates the soil.  Also, this helps to spread the remains of horse droppings which act as a natural fertiliser.

Be Aware:
Harrowing will churn up the ground if it is too wet.  Likewise harrowing will not aerate the soil if the ground is too dry.  If you can balance these 2 variables, harrowing your paddocks can be very beneficial.

The BHS recommends horse paddocks are left for about 6 weeks after being harrowed as the grass will be unpalatable.

Ask for advice:

We recommend you speak to other horse owners in your local area because ground and soil conditions can vary and the results of harrowing can be different from location to location.  Alternatively, a local farmer may have great local knowledge and be willing to share knowledge with you.

Rolling Horse Paddocks:

If the paddock has been churned up by horses hooves, it is sometimes a good idea to roll the ground to flatten any uneven spots.

Reseeding Horse Paddocks:

The winter period sometimes leaves the horse paddock looking a little bare and you may want to consider reseeding.  Obviously, this takes some planning because horses should not graze on new grass until it is well established.

Therefore, extra space is necessary for grazing horses while the new grass is growing.  Furthermore, you should also plan time for horses to gradually graze on new grass for their digestive systems to adjust to it.

Another important thing to consider is to get the right mix of grass seed.  An equine nutritionist would be able to advise you on that.

Watch out for plants poisonous to horses:

Watching out for plants that are a danger to horses health is important and is not seasonal but a job all year-round.  Ragwort, sycamore, bracken, yew, acorns and deadly nightshade are a few that can cause serious health problems and potential death for your horse.  Any dangerous plant matter that appears should be removed as quickly as possible to prevent this.  Click here to read about poisonous plants…

Jelka can help:  Paddock maintenance equipment


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