Horse paddock maintenance is a key part of keeping your horses fit and healthy. Regular care ensures the pasture provides a dense and nutritious sward which in turn avoids having to excessively overseed and fertilise. It also helps keep weeds to a minimum and the soil free from parasites.
- Clear horse droppings on a daily basis.
- Always provide fresh water and shelter.
- Follow an annual maintenance plan by harrowing, over-seeding and using fertiliser when appropriate. This work is normally carried out in spring or autumn.
It may be necessary to improve the ground by flattening the area, or by aerating the soil to ensure the ground has adequate drainage.
Things to watch out for:
Overgrazing will lead to poaching and weed invasion. To achieve a mud free horse paddock, it may be useful to use a short term rotation, where horses are moved between 3-4 paddocks during the summer. If laminitis is an issue, strip grazing can be used by dividing paddocks into strips using suitable fencing, to limit intake of greedy horses and allow areas to rest.
Under-grazing results in the grass growing tall which becomes less attractive to graze. If this occurs, 'top' the paddock down to 4 inches or take a hay cut.
Invasive Weeds & Poisonous Plants
Annual over-seeding will prevent invasion of weeds and invasive grasses, helping to maintain the sward quality and reduce poaching. Keep an eye out for plants that are harmful or toxic to horses and remove regularly to prevent a build up in the area.
Choosing grass seed for your paddock
When overseeding and reseeding areas, choose paddock grass seed which is best suited to your needs in both quantity and quality, for example certain grass species are more suitable if a hay cut is required. Boston Seeds are always on hand to help if you have any questions about buying grass seed for paddocks, so don't hesitate to get in touch!