Horse Care and Natural Grazing

Often the most convenient routine for horse owners today, especially if they board their horses at a stable, is turning the horse out all day and bringing them into a stall at night. The horse can be turned out late or brought in early for riding sessions. It is also suitable if supplemental feedings are required as part of your horses care. This arrangement allows plenty of freedom for the horse. Horses need to spend some of their time out of their stalls so they may freely move and do some “self exercising”.

Horses are designed to spend the majority of their time grazing. To some degree a herd situation can be replicated if they are turned out together with other horses. Horses enjoy natural grazing. This should not be overlooked as we care for our horses.

When making the choice for the pasture for our horses grazing care should be given to the lay of the land. Ideally it will be flat but a slight slope will allow for better drainage. If a pasture is chosen that has a steep slope it will offer a more intense work out for your horse during the grazing time.

Ideally the grazing pasture will contain a properly designed field shelter even if your horses are stabled at night. But a good thick hedge can also take care of the horses shelter needs. This will offer the horses protection from unexpected storms or prevailing winds.

Land drains may be needed to take care of places that are wet areas in the horse pasture. If the soil is clay drainage will be even more important. Land drains are channels of gravel or pieces of pipe that are laid just under the surface. These drains will take up excess water until it can empty on its own.

A water trough should be placed where it is easily accessible for the horses. It must be kept clean and full with fresh water. It will also need to be kept free from ice in cold weather. As dry a place as possible should be selected to place the water trough to take care of the water needs for the horses. If the area around the trough is not dry it can be layered with bark chips or something else safe for horses to give them a dry place to stand as they drink.

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