The recent weather has finally brought us beautiful sunshine and scorching temperatures promoting plenty of smiles and quantities of vitamin D within both our and our equine's bodies. However it is important to bear in mind that the summer climate can often lead to a reduced quality and quantity of grazing, resulting in poor pasture for our horses and ponies. This is because the powerful sun can bleach, weaken and dry the grass. Many a field is over-grazed with hoards of equine owners making the most of the sunshine and turning their horses out 24/7 to enjoy their grassland during summer time, so grass can sometimes become rather sparse. Thus a responsible equine owner should remember that their horse’s pasture requires care and attention; so whether your equine lives out or simply enjoys his paddock during the day, good field management and maintenance is essential during the warmer months. Every equine owner should be familiar with the main issues relating to healthy pasture. These include;
- What soil type you have at your yard and the pH and nutrient status of the soil.
- The types of grass growing and weeds present in your equine's pasture.
- The levels of of lime, phosphate, potash (water soluble potassium) and nitrogen in the soil. Remember soil and grass analysis can be helpful in assessing these factors, or a handy farmer may help you out with some advice!
- Regularly picking up droppings; crucial for worm control and stopping pasture from become sour
- Reseeding grass and removing any poisonous plants
- Regular harrowing of the land
- Remember if your pasture becomes very dilapidated it may be wise to move your equine to a different field or paddock in order to ensure they are receiving the nutrients, and vitamins and minerals they require from the grass.