Field Maintenance

Good field maintenance is essential when caring for your equine. There are a few things you can do yourself to manage your paddocks.

                        

 

  • Routinely check your fencing for damage and seek to get any broken fence repaired as soon as possible.

  • If your paddocks are close to a footpath then it is a good idea to check for any litter thrown into your paddock- bottles, crisp packets etc.

  • During the spring months start checking for ragwort rosettes and remove these immediately. Dispose of by burning.

  • Reseed any bare patches early on and section these areas off so your horse cannot disrupt the germination process. Ideally have your horse in a different paddock.

  • Rotate paddocks if possible, to give the ground/grass a chance to rest/replenish.

  • During the late summer months and autumn if you have oak trees near your fields then remove any dropped acorns. These, when eaten in large quantities, can lead to colic and poisoning.

 

 

                          



 

There are 3 types of mechanical maintenances that are good to invest in if possible. You may have the equipment to do this yourself, however, if you don’t then contacting a local farmer for assistance is a good way forward.

  • Topping- Topping increases new leaf growth and significantly decreases the chance for weeds to grow. Ideally topping should be done at least once a year in either the spring or summer. Horses must be kept in another paddock until the grass dries out or until it has been removed (some farmers have the equipment to remove the cut grass as they top the fields).
     

  • Harrowing- Harrowing removes lightly rooted leaves and dead grass from the base of fresh healthy grass. It can also be used to level out uneven ground.
     

  • Rolling- When the ground is dry it can benefit from rolling to even out uneven or rutted ground. Ideally you should never roll on wet ground as this can be detrimental for grass growth and potentially even the drainage of your paddock.

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