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This is a discussion on Pasture...HELP!!! within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • +horse psture manure management
  • How to build a manure drag

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    02-19-2010, 03:02 PM

Okay, so ireally want a horse and have been looking up a lot of info. About their care. I am just really confused on pasture management! Here are some questions! Feel free to put any tips
  • Is it safe to just "crumble" the poop in the pastures? (dont know specific name:)
  • Can I use a tractor and connect something to "crumble" the poop?
  • Do you have to water the pasture?
  • I know this doesent have nothin to do w/ pasture but...what in the world do you do with all this poop?!
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    02-19-2010, 03:26 PM
Green Broke
The famous answer - it depends.

What size will the pasture be and how many horses will be kept in it? The smaller the area/denser the horse population, the more likely you are to have to do poop removal. A larger, less populated, field will allow for the natural breakdown of the poo w/out it overwhelming the area and, yes, a tractor with a tow-behind is a great way to break up and spread the manure.
Your last question actually does have to do with pasture management. Our field is too small for this so we go out 1-2 times a week and remove poo. We compost our's using a pile at the back of our property and give it away to our neighbors for use in their gardens. If we didn't remove the poo, it would quickly take over and cover the entire field. We do spread some on the field itself, but we have way more poo than we could ever use.
Whether or not you will need to irrigate the pasture will depend on your climate. In some areas, the natural climate is able to sustain the pasture year-round, in others you have to supplement nature to keep the grass going. Size/density will come into play here as well as it will determine how much "help" is needed to keep it healthy and growing -- a pasture in a poorer climate will more quickly become overgrazed (and need more support) than one in a better climate. Rotational grazing is the best approach as you can spread manure and let an area recover while the horses are safely moved to a different area to graze it off.
    02-19-2010, 03:57 PM
At our club we pile it, turn it over once a year and sell it to locals as fertilizer. This only works when horses are not on grain though because the seeds get passed into the poop. Just a thought......
    02-19-2010, 04:47 PM
I think the OP sounds like a responsible, detail oriented tween or teen who's trying to do the research, gather facts and come up with a reasonable plan to present.

The answers you've gotten so far are excellent. Assuming a large enough field that you don't have to pick manure, you can make a pasture drag out of just about anything. Ours is made out of woven wire fence and posts from fencing we tore down.

Best practice is to split your available pasture in two, graze one half and rest the other. When you move the horses off one half, pick and/or drag the the newly empty side and then let it rest/let the manure disintegrate further. Better for the pasture and gives you better parasite control.
    02-19-2010, 05:16 PM
By the way..There would be 1 horse on the pasture, me and my dad were thinking that we would use 1 acre for pasture, but spilt it in half so it can alternate pastures (the horse would only be on pasture 9 hours and 20 minutes a day...I know I am very specific:)
Thanks! most of the answers have been very halpful so far!!
    02-19-2010, 05:26 PM
Why would the horse only be out 9 hours and 20 minutes?
    02-19-2010, 05:31 PM
Because I leave for school at 7:00 am.And I will take it in its stall at 3:20 pm to eat
    02-19-2010, 05:48 PM
One horse will get really lonely fast, its best to have a mate with it, whether it's a goat, Donkey, mini, another horse etc..
You could even get a horse that can be just a pasture mate and not rideable, theres lots that are free.
    02-19-2010, 05:50 PM
Well, my dad is really into this whole "farming" he is planning on getting himself some fainting goats. So I thought the horse could share a pasture with a few of the goats
    02-19-2010, 05:51 PM
Umm only thing I would mention is that some horses are ok kept on thier own but if you could get something as a companion that would be better ( we originally had a companion goat!) sorry if that's too obv.

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