Creating a Sacrifice Area for Horses

Creating a sacrifice area can help protect horse pastures from wet weather or overgrazing.
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Creating a Sacrifice Area for Horses
A sacrifice area is a small enclosure, such as a corral, run, pen, turnout, or winter paddock, meant to be your horse’s outdoor living quarters. | Photo: Photos.com

A sacrifice area is a small enclosure, such as a corral, run, pen, turnout, or winter paddock, meant to be your horse’s outdoor living quarters. It is called a sacrifice area because you are giving up the use of that small portion of land as a grassy area to benefit the rest of your pasture. Many owners confine their horses to sacrifice areas during the winter and early spring when pasture plants are dormant and/or soils are wet. During summer months sacrifice areas prevent pastures from becoming overgrazed.

One option is to set up one sacrifice area per horse like a run off each stall. This chore-efficient arrangement gives the horse free access to a clean, dry stall

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Written by:

Alayne Blickle, a lifelong equestrian and ranch riding competitor, is the creator/director of Horses for Clean Water, an award-winning, internationally acclaimed environmental education program for horse owners. Well-known for her enthusiastic, down-to-earth approach, Blickle is an educator and photojournalist who has worked with horse and livestock owners since 1990 teaching manure composting, pasture management, mud and dust control, water conservation, chemical use reduction, firewise, and wildlife enhancement. She teaches and travels North America and writes for horse publications. Blickle and her husband raise and train their mustangs and quarter horses at their eco-sensitive guest ranch, Sweet Pepper Ranch, in sunny Nampa, Idaho.

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