Sacrifice Areas for Your Horses


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A sacrifice area is a small enclosure often called a corral, run, pen, turnout or winter paddock. It is meant to be your horse’s outdoor living quarters. We call it a sacrifice area because you are giving up the use of that small portion of land as a grassy area to the benefit the rest of your pasture. Your horse(s) should be confined to the sacrifice area during the winter and early spring when pasture plants are dormant and/or soils are super wet.  During summer months utilize your sacrifice area so pastures don’t become overgrazed. A sacrifice area is also useful for separating or confining animals, for controlling the amount of grass or feed your horse consumes on a daily basis and for caring for sick or injured individuals.

Sand paddock horse sacrifice area

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

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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.

2 Responses

  1. re: Sacrifice Areas for Your Horses

    We have harsh Winter and very wet Spring weather. Our sacrifice area is comprised of low quality grass and sparse healthy grasses so that the small amounts of healthy grasses give the horses a good, slow start to getting back on grass without loose sto

  2. re: Sacrifice Areas for Your Horses

    I just spent a small fortune repairing and re-seeding one of my pastures after over-grazing it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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