Pasture Management 101: Renovating Horse Fields

If your pastures are lacking in quality grasses, review these steps for renovating and improving grazing areas.
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Pasture Management 101: Renovating Horse Fields
An important step in renovating pastures is proper grazing management. Consider using electric fencing to separate large pastures into smaller plots and implement rotational grazing. | Photo: iStock
In the first installment of this series, we reviewed the types of grasses that make quality pastures. But, not all owners are fortunate enough to have pristine pastures from the get-go. If you’ve evaluated your current pasture situation and deemed it lacking in quality grasses, steps you can take to renovate and improve your established pastures.

Begin by evaluating pastures for grass and clover stand, along with weed presence.

“Be realistic about the status of the pastures and use caution not to over-or-under represent the coverage of the pasture with weeds and grasses,” says Jennie Ivey, MS, PhD, assistant professor and extension equine specialist at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. An accurate evaluation will aid in determining if you should plant more grasses, legumes, or both.

Then, consider what you need to add. “Select a forage that is appropriate for the region and that will complement the existing stand,” Ivey advises

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Written by:

Hope Ellis-Ashburn, MS, lives with her husband and daughter near Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the family raises Black Angus cattle and hay on her husband’s family’s farm, which has been in operation for over a century. She is a former Extension agent, a current high school teacher, and has owned horses for more than thirty years. She currently owns a half-Arabian mare named Sally. She began writing freelance articles three years ago, authored The Story of Kimbrook Arabians, and posts a range of horse-related content weekly on her blog, Red Horse on a Red Hill.

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