Using Drylots to Conserve Pastures and Reduce Pollution Potential

Improper pasture management of horses during the winter and early spring can adversely affect pasture quality and the environment. Using drylots can help.
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Using Drylots to Conserve Pastures and Reduce Pollution Potential
Congregating horses around feeding and watering areas can create mud, increase soil compaction, eliminate desired vegetation, and lead to weed infestations. | Photo: iStock

Managing horses can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. Improper pasture management of horses during the winter and early spring can adversely affect pasture quality and the environment.

Horse owners can elect to use drylots during increased rain or drought periods, when pastures need protection. Drylots are designed as permanent heavy traffic/use areas and are often used on cattle farms. They keep animals in a confined area to prevent them from damaging the entire pasture. A typical drylot would contain water sources, feeders, and mineral supplements. The area can be used for wintering animals, handling animals for medical treatments, reducing calorie intake for obese horses, and more.

Justification for a Drylot

Congregating horses around feeding and watering areas can create mud, increase soil compaction, eliminate desired vegetation, and lead to weed infestations. Simply put, overgrazing and wintering horses on pastures can be problematic in Kentucky because of the weather

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