Basic Paddock Care
Your horse or pony paddock requires a degree of maintenance to keep your horses fit and healthy. Take a look at some of the advice below on how best to keep your paddock in the best condition.
Clear droppings daily – this will prevent unwanted weeds from developing in your paddock and reduce the number of worm larvae spreading in to the grass.
Grazing Rotation – you can do this by using several paddocks over the course of the year or by splitting your paddock in to 3 or 4 sections and grazing each separately. This needs to be judged carefully as over grazing will cause compaction and weed infestation, but under grazing causes the grass to grow too long and become unpalatable. If necessary, you can top an under grazed area to about 10cm or take a hay cut. Rotation should help prevent laminitis.
Harrowing – occasional use of chain harrows will break up any droppings that have not been picked manually and help aerate the soil where there has been a build-up of thatch. Harrowing is particularly effective when done in the spring to encourage new growth.
Overseeding – before reseeding, the area should be broken up by harrowing or raking in order to create a seed bed. Broadcast the seed with a grass seed spreader and then harrow or rake again to ensure the seed makes good contact with the soil. See also our advice on overseeding and renovation. We sell a number of different paddock grass seeds here.
Fertilising – There are specific fertiliser products designed particularly for your horse and pony paddock which will help maintain good ground cover, reduce the infestation of weeds and provide good quality grazing. If you are concerned with laminitis stick to a low nitrogen fertiliser. Click here to view our fertilisers specifically for your horse and pony paddock.
Weeding – By following the points in this page you should control weeds relatively well as you are encouraging the grass to grow thicker and stronger, making it more difficult for weeds to establish. If weeds do become a problem, hand weeding is preferable or a selective weedkiller can be used.