Keeping horses at pasture day 2

A group of horses owners gathered in August 2019 to learn more about pasture management and horses with Helena Warren from Cadfor Equestrian and Murray Greys.

Feed rations

The quote of the day was ‘feed to work’. Would it surprise you to learn that some pleasure horses are overfed? Helena explained how to calculate a ration for a horse based on condition score, growth stage, level of work, pasture availability and feed types.

You can create a feed budget for your horse using the links below. Having a feed budget can save you time and money and you can tailor the ration to what feeds are available. Please note that these are general guides and the condition of individual horses should be monitored to ensure animal welfare requirements are met.

Feed requirements of horses – for working out what to feed

FeedXL on line – application (fees apply) for working out feed requirements.

Parasitic worms

Worm testing and rotational grazing are critical elements in an effective worm management program. Some horses have high worm burdens, while others have developed natural resistance. The only way to find out if your horse needs a drench is by doing a faecal worm egg test. You can get testing kits from Local Land Services or many rural suppliers.

Faecal worm egg testing allows you to choose the appropriate type of drench to use. It is important to not routinely drench using the same active ingredient as this increases the likelihood of developing worms with drench resistance.
More resources:
Integrated pest management for horse farms
Primefacts – Worm Control in Horses

Soils

According to Helena the best time to take soil samples is in October when the soil is depleted during the pasture growing season. Further advice about soil sampling and fertilising pastures can be found in the Fertilisers for Pastures booklet. Some benchmarks for healthy soils can be found here.

During the field day we looked at the soil test results from the property. The test results indicated that the soil pH was probably too low and the Aluminium too high. You can read more about soils in our recent blog post From the Ground Up.

Harrowing horse paddocks and using rotational grazing can help increase organic matter in the soil and reduce fertiliser costs. Soil testing and working out a nutrient budget can help you decide if additional fertilisers are required. Fertilisers for Pastures contains a guide to working out a nutrient budget for a horse property.

Other online resources include
Farmers guide to increasing soil carbon under pasture
Helena Warren – Keeping Horses at Pasture day 1 (insert)
Healthy Horse Healthy Land Workshop Summary
Horse Property Planning Key Points

This project received grant funding from the Australian Government through the National Landcare Program