Although we at Scotts manufacture high quality stables, we recognise that access to high quality pasture is just as key to managing your horse’s wellbeing.
With your horse spending more time living out during the summer months, this can be a good time to make improvements to your pasture. Not only can you enjoy the weather, but you can bond with your horse in nature as they come and investigate what you are up too.
As a horse owner with your own land, you will be busy managing the poisonous weeds such as Ragwort and Foxgloves. The fallout from poisonous trees such as Sycamore, and their pesky flying seeds that result in saplings growing in the Spring, can cause Atypical Myopathy and the leaves and acorns of oak trees in the Autumn. Then there are also other invasive weeds that can ruin the pasture quality such as docks, nettles and thistles.
With more awareness now of ecology and health problems associated with Glyphosate weed killers many people are turning to digging out the weeds and over seeding with deep rooting herbs like those available from Meadow Mania.
This company sells packs of seeds which can be sown in the gaps left in the sward once weeds have been removed. Their herb mix includes Sheep’s Burnet, Sheep’s Parsley, Ribgrass, Yarrow and Fenugreek. The idea is that these are deep rooting herbs, which will overcome any remaining weed root you have left in.
While you are in the mood for planting, Meadow Mania also have created a blend of wild flowers that horse owners can safely plant in a corner of a field to encourage bees and butterflies. The blend includes flowers such as Agrimony, Kidney Vetch, Lesser Knapweed, Wild Carrot, Meadowsweet, Lady’s Bedstraw, Lucerne, Salad Burnet and Dandelion.
It’s always worth investigating the most natural way of controlling these burdens on your land:
Sycamore Saplings –
The latest research recommends cutting the saplings in the spring with a mower that can collect them rather than just topping and mulching. As the toxin is still present in the cuttings. You could also try vacuuming up the seeds in the autumn months to save your workload in spring. However, these pesky seeds do travel!
Acorns and oak leaves –
If you have some pigs or can borrow some they love to hoover up the acorns, they are regularly employed in the New Forest to do this job for the wild ponies. Or again you could try to rake or vacuum up mechanically.
Getting ready for next winter you can also check out Meadow Mania’s Native Hedging available from December to March which has especially been developed to be safe for horses.