Pasture has the potential to provide
1. The horses nutrition
2. A Safe exercise area
Potentials rarely achieved, often neglected

All information given here is believed to be correct but the author cannot be responsible for any consequences of it's use.

Pasture Management

by Denis Lindsell
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Shelter & Water




Horses will need shelter, not only from the wind and wet in the winter, but also (and possibly more importantly) from the sun in the summer. This shelter may be natural (hedges and trees) or man-made.

Natural Shelter

A high hedge or trees may give sufficient shelter, particularly in the summer if it provides a shady area large enough. Trees in the centre of a field may provide the best situation in summer as they will create a shady area with plenty of ventilation. They may not however provide sufficient shelter from the wind and rain in the winter.

Man-made Shelter

This will consist of a building, large enough for all the horses to want to enter at the same time. The walls could be built of any suitable material but are often timber for cheapness. The roof should not be corrugated iron as this will become very hot in the summer.
The opening should be large enough to encourage horses to enter - they will not normally be willing to enter a confined space and this opening should be wider than that of a stable. On the larger shelters it may be appropriate to have two openings, which will reduce the possibility of a horse being cornered by other horses.

The shelter should normally be positioned so that it's back is to the prevailing wind, i.e. the direction from which most of the rain will come. In some areas it may be considered more suitable to be back to the direction from which the coldest winds come.
It will also be necessary to consider the fact that the horses will be using the shelter in the wettest weather and should ideally be situated in a dry part of the field where the ground will not become too badly poached. It may be necessary provide hard gravel or concrete area in-front of the shelter.

A modern trend is to use a mobile field shelter, on wheels or skids, that can be moved by a tractor or a four-wheel drive vehicle. This may be convenient to move the shelter before bad poaching occurs in the winter, or in conjunction with strip grazing in the summer.