Horse field reseeds are like agricultural reseeds in that lime is required to achieve a satisfactory pH level. The soil pH requires to be 6.0-6.2. It is often found that horse grazing paddocks contain a large amount of buttercups. The presence of these is usually a sign of low pH and a requirement for lime.
The nutritional requirements of horses is generally less than those of cattle and sheep. Our equestrian grass mixtures reflect this in terms of the species and varieties of grass used in them. In addition to ryegrass, species such as strong creeping red fescue and smooth stalked meadow grass are included as these grasses are of lower nutritional value than ryegrass and strong creeping red fescue has the ability to repair swards through lime if hoof damage occurs. The aforementioned species are included to provide good ground cover and help dilute the nutritional effects of ryegrass in order to avoid conditions such as laminitis which can be a problem in nutritionally rich horse grazing.
If hay or haylage is being made from the mixture we include timothy which provides a good bulk to the crop. It is a very fibrous grass which is essential to help the crop dry to make hay or haylage but more importantly to suit the digestive system of the horses which benefit from high fibre levels in the conserved grass.
The inclusion of white clover is an option. It provides good ground cover. It fixes atmosphere nitrogen and can contribute to feeding the surrounding grass plants once it is mature. However it is very high in protein relative to grass and can cause digestive problems.
If weeds appear in the pasture which then have to be sprayed with herbicide, the clover is susceptible to most herbicides and will most likely be eradicated with the weed control.
Herbs are another option we can include in equestrian mixtures such as chicory, burnet, ribgrass and sheeps parsley. They have long tap roots which penetrate deep into the soil and absorb trace elements and minerals which are obviously of benefit to the grazing horses. In order to sustain these herbs over the long term the ground being sown must be weed free as with the clover the herbs are susceptible to most herbicides and will be killed off if herbicide has to be applied.
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