Can horses cope with sudden cold weather?
Horses can survive and even thrive in what we consider to be very inhospitable conditions, but they do need plenty of feed to fuel them and keep them warm.
Before the grass starts growing too vigorously, it is a good time to reseed patches in your pasture that have been denuded over winter. A little extra grass seed spread in early spring can make a big difference to your grazing. There is not often any need to plough up and reseed from scratch ï¿½ it is expensive, time consuming and can take even years to establish a strong turf. Paddocks in need of a spruce up should be grazed down then harrowed to loosen the surface and iron out lumps or bumps. New seed can then be broadcast by hand, or drilled very shallow. Then, ideally, roll to establish good contact with the soil. Keep the horses off it for at least 6 weeks, until there is good growth. March and April are good months to do this but by May and June, weeds and other grasses will be growing so vigorously as to shade out new growth. If you miss the spring time to reseed, there is another window in August and September, but avoid periods of dry weather. Simple System Natural Grazing Mix is specially formulated for horse and ponies and is entirely ryegrass free. As well as native type grasses, it has herbs that are beneficial, deep rooting and add a wider range of nutrients as well as reducing or even eliminating the need for fertiliser. Grazing can make soil acidic. This can be corrected with 5 bags to the acre of Equine Calcified Plus, again supplied by Simple System and suitable for use in organic systems. This can be applied at any time of year, when the grass is short and can be hand broadcast or spread with a standard fertiliser spinner.