WHY PICKING UP AFTER OUR HORSES
AND PASTURE CARE
IS SO DARN IMPORTANT!
For healthy long living horses we need to really look at our horse pasture care. I get to visit many farms in the course of a day, and many times I still see horses eating their hay with piles of old manure all around. Now, as some of you may know from an earlier post, manure is a host to parasitic worms such as round worms and tapeworms, etc. No matter how good your de-worming program is you will ALWAYS have a worm problem if you don’t take care of the manure problem.
I do understand the dilemma of having a lot of horses that are creating manure constantly, however that shouldn’t be an excuse. We really should find solutions other than filling our horses with chemical de-wormers that are only creating super-worms due to them building up resistance. Even if you were to de-worm daily (NOT recommended and very dangerous) you’d still have a problem. We need to fix the issues at the core, and this is done with proper horse pasture care.
So What Can I Do for Pasture Care?
If you only have a handful of horses you need to get out there with a wheel barrow and pick up the manure a couple of times daily or at least once a day. The hay area shouldalways be kept as clean as possible. Yes, horses will defecate in their food, however they are supposed to be grazing and moving while eating, not standing at one spot. We usually have them eating hay in one area, so we should expect them to mess it up. That’s just the way it is.
Now same problem arises in the summer if you have your horses on pasture and it is relatively small, you will again have horses eating from ground covered with horse manure. So this situation is the same, you go out and pick up the manure. I do it every morning and evening; rain or shine.
If you have lots of land and can rotate paddocks as well as harrow the existing manure covered land, then great. If you don’t, you have to keep the ‘feeding areas’ clean. This comes with proper horse management and horse pasture care and is something we often overlook. Now I can already hear you grumbling and say you either have too many horses or limited space. And I do understand but then we either have too many horses on the property, not enough help (everyone should be expected to pitch in to pick up after their horses even if they pay for full board) or we are lazy!
Horses are hard work and to keep them happy and healthy is double the work – and that is just the way it is. The least we can do is our best to keep things as clean as possible for them.
So what happens if we don’t do this?
Well then we will have issues with parasites and horses that aren’t thriving. Here’s some tips to keeping your horse worm free, with proper horse pasture care!
1) Keep the feeding areas clean! Inside and outside the barn! No exceptions! If you can, rotate paddocks and feeding areas.
2) Do not use regular chemical de-wormers! Regularly de-worming is a sure way to keep your horse getting worms constantly. Why? Because no worming agent kills ALL worms at the same time which means some stay behind and become resistant super-worms which don’t respond to chemical wormers anymore. This means you have to use stronger chemicals and more frequently and your horses are absorbing these chemicals and accumulating it in their bodies. Over time you have an ill horse. Some horses react violently to today’s de-wormers even after one dose because they are so potent. Liberal use of de-wormers should be strongly discouraged. Always test your horse for worms first before you even think of picking up another tube of de-wormer to see if he or she even needs it. And then think twice…there are other options which brings me to my next point.
3) Natural De-wormers. There are a few on the market and some are good some not as efficacious. Over the years I’ve studied herbs and homeopathic medicines that are great at de-worming and have come up with a de-worming kit for horses, dogs and cats.
It is spring time so this is the time of year to clean house and pets! I am offering a discount on the de-worming Kit for Horses to get you started out right this Spring. Now’s the time to begin before the ground starts to warm up!
If you need more information about worming your horse please read our Horse Deworming page