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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    11

    Question Pasture - Safest grass types for horses

    I started this thread to seek out information on the safest grass types to sow for horse pastures and hopefully draw in some expert advice for myself and others.
    I have been researching this topic for a few years off and on and have come across a lot of conflicting information.
    Im really looking to chat to the people who know and have factual information on grass types used for horse pastures.
    I have some information to share from some seed manafacturers regarding fescues in particular that i have enquired about recently.
    I live in Northern Tasmania and have 20 acres of pasture which i rotate some Belted Galloways and Horses on, it hasnt been going so well and im looking at a repair of the paddocks after only sowing it down to permananent pasture 2 years ago - but thats really another story that it went so bad.
    I used a mix of Kingston (LE) Ryegrass, PG One50 (AR1) Ryegrass, Kara Cocksfoot and 2 clovers, as this was virgin ground from cleared bush it had been well limed and fertilised and soil tested more than once and was planned well in conjunction with local agronomist.
    What i find is that not many people around including agronomists and seed merchants are not confident in recommending you a safe mix of grass for horse pastures, and my experience is anything that says Horse mix from the suppliers is probably not that great.
    So things that i know to consider are
    1. Ryegrass Staggers
    2. Broodmare Safety
    3. Fescue Toxicity
    4. Laminitis
    these are some of the issues to consider when choosing a grass seed for your pastures.
    I appreciate any replies that will help to gain some accurate information to share and im happy to share what i know in reply.
    Last edited by nrandrews; 12-02-12 at 11:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.
    Posts
    4,162

    Default

    A few personal facts from experience
    They dislike rye & clover if given other options, also lucerne actively growing (not baled).
    Gala Brome is extremely palatable but doesn't compete well 'till established.
    Like the small amount of phalaris we have with no ill effects.
    " a wide variety to select from but doubt a commercial mix will ever be able to fulfill those needs .
    I'm in a similar climate to you but am of the opinion that what appeals to our eye won't necessarily suit our neddies!!
    That was all a bit of drivel really, wasn't it?!! Thought I'd kick start it anyway

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    3,193

    Default

    I think if you are going to be worried about laminitis etc, what about native grasses indigenous to the area...?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    South Gippy, VIC
    Posts
    1,149

    Default

    Native grasses are the most expensive to buy and I wish we had the funds to sow at least two areas of it for the horses! The rest of what grows here and what is commonly sold in this area is for cattle, and the sugars are far too high for horses in that grass. I think the only reason our ponies haven't foundered is because we're muzzling them - better to have the bondage look than to be dead or in pain.
    We're looking to re-seed for the cattle, but not with ryegrass.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Ok thanks so far but a long way to go here to get some concrete info on grass -- have a look at this as my agronomist advised to repair pasture with some Tall Fescue so i started researching fescues and found this and got excited.
    http://www.fescue.com/info/maxq-horse.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    South Gippy, VIC
    Posts
    1,149

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    .
    Posts
    122

    Default pasture for horsers

    Hi,

    There is a lot of mis information about pastures and its important to read how they directly affect horses. Most of the information freely available has come from agriculture departments whose aim is to suggest grasses that fatten cattle quickly. Sadly horses needs are totally different and we are only now finding out how different.

    Have a look at this site www.safergrass.org/articles.html

    Katy Watts was an agronomist who managed to founder both her horses on what she had learned was the best diet for her animals. So horrified at this she now has spent years researching the effects of pasture on the equine. There are even some excellent dvd's available there that explain equine needs in simple terms.

    Sadly you may not be able to graze your horses on the same pasture as your cattle as grasses suitable for fattening cattle are usually too rich for horses.

    I recommned anyone with a horse that eats grass to have a look at Katy's site.

    There are also graduates of Dr. Ellanor Kellen's equine nutrition course in Australia. An excellent course on equine nutrition needs and these people have a vast knowledge of the equine diet and how to test pasture to assess your horses needs.

    See www.balancedequine.com.au/nutrition/ this site is run by Carol Layton who is Australian based and can offer expert advice in these matters.

    Cheers Chrisann


    Quote Originally Posted by nrandrews View Post
    I started this thread to seek out information on the safest grass types to sow for horse pastures and hopefully draw in some expert advice for myself and others.
    I have been researching this topic for a few years off and on and have come across a lot of conflicting information.
    Im really looking to chat to the people who know and have factual information on grass types used for horse pastures.
    I have some information to share from some seed manafacturers regarding fescues in particular that i have enquired about recently.
    I live in Northern Tasmania and have 20 acres of pasture which i rotate some Belted Galloways and Horses on, it hasnt been going so well and im looking at a repair of the paddocks after only sowing it down to permananent pasture 2 years ago - but thats really another story that it went so bad.
    I used a mix of Kingston (LE) Ryegrass, PG One50 (AR1) Ryegrass, Kara Cocksfoot and 2 clovers, as this was virgin ground from cleared bush it had been well limed and fertilised and soil tested more than once and was planned well in conjunction with local agronomist.
    What i find is that not many people around including agronomists and seed merchants are not confident in recommending you a safe mix of grass for horse pastures, and my experience is anything that says Horse mix from the suppliers is probably not that great.
    So things that i know to consider are
    1. Ryegrass Staggers
    2. Broodmare Safety
    3. Fescue Toxicity
    4. Laminitis
    these are some of the issues to consider when choosing a grass seed for your pastures.
    I appreciate any replies that will help to gain some accurate information to share and im happy to share what i know in reply.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,694

    Smile

    nrandrews, I've only ready your post as I am probably rushed for time.

    Will read others later and scowl/nod/cringe/scream as needed.

    Yes, I am opinionated. Shoot me.

    No, don't shoot me. Let's talk it over.

    I am of the belief that the best grass for 'orses and ponies is what would be there if nobody had done anything to the area for 'quite some time', in other words, it is not 'pasture improved', has not been limed, has not been overly cleared, blah blah blah and it is native pasture and herbs and yes, weeds. As long as there is enough boring looking stuff to eat like, for example, Kangaroo Grass and various herbs and stuff that I hon't know much about, they won't touch the bad ones. They will graze close, because the grass growing close to weeds tastes nicer than the stuff that isn't.

    If you like reading, grab the book 'Back From the Brink' by Peter Andrews and after that or before if you prefer, read his second one which is called 'Beyond The Brink'. Great books. Anyone who has eyes should read it/them, and those who don't should listen to them. Or have a good feel.

    And, as Zorro used to say on here, keep your hands above the blanket.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    436

    Default

    [QUOTE=horsesRgr8;898027]I think if you are going to be worried about laminitis etc, what about native grasses indigenous to the area...?[/Q

    Yes

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    436

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by horsesRgr8 View Post
    I think if you are going to be worried about laminitis etc, what about native grasses indigenous to the area...?
    yes....................

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