Horses need outdoor grazing for optimal well-being. But is your horse pasture safe? Review our checklist to make sure.
- Is the wire around the horse pasture in good condition and is there enough tension on it?
- Are the pasture posts in good condition and adapted to the height of your horse?
- Is the wire visible enough to your horse? Keep in mind that horses see the color red as a shade of green, and they have a hard time distinguishing between green and yellow.
- Barbed wire around a horse pasture can seriously injure your horse. It is therefore best to replace it with rubber band, electric fencing, or wood.
- Does the electric fence system work? Are the wires or ribbons broken anywhere?
- Are there any poisonous herbs, plants and trees in the meadow, such as ragwort, sharp buttercup, yew, maple and plum?
- Is the horse pasture free of stones, branches and other foreign objects that your horse can hurt itself on? Check regularly that stones do not get stuck in the horse’s frog.
- Is the ground of the pasture clean and dry? A wet meadow can cause mud fever (pastern dermatitis).
Barbed wire around a horse pasture can seriously injure your horse. It is therefore best to replace it with rubber band, electric fencing, or wood.
- Can your horse take shelter from the rain and wind? And also from the sun? Horses with white markings are especially prone to sunburn.
- Does your horse pasture have a good shed or are there enough trees?
- Check automatic drinking troughs daily to make sure they’re operating properly. Does the drinking bowl still work?
- Also check daily whether the water in the drinking trough is still clean. Has your horse defecated or urinated in it?
- Birds also drink from the drinking trough. If bird guano (bird poop) ends up in the drinking water, it can cause salmonella poisoning.
- Birds or other animals can also drown in the water, which can lead to botulism. Therefore, clean the drinking bowl every two days with a hard brush.
- In very hot weather, yeasts and poisonous blue-green algae form in stagnant water. The blue-green algae cause a greenish-blue to sometimes reddish-yellow film to grow over the water.
- Some horses like to play with their tub and knock it over. Check this daily.
- Finally, be careful with water in ditches and stagnant ponds. Rotting can occur in these places. Have this kind of water tested before using the adjacent pastures for your horses.