Strip Grazing Horses - Kit and tips - 2023
19 September 2023 | Beth
Strip grazing is a management technique used in horse care and pasture management to control the amount of grass a horse has access to. It involves dividing a larger pasture into smaller sections or strips and allowing the horses to graze one strip at a time. This method can help regulate the horse's diet, prevent overgrazing, and manage the quality of the pasture. Here's how to do it:
Fencing: You'll need to set up temporary or permanent electric or traditional fencing to create the strips within the pasture. Electric fencing is commonly used because it's easy to install and adjust. At FarmCare, we have strip grazing kits, that have light and easy to move energisers, posts and electric fence tape.
Determine Strip Size: Decide on the size of each strip. The size can vary depending on factors like the number of horses, the size of the pasture, and the growth rate of the grass. Smaller strips restrict access to fresh grass more effectively. Most people opt for 100 meter fence - but 200 meters is also popular.
Rotational Grazing: Rotate the horses between the strips on a regular schedule. The timing of rotation depends on the growth rate of the grass and the number of horses. Ideally, horses should be moved to a new strip when the grass in the current strip is grazed down to a specified height, typically around 3-4 inches (7.5-10 cm).
Monitor Grass Growth: Keep an eye on the grass growth in each strip. If the grass in a strip becomes too short or grazed down, you may need to adjust the rotation schedule or provide supplemental feed to ensure your horses are getting enough nutrition.
Water Access: Ensure that each strip has access to water. This may require installing water troughs or running water lines to each strip, depending on the size of your pasture.
Maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain your fencing to ensure it's secure and safe for your horses. Check for any damage or issues with the electric fencing, if used. It is helpful to have an electric fence tester, to trouble shoot - although please don't feel like you need an expensive tester - the 'starter' tester for £12.50 will be enough for most needs. Alse rest assured that electric fencing is quite easy to set-up and move. It should only take 20 minutes or so to move your fence.
Benefits of strip grazing horses:
Improved Pasture Management: Strip grazing helps maintain healthy pastures by preventing overgrazing in one area and allowing grass to recover.
Controlled Diet: You can control the amount of grass your horses consume, which is particularly useful for horses prone to obesity, laminitis, or metabolic disorders.
Conservation: It can help conserve pasture resources by making them last longer.
Minimized Waste: With controlled access to grass, horses are less likely to trample or waste the forage.
Healthier Horses: By regulating their diet and ensuring they have access to fresh, high-quality grass, you can contribute to your horses' overall health.
Remember that the success of strip grazing depends on factors such as pasture size, horse population, and grass growth rates. It's essential to monitor your horses' condition and adjust your management plan accordingly. Consulting with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist can be helpful in creating an effective strip grazing plan tailored to your specific circumstances.
If you have any questions about the kit you might need to set up an electric fence for strip grazing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are a family run business and we are happy to help.