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Organic pasture practices purify and sustain your pasture, providing maximum support for your horses.
The Purification Process
1) Identify the soil quality and make necessary adjustments.
2) Make and follow a plan to detoxify, fertilize and combat insects organically.
3) Remove weeds and poisonous plants, re-transplant others.
4) Introduce plants that benefit the soil and or thrive in your pasture.
5) Haul off or find good use for random debris.
6) Rotate crops and grazing.
Test pasture soil annually to safeguard against deficient or excess nutrients. Test soil samples from each major management zone during prime growing season. Follow the instructions of the testing facility. Negative ramifications to your horse are probable if nutrients are out of balance. For example, proper selenium supports healthy muscle tissue; selenium deficiency equals poor performance and low immune system. Your county agent can guide you through the steps to gather soil from multiple points, and then combine for testing.
Detoxify and enhance pasture soil with humate and micro-organisms along with molasses for effectiveness and nutrition. Use a soil amendment chock full of organic soil supports while fertilizing with fish or seaweed, along with microbial foliar teas. No-phosphate, non-ionic surfactants (such as non-antibacterial Dawn liquid soap) are known to enhance results.
Plant cover crops in the pasture to maximize nutrition and enhance soil. Planting legumes (soy, cow peas, pinto beans, black eyed peas, or Australian winter peas) alone or along with your equine grazing crop (oats or alfalfa), greatly supports the soil without chemicals. When planting non-equine crops such as Sudan, the same is true in that the soil is improved. Select inoculated bacterial sources to get in the root system and promote nitrogen production.
Rosemary and Juniper, along with being good groundcover, are useful remedies for your horse.
- Rosemary offers a blanket of soil protection, plus a ready-to-grab itch remedy for your horse. Combine a handful of rosemary along with calendula and nettle, steep to a boil in water, cool, then pour (or spray) over itchy areas on your horse.
- Juniper is a great groundcover for poor soil areas. Juniper grows best in full sun. Use juniper oil in a rinse after a heavy workout to reduce toxic buildup in joints and muscles. Be sure to use only the oil distilled from berries (not wood) and never combine with iodine or the iodine can be negated.
Definitely include immune-boosting, parasite-preventing garlic to your pasture or hedgerow. Garlic repels insects and is an attractive plant for your pasture, as is calendula/marigold. Both are extremely beneficial to your horse! Apply fulvic acid to soil prior to garlic for best insect repelling results.
Remove Poke Sal ad, a poisonous plant, from your pasture.
Placing your horse’s feed bucket in the pasture allows oat droppings to volunteer in cool weather, offering patches of green oat grass for grazing. Note: Occasional red ant beds may gravitate to moist mounds. Garden-Ville’s “Soil Conditioner”, orange oil, molasses and manure tea will smother the ants and decompose them.
Remaining scattered hay from large bales fed in open pasture supplies overgrazing protection for the grass below, while offering natural decomposition that turns into soil over time.
Leave debris that catches at the base of trees to serve as protection for bugs, vital to a healthy eco-habitat.
Marshy areas accommodate the herb yarrow, a quick and effective first aid support to stop bleeding on equine wounds.
Remove cactus and sharp pointed succulents. Alternate uses include:
- transplant to a cactus garden
- check for re-selling at the local nursery
- top a pasture rock post
- accent a fence line
Control weeds organically. Weeds will redistribute seeds and take over pasture that lacks grass. Spray 98% vinegar (acetic acid) diluted 20% and add an ounce of orange oil (or molasses). Especially effective on tender young weeds and alkaline soils!
Purify your pasture soil while maximizing your pasture’s efficiency with natural, healthy supports and innovative, economical, time-saving practices. Be aware of water sources and runoff. Always rotate grazing. Your primary goal should be a non-chemical pasture yielding high nutritional mixed native grasses with few weeds or bald patches.
You and your horse will notice a difference for the better!
Shari Frederick, BS, NMD, LE, a nutritional educator, assists horseowners in making healthier, more natural choices in horse care. She is an advocate of natural prevention and support for overall health, healing and stronger immune systems for both humans and animals. Shari is an independent author, international lecturer and self-styled naturalist. Visit Shari’s websites, horserescuefaces.com, healthyhorsehints.com