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How to get started: regenerative grazing with horses

For many horse owners, lush green pastures are a symbol of a happy, healthy horse. But traditional grazing practices can actually harm the land and, in turn, the horses that depend on it. This is where regenerative grazing comes in. It's a holistic approach to pasture management that benefits both your horses and the environment.

What is Regenerative Grazing?

Regenerative grazing mimics the natural grazing patterns of herds. Horses graze selectively, munching on the tastiest parts of plants first. This creates a mosaic effect in the pasture, with some areas grazed shorter than others. In conventional grazing, horses remain in one pasture for extended periods, leading to overgrazing and compacted soil.

Regenerative grazing addresses these issues by:

  • Rotational Grazing: Horses are moved through smaller paddocks more frequently, allowing grazed areas time to recover.

  • Multi-Species Grazing: Introducing other animals like goats or sheep can help control weeds and provide a more diverse diet for horses.

  • Rest Periods: Pastures are given ample time to rest and regrow after grazing.

Why is it Important for Horse Owners?

Healthy soil is the foundation of a healthy pasture. Regenerative grazing practices promote:

  • Improved Soil Health: Increased organic matter leads to better water retention and nutrient cycling, creating a more nutritious environment for grasses to thrive.

  • Reduced Weed Pressure: Diverse pastures with healthy soil are naturally more resistant to weeds.

  • Improved Horse Health: Horses on healthy pastures get more essential nutrients, reducing the need for expensive supplements.

  • Drought Resilience: Healthy soil holds water more effectively, making pastures more resistant to drought conditions.

Getting Started with Regenerative Grazing

Transitioning to regenerative grazing doesn't have to be overwhelming. You just need to break the process down into its most simplest form:

  • Assess

  • Plan

  • Transition

  • Grow and share

Join my email list or follow my social media to learn what you need to do for each stage, and how to make the most out of each step in the process to get there.

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