Horse Pasture Fertilization

A good fertilization program is necessary to produce high yields of quality forage and to maintain healthy stands of grasses and legumes. The rates and types of fertilizer required vary with different forage crops, management intensity and soil type. Soil testing is a valuable tool when developing a pasture fertilization program. Sample hay fields annually and sample grazed pastures at least every other year. Contact your county Extension office for more information on soil testing.

Soil pH is a measure …

Weed Control in Horse Pastures

An essential component of managing horse pastures involves the task of controlling weeds. Some weeds that can be found in horse pastures are poisonous to horses.

Controlling weeds is probably one of the most important decisions to think about when managing horse pastures. Weeds are generally less palatable, less nutritious, and are less dependable as a forage supply to horses than the desirable pasture species they replace. Some pasture weeds are poisonous to horses. From a control standpoint, grouping weeds …

Pasture Facilities for Equines


Horses should have some protection from the hot sun, wind and precipitation. This can vary from a good shelter belt, a three-sided shed in the corner of a pasture to a complete stable with box stalls.

Horses without shelter will require more feed and water to maintain their health.


Wood post and rail fencing

Fencing for horses can be the traditional board or rail fence to electric wire. Several newer products are now on the market such as:

  • Polymer vinyl
  • Polyethylene rails and

Grazing Systems for Horses

Grazing Horses

Grazing systems used in horse farms include pastures, fences and management techniques used to provide optimal forage for horses. Grazing systems should be flexible based on resources and goals and developed to meet the horses nutrient requirements. Two common types of grazing systems used in horse farms are continuous and rotational.

Continuous grazing

A continuous grazing system is one where horses are houses on a single pasture for an extended period of time. Advantage to this system is that reduced …

Planning a Horse Pasture

When planning your horse pasture, you should ask yourself the following question: will the pasture be a major feed source or just an exercise area?

Most horses benefit from being outside regularly for exercise. Free exercise reduces behavior and respiratory problems, promotes optimal growth and development of young horses, and improves overall horse health. However, if the pasture is to serve as a feed source, other factors need to be considered including its potential nutritional value, carrying capacity or stocking

Equine Facilities: Stall Flooring and Bedding

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentuckyu


Popcorn asphalt

Packed or puddled rock-free clay on a well-drained base makes one of the best floors for stables. It is usually easy to obtain. However, it is difficult to keep clean, and more flooring has to be added from time to time. Wood plank stall floors are preferred by some horse owners, but they are hard to keep dry and free from odor. Concrete floors are the least desirable, and if used, a considerable …

Equine Facilities: Barn Feed Room

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

The feed room is seldom larger than a box stall. Organize it for convenience and easy housekeeping. Plan storage for feed materials, equipment, and tools. Provide an uncluttered traffic pattern to reach the stored materials without interference. Keep the storage area as dust-free as possible.

Hay may be stored in an overhead loft or on the ground floor. Small rooms and narrow doors are inconvenient for storing hay and add to the labor required …

Equine Facilities: Stall Dimensions

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Horse Stall Front

For riding horses, the minimum box stall is 10′ x 10′. More commonly, box stalls are 12′ x 12′, although stalls 16′ x 16′ or larger are not uncommon. If the barn layout permits, a stall 16′ x 20′ or larger is useful for foaling mares. Box stalls for ponies may be smaller, depending on the breed. A larger stall can be obtained by removing the common partition between adjoining box stalls.

Equip box …

Equine Facilities: Stall Barn Design Construction

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Barn Safety

The construction of your facility should be conducive to the safety and welfare of your clientele, employees, and animals. Several things need to be protected from horses, water, dust, and rodents in every barn. Some of these include foam insulation, stall latches, water or coil heaters, and electrical wiring. In addition, if your barn is a metal building, it is important that stalls be lined with wood or another protective covering to …

Equine Facilities: Stall Barn Windows

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

A small, adjustable 2′ x 2′ window in each box stall will provide light and assist in ventilation. However, windows are not essential if other methods are used for lighting and ventilating the barn. Install windows near the top of the wall. Allow at least six windows between the windowsill and the stall floor. Protect all windows that can be reached by horses with heavy 1″ x 2″ welded wire or steel grating. Attach …