Slashing native grasses for horses?

2 posts

Member for

2 months 3 weeks
Last seen: 03/05/2019 - 19:50
Joined: 03/05/2019 - 17:17

Slashing native grasses for horses?

Hello, I have 50 acres - a mix of forest and pasture and run 7 horses in light work. We have a lot of native greasses like microlenia (along with cocksfoot some clover and rye grass although it is all very dry at the moment.)
I have been rotating/resting paddocks as I have some at risk laminitic ponies so have had to set up some sacrificial paddocks where the ground cover is getting less than 70% which i know is a concern but keeps their weight under control. I'm feeding those horses some lucerne and 007 to supplement their diet given the pasture is getting a bit poor through summer. However, the other rested paddocks where the non laminitic at risk horses are now have lot of long and rank microlenia (a native grass) given that paddock has been rested but now I've put the horses onto it, they are trampling the long grass (definitely not eating it) but scrounging for what is underneath. I don't have the option of running cattle through it to keep down the long rank native grass down so was wondering, given it's a small area if I should slash it or is that long grass actually protecting/acting like living mulch especially when its hot and dry? Or is this long rank grass actually removing the light and suffocating what grass there is underneath which the horses do like and just have to snuffle around the long grass to get?
I read another article on this forum suggesting slashing results are varied though so not sure what to do in the case of horses. Given it is a small area we can slash fairly cheaply but I also don't want to accidentally remove the rank grass in case it can be used as winter feed when choice gets more limited? So to slash or not in the situation outlined above?!

Any thoughts on any of this?!

Last seen: 03/09/2019 - 21:43
Joined: 10/07/2017 - 02:38

I am no expert, but most grasses should be slashed, just like any lawn, if you just leave it, is no good, but also if for feed, it effects the feed.

I would slash as high as possible, If they are not eating it anyway, whats the point.

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