Healthy pasture, healthy horse: Experts weigh in on grazing management

Free webinar: Keeping your pasture healthy throughout the year.
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Pasture management is the latest topic in the regular Welfare Wednesday webinar series hosted by equine charity World Horse Welfare.

In “Keeping your pasture healthy throughout the year” on Wednesday, September 23, Royal Agricultural University senior lecturer Dr Simon Daniels will talk about effective pasture management. He will be joined by John Burns, a World Horse Welfare Field Officer, who will share advice on some of the more practical aspects of pasture management.

Daniels will consider grass growth patterns throughout the year and suggest times when grazing may be safer for certain types of horses, discuss different types of fertiliser – and why we may or may not want to use them – and provide key details on the types of grass we want in our paddocks. Burns will offer advice on harrowing, rolling and topping pastures as well as highlighting some common snags horse owners can encounter when trying their best for their horses. Both have spent their personal and professional lives working with horses and have years of experience of what has worked well – and not so well – when managing horses at grass.

They will be on hand to answer questions from viewers about pasture and land management.

» Register for the webinar, on Wednesday, September 23 at 7pm GMT.

Other topics covered in the webinar series so far include maintaining your horse’s fitness, dental health, travelling horses, worming, and disease prevention as well as maintaining a healthy body weight for your horse. In each, an external expert has joined one of the charity’s own experienced team.

All the past webinars can be viewed on the World Horse Welfare YouTube channel.

The fortnightly webinars are free to attend and they can also be viewed live as a Facebook Live session, but by registering with Zoom viewers get to take part in the various polls, ask questions during the Q&A and overall have a much more interactive experience.

This week’s webinar presenters:

Dr Simon Daniels
Simon is a senior lecturer at the Royal Agricultural University in Equine Science. Simon studied Equine and Animal Science at the University of Lincoln. After graduating he worked for a horse feed manufacturer as part of the nutrition team before moving on to work for the University of Liverpool on a parasitology project within the School of Veterinary Medicine. Simon went on to complete a PhD in equine anthelmintics, efficacy and effects on intestinal health at the University of Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. Simon has been lecturing in higher education since 2012 and joined the RAU in 2014. Simon’s research interests remain within equine gastrointestinal health and disease including both parasitology and nutrition and their effect on normal gut function. Gut health is directly influenced by diet and nutrition and therefore Simon is also interested in the management of grasslands and how both fresh and conserved forage can influence gut heath.

John Burns
John is a Field Officer with World Horse Welfare and has a longstanding association with equestrianism. As a child, he embraced his family’s passion for breeding and showing Clydesdale horses and enjoyed competing in all activities with Lanark and Renfrewshire Pony Club. He represents Equine Welfare at the Scottish Parliament on two committees, the Cross Party Group on Animal Welfare and the Cross Party Group for Scottish Racing and Bloodstock industry. John is also currently the Chairman of NEWC Scotland (National Equine Welfare Council). Being a farmer, John is well aware of the importance of correct pasture management to maintain the health of not only our animals but also our land, and champions owners of all grazing species to be guardians of their land.

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