Dragging your pastures is an important part of Equine Husbandry.
More than 80 percent of the plant nutrients are returned to the soil through deposition of manure and urine while a horse grazes. When these spots are not dispersed, that benefit is limited to small patches. Because manure is an important fertilizer source, dragging fields allows for a more even distribution of nutrients.
This practice ALSO helps reduce internal parasites by exposing the parasite eggs and larvae in the manure to the sun and heat.
Additionally, dragging pastures helps to eliminate selective grazing by reducing areas that are left un-grazed due to horses’ refusal to graze in close proximity to waste piles. It is best if you can drag it while it is hot and dry for 3 or 4 days and leave your horses off of it until after the next big rainstorm.
Pasture draggers can be bought commercially or homemade. The one pictured below is a popular and easy way to manufacture your own. (The cinderblocks are important). You can also make one by removing the fabric from a metal boxspring and weighting it. Other varieties can be made from attaching multiple tires together, with lengths of heavy chain in “tails” off the back of them.
This piece of equipment doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive at all-just effective. It is generally recommended to drag your pastures 2-3 times per year.
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