How long should horses be kept off recently seeded pasture?
The BO where I keep my horse recently seeded the Bahia pasture with rye grass. They plan on keeping the horses stalled for a week - seven days - until the rye grass takes hold. Is this a normal pasture management procedure? I don't recall the BO doing this last year. Meanwhile it is only day three and my horse is going Bonkers!
No there is no alternate pasture to turn the horses out. So.... they are being kept in the stalls for a week while the seed germinates. So its sounds like its a big waste of $$ if it actually takes six to eight weeks to set. Plus its making my horse crazy.
Here in SE PA I have found it takes around a year for a newly seeded paddock to establish itself well enough to withstand horse traffic and grazing. Especially a small paddock. If over seeded in the spring and we have a “normal” growing season it should be ready by fall. I consider a paddock to be around 2 1/2 to 5+ acres, pasture 5-15 acres, above that a field. We generally have good grass and our rule of thumb is 1 horse per 2 acres if we want to keep it in decent grass. In 6 to 8 weeks you will have what looks to be a good stand of grass. But put a couple of horses on it and you will loose around 60% if not more depending on the size pasture in a couple of months and most likely you will be back to where you started. Keeping them off for a week is just a waste of time and money. Even with a couple of months if they are turned out when it is wet or muddy the new grass will not have rooted deep enough to survive. As suggested the only way to get around this is to use an electric fence and create a sacrifice area for turn out and feed hay. Of course this is only my opinion but it is based on a lot of experience. In other words I have already paid for the T-shirts. The above applies to our area, growing season and weather using, a good pasture mix of bluegrass, rye, orchard, etc. and proper prep and fertilizing. Along with dragging on a regular bases and yearly aeration.