Sources of danger when dealing with horses lurk everywhere, whether in the box while riding or in the paddock. With the latter, many injuries can be avoided. Provided, of course, that the rider can recognize and remedy the potential sources of danger as such. We would like to give you a few tips here and sharpen your awareness of dangers in the paddock.
The Pasture Fence – Danger and Safety at the Same Time
The pasture fence is used to keep your horse safe in the paddock. However, it can only work if it is properly built and installed. A huge amount of accessories is available in specialist shops, so, unfortunately, you can quickly lose track of things. There are wire braids, electric ropes, or broadband braids. Each of these variants has its advantages and disadvantages. If your horse gets caught in it, the consequences can be dramatic.
Regular inspection of the pasture fence is therefore extremely important, especially if the meadow is near roads. Old stranded wire and older insulators also cause voltage losses, as does green hanging over the fence. If the strand is torn in one place, it should be repaired immediately and not just knotted together. This also limits the functionality of the fence.
Water Barrel – Inconspicuous, But Also Dangerous
Watering the horses in the meadow is part of everyday duties. But not everyone has a self-potion in the pasture. Large containers or mobile pasture barrels are often used. The advantage of the mobile pasture barrel is obvious: large volume and therefore no daily refilling necessary.
However, horses are very curious. If the pasture barrel has edges somewhere, your horse can injure itself. Injuries can also occur on the drawbar if it gets stuck somewhere. If the pasture barrel is suitable for road transport, curious horses can also try to nibble on cables or lamps. It would therefore be advisable to fence the water barrel or to park it outside the pasture. In this way, the risk of injury can be minimized and your horse gets enough water in spite of everything.
The Pasture Shelter – Ideal for Scrubbing and Nibbling
Every horse must be offered a shady place in the pasture. Especially in the hot summer months, the sun shines very strongly during the day and your horse can quickly suffer from heatstroke. There are many ways to provide shade. However, find out beforehand what is and what is not allowed. Because not every construction method is allowed on grassland.
Many horses use the shelter to rub against it and so relieve their itchiness. If your shelter is made of wood or is attached with wooden stakes, your horse can nibble on it. The dangerous thing about it is possible splinters that can get stuck in the throat. The result would be clogging of the throat.
Dangers in the Paddock in Small Format
On some horse pastures, trees can also be found to provide shade, either directly on the meadow or on the edge. Which trees are you talking about? For example, if it is oak, there is a risk of encountering oak processionary moths. Not only do we humans can have problems with the fine stinging hair, but also our animals. If the trees are fruit trees, this is nice to look at, but should also be enjoyed with caution. Horses are allowed to snack on apple trees. Eating unripe apples or fallen overripe fruit can also cause clogging of the throat or colic.
Poisonous Plants – If They are Poorly Cared For, They Will Spread
Pasture maintenance is an important issue. If the pasture is not carefully cared for, weeds can spread rapidly, especially Jacob’s ragwort, better known as Jacob’s ragwort, which is very dangerous for horses.
Many horse pastures are used extensively. There is usually an imbalance between bare and abandoned pastures. This promotes the germination of the ragwort. Regular mowing and cutting out of individual plants should be carried out continuously to prevent them from spreading. A sustainable measure should also be well received – overseeding. If the sward is closed, the ragwort cannot seed itself either.
The Paddock Area – the Size Determines the Number of Horses
The size of the pasture area is decisive for the number of horses. If too many horses are kept in a meadow, disputes can quickly arise among each other. It is therefore important that the coupling area is large enough. A harmonious group should also be put together in order to minimize friction and injuries from the outset and to keep the dangers in the paddock as low as possible.