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IH Seeds Equi1st Mix is a scientifically designed equine pasture seed mix.
- Low sugar
- Low starch
- Moderate protein
- Highly palatable pasture feed
What is a good horse pasture?
Many horse pasture mixes contain varieties that are highly suited for the fattening of livestock.
Horses are not physiologically designed to cope with high levels of sugars and proteins as provided by traditional mixes.
Horses are intended to live for 20+ years, not 6 months to 2 years as is the common lifespan of a production animal.
As such, alternative, more appropriate species are required for the safe feeding of horses.
An ideal horse pasture should be relatively low in sugars and starch, moderate in protein but still highly palatable.
Ideally you want something that is resistant to traffic and grazing and can benefit both the animal and the soil.
Depending upon the soil structure it is best to not to graze the paddock for 4 to 6 months after planting and up to 8 months on very sandy soils, to allow the root structure to take place.
Equi1st Pastures Mix comprises of the following:
Prairie grass or Pasture Brome grass (Bromus sp.)
A grass that is tolerant to drier conditions due to deep root system. Its sugar and starch concentrations average around 10 to 15% in comparison to ryegrass at 30%+ and is highly palatable to the horse. Protein levels, as high as 12% are achieved at certain stages of its growth. This species of prairie/brome grass is specifically bred as a pasture grass and has no adverse effects on livestock, including horses.
A winter dominant, deep rooted annual legume which grows mainly during the Autumn, Winter and Spring months. Being a legume, it has good levels of protein, consistently low in sugars and starch, highly palatable to the horse, and provides nitrogen fixation to improve the soil quality.
A new addition to the mix in order to provide a perennial legume component for the mix. Lucerne is a very nutritious feed and source of fibre. It contains about 18% high-quality protein which provides good levels of all the essential amino acids for horses, including lysine, which can be low in many feeds, including grains. It is high in digestible fibre, including pectin, which provides sustained energy (it is converted to glucose, glycogen and fat in horses' livers) and is very good for digestive health because it promotes beneficial gut microflora. Lucerne is readily available, very palatable, and highly digestible.
Fletcha Tall Fescue
Another common horse pasture with reasonable (around 15%) sugar and starch levels, highly palatable for horses and provides an excellent swarth of feed when required. Growing reasonably well in drier conditions, its deep root system does give it some resistance to the dry. Its main growing period is autumn, winter and spring periods.
A naturally low in sugars through most of the growing season plus fair protein levels (around 9%), During the plant’s young, growing stage of growth it is a rather palatable feed. As it matures though and starts to dry off, both its palatability and nutrient value start to fall. While it is a very good horse feed it does, like most C4 tropical grasses, contain an amount of oxalate (the calcium binding compound). While the oxalate concentration isn’t large, it is still present. Therefore, it is important that Teff not be the only pasture species in the grazing paddock.
Finecut//Katambora Rhodes grass
A very resilient to drought and heavy traffic. Rhodes does most of its growing during later Spring/Summer before drying off. Rhodes grass retains very low concentrations of sugars in the leaves at most stages of growth. Coupled with good palatability and very low concentrations of oxalates, this makes Rhodes the ideal horse safe pasture species.
Being a Tetraploid, Callide Rhodes Grass is more palatable and has a tendency to be preferentially grazed when sown with other sub-tropical grasses. Callide
Rhodes Grass has a high number of growing points with a more prostrate growth habit than more recent releases and is coarser in the leaf and stem. Summer active where soil moisture is available.
A perennial tufted grass that is best grazed before flowering, and no lower than 5cm to allow for regrowth. Cocksfoot is hardy, drought resistant with deep roots. Endophyte free, tolerant to pest attack but can suffer from rust until established. Yarck Cocksfoot is a summer activity variety.
Atom Prairie grass or Brome grass (Bromus sp.)
A grass that is tolerant to drier conditions due to deep root system. Its sugar and starch concentrations average around 10 to 15% in comparison to ryegrass at 30%+ and is highly palatable to the horse. Protein levels, as high as 12% are achieved at certain stages of its growth.
Recommended pH Rate: 5.0+
Recommended Rainfall rate: 400mm+
Recommended Sowing Rate: 25 to 35 kgs/ha