We treat our horses as our kids and like them, we want the best for them whether it’s food, saddles, or the grass they Trott on. If we are being this sensitive about their basic needs then how can we compromise on their pasture seeds.
Pasture is an important source of nutrition for horses so choosing the right one can minimize the need to have additional inorganic supplements. While selecting the pasture you have to consider the climatic conditions of your area, whether cool or warm climate pasture suits you.
Let’s have a look at our top picks. We will then be discussing everything in detail.
- X-Seed Pasture Land Equine Mixture With Microboost Seed
- DLF Mastergreen Nutriforage Horse Pasture Seed Mix
- MBS Horse Pasture Grass Seed Mix
- Barenburg Pasture- Professional Equine Forage Program
- Jonathan Green Winter Rye Grass Seeds
- Farmers Daughters Seeds Professional Horse Pasture Mixture
6 Best grass seed for Horse Pasture
1. X-Seed Pasture Land Equine Mixture – Best Overall
X-seed pasture land equine mixture is an excellent source of grass hay for not only horses but cattle, sheep, and other livestock as well.
The microburst blend enhances germination and ensures fibrous roots. Besides, producing a nutritional pasture for your horse it also improves soil fertility, creates a pH friendly zone, and helps soil in controlling erosion.
The company claims that it aids in producing 15% better yields. One bag is enough to cover one acre of land. This fiber-rich food is formulated for the central and northern climate.
- White Dutch Clover – 1%
- Gulf Annual Ryegrass – 10%
- Orchardgrass -14%
- Forage Kentucky Bluegrass – 6%
- Meadow Bromegrass – 4%
- Climax Timothy – 18%
- Forage Perennial Tetraploid Ryegrass – 33%
- Product dimensions:
- 17.5x28x4 inches
- 25 Pounds
2. DLF Mastergreen Nutriforage Horse Pasture Seed Mix
DLF master green Nutri forage horse pasture is made to fulfill the nutritional needs of sheep, goats, cattle, and horses organically. Polymer coated seeds lock water in the places it needs, making it available for a longer time.
This nutritional formula is made to adapt and turn the soil conditions favorable for grazing animals. This pasture can be used both ways i.e new plantation or overseeding however using it as a medium-term pasture is more common.
Overseeding is also seen producing fruitful results as it is formulated to produce higher yields in all conditions.
- Kentaur perennial ryegrass -90%
- Gulf annual ryegrass -90%
- Maximo intermediate ryegrass -90%
- Persister bromegrass -85%
- Climax timothy -85%
- Olathe orchardgrass -85%
- Dutch white clover -90%
- Balin Kentucky bluegrass -85%
3. MBS Horse Pasture Grass Seed Mix
A non-GMO, all-natural horse pasture seed mix is formulated to supply all necessary nutrients to the grazing horses in a safer way. It can grow on any type of soil and is hardy enough to tolerate draughts(once the pasture is fully established).
Easy to sow, as all you have to do is break the soil to the desired level, broadcast the seed, you can either gently drag with your hands to hide the seed(up to ¼ inch deep) or press with a roller to kick start the germination process. Contains Bermudagrass, Bahiagrass, Teffgrass, Crabgrass.
One bag is enough to cover an acre of land. Sold in a reusable bag. Safe to be used around kids and pets.
Regular users claim that it stays healthy in the warmer weather but in winters it either dries or freezes.
4. Barenburg Pasture- Professional Equine Forage Program
Barenburg is just another widely trusted pasture brand that has been serving the farm owners for years. Improved forage quality and animal performance led them to have another bag of animal nutrients and that’s how its demand started increasing.
This specific bag is specially formulated for horses but it can also be used for other livestock as well. Contains ryegrass, Kentucky, bluegrass, orchard grass, and white clover. Versatile enough to work with adverse soil.
5. Jonathan Green Winter Rye Grass Seeds – Best for Horse paddocks
Jonathan green’s multipurpose grass, besides pasture, can also be used for hayfields, and gardens. With being a forgiving source of nutrition for your livestock it’s an excellent cheap fill-in to stop soil erosion.
This winter grass takes two to three weeks to germinate after being spread evenly whether with or without any mixture. Kentucky and Jonathan Green’s winter ray grass is an excellent mixture for your garden. But remember it’s not a permanent crop.
Planting in late summer would bring finer results. It’s an annual thick bladed solution that means that grass will reappear if it’s left to regrow.
6. Farmers Daughters Seeds Professional Horse Pasture Mixture
Farmers Daughters seeds is a widely trusted brand that has been serving the world for more than 40 years. It does not just provide high-quality horse pasture seed but garden seeds, cover crop, wildlife seed, brassica seed, grass seed, sunflower seed, Legume seed, clover seed, and small grain seeds as well.
These horse pasture seeds are not just made to provide horses a nutritional treat but also to bring a healthier, brighter, and fresh change to your garden.
Can be used for both new seeding and overseeding. For new seedlings, 25 pounds per acre and for overseeding 15 pounds per acre.
There are many other brands as well that are famous for this serving but these were the few trusted ones.
Even the trusted well-reputed seeds fail to serve the purpose if you do not know the basics. Do not worry we are here to answer your questions, clear your doubts even if we can’t hear you right now.
Let’s start with the very basic but commonly asked question.
How to pick grass seeds for a horse pasture?
While selecting the horse pasture seed you need to consider these points:
As we all know horses need pasture or hay equal to at least 1% of their body weight. So it gets extremely important to choose the right pasture for your horse. Unlike dairy livestock, they have one stomach that cannot process toxic elements.
A horse needs iron, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, manganese, and selenium. The horse pasture should have a percentage of all or at least some of these nutrients.
Besides, having a look at the nutritional side you need to check if the soil is ideal for the seed to grow.
Neglecting weather while selecting the seed pasture for your horse will end you up in disappointment. There are some cool-season and warm-season grasses so if you are thinking of planting a pasture in summer you need to look for warm-season pasture seeds.
Some good and worse pasture options
As horses look similar but in reality, they are different from one and the other same is the case with grass pastures. There are several types of grasses(that are used for horse pasture) and you can only select the right one if you know them all well. These grasses are commonly used to fulfill the nutritional needs of the horses:
- White clover
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Tall fescue
- Rhodes grass
White clover, herbaceous perennial legumes belonging to the Fabaceae family, is known in the market by many names i.e Dutch clover, ladino clover, and Trifolium repens. This legume is not being grown for horses but other livestock and wildlife as well.
It is usually paired with orchardgrass, tall fescue, and ryegrass. Besides, supplying necessary nutrients to the horses it also fulfills the nitrogen deficiency in the soil. White clover does not need fertilizer to grow on nitrogen-deficient soil and it keeps on blooming throughout spring and summer.
Once the pasture is established it would become difficult for you to control as it will keep growing tremendously.
Being grown from no or minimal fertilizing aid makes it a highly nutritional option for horse pasture.
A warm-season pasture grass that grows vigorously within a short period. It is one of the most commonly used hay options popular among the livestock keeper with dhoob, durva grass, ethana grass, dubo, dog’s tooth grass, devils grass, couch grass, grama, wiregrass, Indian doab, arugampul, crabgrass, and scutch grass names.
Bermuda grass on average is a moderate nutritional horse pasture but it can be mixed with some protein and calcium-rich options to make a wholesome meal.
Unfortunately, it’s not good for the horses that are suffering from laminitis. It should also not be a part of the horse’s diet that gains weight easily. Except for these two exceptional cases, it is a fine pasture option.
Nimblewill belongs to the family of Poaceae scientifically known as Muhlenbergia Schreberi.
Nimblewill is widely used as a pasture content across the Eastern United States. This nutritional component is commonly mixed with Kentucky to give the horse’s taste buds a unique flavor as they do not like eating nimblewill at all.
Like warm-season pasture options, it starts showing its heads in spring and keeps on glowing throughout summer. Another reason for it being pasture content is that it does not require high-quality soil to grow, less fertile, compact, and friable soil can also be used.
Though the horse does not like how nimblewill tastes, it is still among the few kinds of grass that are 100% safe for horses.
Kentucky bluegrass, meadow grass, smooth meadow grass is a cool-season grass commonly used in horse pastures.
This low yielding, slow-growing pasture content is the rewarding nutritional option for the horses in winters when most of the pasture options are on break.
It grows best in humid areas where the temperature remains between 60 F to 90 F. Mostly planted in fall when the temperature is somewhere between 50 to 60 degrees.
Outsidepride Kentucky bluegrass seed, SeedRanch Kentucky bluegrass seeds, Mountain View Kentucky bluegrass seed, Jonathan green Kentucky bluegrass seed, Barenbrug Kentucky bluegrass seeds, Scotts Turf builder grass Kentucky bluegrass seeds are the few trusted Kentucky grass seed brands.
Orchardgrass is just another green leafy nutritional treat for horses and several other options. It is 100% safe for that little stomach. This pasture content is famous with some funny, weird names like Cat grass, and cock’s foot orchard grass.
This grass thrives well in dense clusters and tussocks and it grows about 0.6 to 1 meter tall.
Using orchardgrass as a hay/pasture is common practice in the whole world. To get double nutritional content it is usually mixed with alfalfa and red clover. Beneficial for horses and grazing animals.
This cool-season horse pasture option is a species of bunchgrass. This easy to grow grass is heat and drought tolerant thus suitable for northern and transition zones. Since it is a cool-season grass so it grows tremendously in cool spring and fall when finding such nutritional treats for horses becomes hard.
It grows fast, even faster than Kentucky grass. If the grass gets infected with a fungal endophyte it is then recommended to find another option for your horse and other livestock, otherwise, it’s safe and nutritious.
High in calcium, low in oxalate what a forgiving combination? Rhodes grass is one of the most famous pasture grass not just in Australia but in many parts of the world. Horse owners have been using this nutritional punch for decades.
This grass is grown in tropical and subtropical regions to meet the forage need of livestock. It is grown in spring and summer and is usually found on the road margins, woodlands, and grasslands. Rhodes grass can be planted as both a permanent or medium-term pasture solution.
Low sugar and starch content is just another plus that makes it highly useful for that sensitive stomach.
Bluegrass is an excellent source of pasture
The reason why bluegrass got highlighted in this article is that besides being nutritional it tolerates heavy grazing(even down to two inches )so, it’s handy for you and beneficial for your horse.
These were the few tried and tested options now let’s have a look at some worse ones.
Ryegrass disliked by the horse owner for several reasons
- Presence of Mycotoxin
- High sugar level
- Low fiber content
A mycotoxin is known for disturbing a horse’s mental health. With abnormality, it adversely affects the horse’s physiology and it’s the ability to function. So, mycotoxin is one of the main reasons why this grass is a big no for horses.
High sugar content gives rise to other issues like colic and laminitis. And fiber should be an important content of the horse’s meal and if something is lacking it then what’s left for that meal?
Kikuyu is also a worse horse food option for
- Presence of mycotoxin
- High oxalate level
- Low calcium level
presence of mycotoxin makes it extremely dangerous for horses as it disturbs several functions in the body, making horse lose their temper. High oxalate and low calcium is another terrible combination as it would result in calcium deprived stable.
Kikuyu is valuable for dairy cattle as aids in producing high-quality butterfat milk but for horses, it does nothing besides bringing weight gain and several other abnormalities and South Africa is living proof.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of grass is best for horse pasture?
Bluegrass is considered the best option for horse pasture as it contains all necessary nutrients and it does not get hurt by rough grazing.
How do you grow grass as horse pasture?
To grow grass as horse pasture you need to follow these guidelines. It’s simple and easy.
- Conduct a soil test.
- Select a pasture seed.
- Plant seeds.
- Use fertilizer(if necessary).
- Control weeds.
How long after seeding can horse graze?
Pastures are fast-growing crops they take 14 to 30 days to start germinating. Horses should be kept away from the newly seeded site for at least 3 to 4 months. After the said period horses are allowed to graze.
When should I seed my horse pasture?
The answer to this question depends on the type of pasture you are about to plant. If you are thinking of planting warm-season grasses you should sow in late spring and if you are going for cool-season ones you should do it at least 45 days before the date of first fall Frost.
Can you fertilize the pasture with a horse on it?
It should be avoided in the first place. But if it’s necessary to bring it in good health you can use a mild fertilizer. Nitrogen-rich fertilizers are safer in such cases.
Will grass seed grow if you throw it on the ground?
Yes, it will grow but it’s not an ideal way of growing horse pasture as putting a layer of mulch or soil will turn it into a finer healthier pasture.
How long does it take for pasture sees to germinate?
Pasture seeds take 5 to 10 days to germinate.
In brief, horse pasture is an excellent organic source of vitamins and minerals for horses besides just filling the food need. Rhodes grass, bluegrass, Kentucky grass, orchard grass, Bermuda grass, and white clover are examples of horse-friendly pastures whereas ryegrass and Kikuyu should be avoided. While selecting the pasture seed you need to consider the weather, soil type, and of course nutritional value only then you will be able to make the right decision.
This all is gathered from years of experience. I hope I’m able to answer all your questions and finding best grass seed for horse pasture.
Iqra Maryam is a passionate equestrian who has spent her life researching and writing about equine. She remembers playing with her pony more than toys and friends! With time, she managed to train her Pony and did all research related to the well being of her friend.
She trains young equestrian and writes thoughtful articles on them. She believes each horse is a new learning experience and it sparks up her equine passion.