Poo Picking Your Horse Paddock – How and Why

As I am sure most horse owners will be aware, ‘poo picking’ is the manual removal of piles of poo from your horse’s field. This important job is usually carried out daily in the spring and summer months to keep the grazing clean and prevent the spread of intestinal worms.

Horses tend to avoid grazing areas where poo is lying, so the grass and weeds grow long there and the result is the remaining pasture gets overgrazed. Whenever speaking to yard owners I encourage them to discipline themselves to carry out this job as often as possible in order to manage paddock areas effectively.

Why Poo Pick?

  • Keep grazing looking clean and fresh
  • Prevent the spread of intestinal worms, especially when new horses enter a yard
  • Prevent over grazing
  • Reduce the amount of flies

Methods Available:

  • Poop scoop by hand and a wheel barrow
  • Poop scoop by hand and a tractor/quad bike with trailer
  • Paddock vacuum

The stable yard at Orchard Stables poo pick every morning throughout the summer with a short handled poop scoop and a small tractor and trailer, however for those of you with much larger operations it may be worth looking into mechanical alternatives to make your life easier. We find that poo picking is also a great way to keep fit during the spring and summer!

The Muckheap

Don’t forget that there are also issues to consider when disposing of the horse poo with the management of the muckheap an important consideration for horses and ponies, their owners and their neighbors!

The muckheap must be situated where it will not contaminate watercourses such as rivers, streams and ditches, as well as groundwater. It must not be sited where it will cause a nuisance to neighboring houses and users of public rights of way. The muckheap should also be located where it can be conveniently accessed from both the stables and the road if it is to be collected for disposal. It should not be too close to the stables as to cause a nuisance to horses and ponies from flies. Ideally the muckheap should have a solid base and sides to enclose it and keep it contained.

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