Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where to Roll?!?

So...back to writing about things related to horses since I have veered off from that recently. I thought this subject was interesting because I love how you really can find anything in horse magazines about studies they've done, and they've done one on where horses roll!

In a recent article from Equus, a University in Japan talks about protecting your pasture grass, and making a place for horses to roll. Horses benefit both mentally, and physically from rolling, BUT they can destroy a fair amount of grass when they roll. So...this University decided to see if they could make a place for horses to roll, instead of the nice green patches of grass.

In this study...they first kept four horses in an all-grass paddock and monitored for six hours daily for one week. They observed and wrote down how many times the horses rolled, and for how long. They were then moved to a smaller paddock that had three specially constructed rolling areas; one area was filled with loose local soil, one with sand and one with straw. They were kept there for three weeks, and then they started observing.

They found out that the horses rolled about the same amount, but they did use the designated rolling areas almost every time; they also rolled in the dirt more often than the straw or sand. It also showed that they rolled for shorter times, meaning that maybe the designated rolling areas got the job done better. having designated rolling areas for horses, it can protect grasses from damage, which means less required supplemental feed and hay.


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