When it comes to selecting a good piece of land on which to keep your horse, there are several important factors to keep in mind. The safety of the area, its terrain, exposure levels and more should all be considered, and it’s also vital to think about the buffering of your paddock. A buffer is essentially an area of land which helps to protect your paddock by controlling the water runoff from the paddock. In times of high rainfall, mud will build up in your paddock and this needs to be managed before it becomes a hazard for the horse or others.
Buffers, also known as biofiltration strips, can be made from various types of plants, pasture or other forms of vegetation. They work to reduce the amount of runoff in your pasture by making use of it, absorbing the various nutrients it contains and preventing the mud from building up and flowing further into local bodies of water or ditches. Your buffer should be at least 10 to 25 feet in width, but this can vary greatly. It all depends on the size of your land, the type of soil in the area, the presence of local plant life and even the slope of the paddock. Some experts would recommend a buffer of at least 50 feet, and the size should be increased for fields on deep slopes or those with dense soils or a lack of vegetation. Overall, the wider you can make your buffer, the more effective it will be.
There are various types of grasses, plants and legumes you can use to create your buffer. A common example would be to simply plant trees along the border, making sure to prevent the horse from grazing here. The trees can even be thinned out after growing to a sufficient height and you can make use of the wood or sell it for a profit. You can also make use of simple grasses or native plants to suit the region, or various types of shrubs that can also be harvested. The type of plant life used for your buffer isn’t of great importance, as most lawns, trees and shrubs will all have the same effects, so it really depends on the size of your land and how much work you are able to put into managing the buffer.
Buffers offer several other benefits that cannot be underestimated. By helping to absorb muddy runoff and filter it of any impurities, they help to remove any dangerous chemicals and pesticides out of the water. They also act as barriers against soil erosion and even help to protect local wildlife by offering safe places in which various animals can eat and live. They can also help to make the area more attractive and offer a boost to the local ecosystem. Overall, buffers are incredibly helpful in a variety of ways, so it’s important to make use of them all around your paddocks.