Production and environmental implications of equine grazing

Rebecca C. Bott, Elizabeth A. Greene, Katherine Koch, Krishona L. Martinson, Paul D. Siciliano, Carey Williams, Nathalie L. Trottier, Amy Burk, Ann Swinker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Horses' physical and digestive well-being is often enhanced when allowed to graze on pastures. Furthermore, a well-managed pasture can contribute to economic viability. Grazing can however have deleterious effects on the environment if not properly managed. Although equine grazing, defecating, and ground trampling behavior is unique from that of other livestock species, pasture management practices are often based on those derived from cattle grazing. This review summarizes the current knowledge of impacts of equine grazing on pasture quality and environment and identifies gaps where further information is needed to formulate and recommend sustainable grazing methods specific to equine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1031-1043
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported in part by US Department of Agriculture Multi-State project NE-1041, Environmental Impacts of Equine Operations , coordinated by Michael Westendorf, PhD. The authors thank Rachel Gilker, PhD, for consultation on soil dynamics and Cheryl Beste and Rozanne McGrath for editorial assistance.


  • Environment
  • Equine
  • Grazing
  • Pasture


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