Pastures and paddocks
There are not many things that can be agreed by the vast majority of horse keeners. One of these exceptions is the claim or the fact that the high-quality pasture is the most important prerequisite for breeding horses. There is no doubt that the same thing was seen by our ancestors at least until the time when the interest in horses began to recede from the needs of industrial agriculture. It is interesting that almost all the horse breeders agree on what the term of high-quality pasture covers . If we summarize that, so it deals with the optimal soil, sufficient size, suitable climate and right composition of species of fodder plants . When such a consensus exists, we assuming that will find countless pastures in the Czech republic meeting the above mentioned . Unfortunately, the situation is completely different and the expectation of any improvement in the quality of breeding reminds of Beckett's Waiting for Godot. It is likely that many breeders tried to fulfill that basic prerequisite, but the overall demanding intensity of implementation exceeded their capabilities. From our own experience we know how difficult (not only economically ) it was to fulfill that prerequisite and how important role was played by a good time and maybe a coincidence. More information on choice of the location can be found in the part „About Us“. Our attempt to fulfill all the conditions for the establishment of high-quality pasture in the center DARHORSE can be illustrated by the following facts:
Podřipsko is one of the most fertile areas in the whole country and is rightly called "the Garden of Bohemia". The very fertile soil provides exceptional yields of most crops and mingle here muck with brown soil here. The arable soil accounts for 90 % of agricultural soil and for these reasons it is logical that the grasslands constitute only 2 % of agricultural soil, while it is inaccessible and agriculturally difficult usable space. Carried out soil analyzes have repeatedly shown that those soils are the ideal composition for the growth of fodder plants. Unfortunately, the establishment of pastures on soils with a high-quality value are still considered as a true crime by all the local farmers.
Sufficient size of pastures - paddocks
All the pastures were newly based on the original fields, hop gardens and orchards and their total area is about 280 ha. The pastures fenced with firm wooden fences are called grassy paddocks. Currently, there are 12 of them covering a total area of about 180 ha. The area of individual paddocks is from two to fifty hectares.
Podřipsko is a very warm climate region. The average annual temperature is around 10 ° C. The pasture complex is of an ideal altitude from 180 to 240 meters above the sea level, which eliminates the frost basins and enables the air movement in the summer. The closeness of the Elbe increases humidity, which suppresses the impacts of drier seasonal periods.
Composition of fodder plants
Given the soil pH is neutral in the pastures to slightly alkaline with a sufficient amount of nutrients in the soil (as measured by the amount of phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg), it was necessary to adjust the composition of seeds to local circumstances. The sowing was made into the arable soil, which was flatted with a compactor and then rolled out. The spring and autumn sowing were carried out, while the spring sowing achieved the greater efficiency. In grassy paddocks the fodder plants were reformulated in favour of a higher proportion of fiber to make it up to comply with enzymatic and microbial digestion of horses. The composition of species was very similar. It was only slightly experimented with endemic species and subspecies within Central Europe and with the share festucoid hybrid of interspecies. In places, where there was the higher natural soil monture, the proportion of bluegrass and festuca rubra was increased, which produces a reinforcing and bearable turf. In the exposed areas the proportion of ryegrass was increased because of the rapid sprouting and regeneration. The legumes were included only to a minimal extent ( max. 5 % share) in the drier areas where the proportion of bluegrass and red festuca rubra was incerased .
|The example " endemic " composition:|
|The example of a "European " composition:|
|Arrhenatherum elatius||Arrhenatherum elatius||5%|
|Phleum pratense||Phleum pratense||25%|
|Festuca arundinacea||Festuca arundinacea||5%|
|Festuca rubra||Festuca rubra||15%|