University of Maryland Extension

Pasture Management

Demonstration Farm 

The University of Maryland operates a Rotational Grazing Demonstration Farm at its Central Maryland Research and Education Center in Ellicott City. Visit the demonstration farm's page  to learn about grazing facility design, grazing research being conducted, and educational events being hosted at the farm.



UMD's Rotational Grazing Demonstration Site

        Development of an Equine Rotational Grazing Demonstration Site for 
        Extension Education

Getting Started

        A Horse Owner's Guide to Greener Pasture and Cleaner Streams

        Big Dreams for Your Horse Farm? Do Your Homework First!

        Assessing the Environmental Impact of Your Farm

        Pasture Walks

General Pasture Management

        Management of Established Horse Pastures 

        Management Tips for Horse Owners

        Managing Pastures for Ground Cover

        Pasture Management For All Seasons

        Vegetative Cover: Is it Grass That's Really Greener on the Other Side           of the Fence?  

         List and Comparison of Soil Testing Laboratories

Seeding and Renovation

        Common Horse Pasture Grasses and Legumes

        Guidelines for Seeding New Pastures and Renovating Old Pastures I:           Plan Before You Seed

        Guidelines for Seeding New Pastures and Renovating Old Pastures II:         Getting Ready to Seed

        Guidelines for Seeding New Pastures and Renovating Old Pastures               III: Planting the Seed and Managing After Seeding

        Seeding Small-Acreage Horse Pastures

Heavy Use Areas

        Give Mud the Boot

        Sacrifice Lots

        Vegetative Heavy Use Areas

Grazing Management

        Rotational Grazing

        Using a Grazing Stick for Pasture Management 

        Poisonous Weeds in Horse Pastures

Manure Management

        Nutrient Management Plans for Horse Farms

        Horse Manure Management        

        Composting Horse Manure

Pasture Facility Considerations

        Fence Planning for Horses 

        Water Harvesting



Estimating Pasture Vegetative Cover

Want to use the form mentioned in this video? It is included as the last page of this publication.


How to Take a Soil Sample

A list of soil testing laboratories as referenced in this video is available here.


Basics of Horse Pasture Management

Recorded during our 2013 Horse Pasture Management 101 seminar, these clips are from Dr. Les Vough's talk. View individual clips, or watch them all in sequence to view the entire talk.

Soil Fertility Management for Horse Pastures

Recorded during our 2013 Horse Pasture Management 101 seminar, these clips are from Extension Educator Dave Martin's talk. View individual clips, or watch them all in sequence to view the entire talk.



 Equine Facilities and Pasture Considerations 

Shannon Dill, Extension Educator 
University of Maryland Extension - Talbot County

Being able to keep your horses at home may be a dream come true, but it is a much sweeter dream when proper thought and planning has been put into facility and pasture needs. Topics include facility considerations, maintaining pastures and designing a rotational grazing system. Have your pastures looking great for this summer!


Interactive Tools

Web Soil Survey

Click the green button to get started with this online program. There is a bit of a learning curve; once you get the hang of WSS, you can look up extensive information about the soils on your property.


Who Else Can Help?

Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts

The soil conservation districts of Maryland provide landowners and residents with technical assistance in implementing soil and water conservation practices on their properties.

Maryland Department of Agriculture Regional Equine Specialists

MDA Regional Equine Specialists assist Maryland horse farm owners and operators in addressing pasture and manure issues by providing technical assistance specific to horse properties.  They also help farm owners learn about and sign up for cost-share programs that help them reduce the cost of implementing conservation practices.  Their services are free and widely valued by the horse industry.

Anne Arundel & Prince George’s Counties 
Eileen Beard 

301-574-5162 ext. 3

Baltimore, Carroll & Harford Counties 
Ciara McMurtrie 

410-666-1188 ext. 3

Carroll, Frederick & Howard Counties 
Michael Calkins 


Calvert, Charles & St. Mary’s Counties 
Sara Lewis 

301-475-8402 ext. 115

Montgomery County 
Travis Gorleski 



Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2020. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.