Are Healthy Soils and Healthy Horse NOT Compatible?

Over the past two weeks I have attended several grazing conferences here in Maryland. I am used to attending these conferences and coming away frustrated because the speakers are usually beef producers who impart their experiences mob grazing cattle or sheep and talk about elevating the level of forage in their fields.

As horse people, we tend to have vastly different problems. I have heard more than once that healthy horses and healthy pastures are not compatible. I have had a hard time believing this to be true and have instituted several pilot projects here to try and “think out of the square pasture” for answers to this challenge. We have successfully installed track paddocks on two farms with another one scheduled for this Spring.

The newest project is also going to incorporate some other new aspects including using probiotic and microbial applications to increase growth and soil health and decrease fertilizer use. The focus of many agricultural producers has now shifted away from a cycle of fertilizer and pesticide use to take a more holistic approach.

Nicole Masters of Integrity Soils


Vail Dixon of simple soil solutions

Are just two soil educators who are beginning to apply their knowledge to horse farms in particular.

Check out this video of Dixon speaking about the natural pasture repair she did on her Virginia Farm

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Shelly Ingram

I am a third generation horsewoman; My father operated a 50 horse boarding and training facility in northern California, where he specialized in re-training spoiled horses. I was his demonstration rider and general assistant in all aspects of running the ranch. I went on to work for several major show and race horse trainers, eventually opening my own barn where I focused on Junior and Amateur riders. I have trained numerous champion horses and riders on all levels and in variety of disciplines. I have also worked as a journalist and have more than a decade of experience in land use planning.

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