Everyone on the farm has a job to do:
Rather than working against nature, we do our best to work with it. This means that the plants on our property have a second (or third) purpose. We are sure to create an environment for pollinators - we strive to keep something blooming all year. Some plants improve the pasture, like dock or chicory, sending long tap roots into the soil.
There are two types of beneficial plants. Those that benefit the horse and those that benefit the land and wildlife. You'll need to know both of these types of plants and intermix them, to create a healthy ecosystem that is supporting the needs of our horses.
A note about toxicity: There are varying levels of toxicity in plants in both severity and dosage required to illicit a response. Some plants in small amounts have no ill-effects, however they shouldn't be used as the primary forage for horses (Dock is a good example), these are often listed on sites as" Toxic to Equines". However there are plants that I would go out of my way to eliminate in my pastures due to how dangerous they are (Drop Water Hemlock would be a key one.)
Native Grasses: Excellent for overseeing and incorporating in East Coast Pastures
Little Bluestem is a beautiful warm season native grass with blue-green leaf color and upright form. Densely mounded, Little Bluestem reaches a height of 3 feet by autumn, when it turns a striking reddish-bronze, bearing illuminated tufted seeds which support birds and other wildlife. The rigid clumps can withstand snow and rain, allowing the reddish grass stems to remain upright for most of the winter. This prairie grass excels in dry sandy soils, and can support light grazing. It is fairly adaptable, but not recommended for damp sites or heavy clay soils.
Herbs and Forbs:
Galium aparine -Common name Cleavers, can benefit the lymphatic system and can assist in skin conditions. Spring annual,