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Aerworx Equestrian

Full Impact

 

The hard wearing blades aerate the topsoil to a depth of 175mm (7in), increasing nitrogen mineralization and nutrient uptake.

 

The percussive effect of the blades has an even deeper impact, fracturing the subsoil down to depths of 300mm (12in).

 

These deep fissures mean the new root structure can now easily grow to a good depth, maximising drainage, drought resistance and nutrient availability, ultimately 

improving yield or reducing fertiliser costs. Lightweight aerators do not have this effect.

Full Infiltration

 

Ranging in weight from 1150kg to 5000kg, AerWorx aerators offer by far the greatest weight per
metre of any machine on the  market. 

 

By water ballasting the main drum, all the weight is self-contained and directly above the blades, maximum blade penetration is maximised in all conditions, from hard- baked clays to the stoniest of soils.

 

This means aeration can be done at the optimum time to ensure a deep shattering effect, not when the soil is soft or wet which can often result in smearing.

Full Impact

 

The hard wearing blades aerate the topsoil to a depth of 175mm (7in), increasing nitrogen mineralization and nutrient uptake.

 

The percussive effect of the blades has an even deeper impact, fracturing the subsoil down to depths of 300mm (12in).

 

These deep fissures mean the new root structure can now easily grow to a good depth, maximising drainage, drought resistance and nutrient availability, ultimately 

improving yield or reducing fertiliser costs. Lightweight aerators do not have this effect.

Full Infiltration

 

Ranging in weight from 1150kg to 5000kg, AerWorx aerators offer by far the greatest weight per
metre of any machine on the  market. 

 

By water ballasting the main drum, all the weight is self-contained and directly above the blades, maximum blade penetration is maximised in all conditions, from hard- baked clays to the stoniest of soils.

 

This means aeration can be done at the optimum time to ensure a deep shattering effect, not when the soil is soft or wet which can often result in smearing.

The challenge of managing equine pastures!

How many times do we say "the ground conditions are bad this year" and we simply accept it and deal with the consequences or find work arounds?  Something can be done to make your grassland more resilient to the ever challenging weather patterns, whether it's grazing or a training / competition surface.

 

The wet winter/spring months often leave us with waterlogged poached paddocks that then bake and leave uneven hard ruts in the summer months. Grass sits under water for significant periods of time and grass growth and quality are affected. 

Q: Why?

A:  Soil Compaction! 

What is soil compaction? 

Compaction occurs when the soil structure becomes compressed. The soil particles become consolidated in to what is known as large aggregates or blocks, squeezing out the oxygen and water, needed for grass growth and the function of important microorganisms that work to help grass grow. 

When it rains, the water can't "percolate" through the soil ( a bit like a coffee filter) but instead sits on the surface and either causes waterlogging or run off and erosion of your valuable soil. 

The grass roots are then deprived of water because the soil can't retain what it doesn't have access to. The roots also struggle to penetrate in to the compressed soil  or "pan".

 

We end up with poor soil, poor grazing and sub-optimal surface conditions.

 

Why do we get soil compaction? 

Years of hooves (whether livestock or horses), vehicles driving over the land ; pastures that are worked in wet conditions e.g. harrowing, rolling are the main causes of compaction.

 

These activities compress the soil particles and affect its porosity. The obvious visual example of the effects of compaction can often be seen in gateways and around drinking troughs - these are the areas that are usually most affected and easy to recognise but it is likely that this is happening elsewhere on your land too....

Equine Paddock Maintenance
Equine pasture management
Waterlogged pasture
Horse at grass
Mare and foal at grass. Aeration to help manage paddocks
Buttercups allergy horse dermatitis
Old horse with arthritis turned out.

A. GRAZING PADDOCKS & STUDS

 

Why should I worry about compaction in my pastures? 

  • Prolonged waterlogging that horses have to stand in.

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  • Irregular ground surface  - the wet winter ground becomes poached, causes more compaction and then bakes in the summer resulting in hard uneven rutted ground

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  • Poor grass growth  - quality of grazing is important too. The soil needs to healthy to provide the grass, and therefore your horse, with the correct minerals and nutrients.

  • Opportunistic weeds and the wrong grass species can thrive not only affecting the grass quality but weeds such as buttercups can cause other issues. 

  • Fertiliser use: poor soil health means that you may have to resort to fertiliser use: 

       - an avoidable expense

       - horses have to be kept off the pastures for 3 weeks

       - if you have compacted land, fertiliser may not even get in to the soil and worryingly may enter water courses/ rivers etc in run off.

  • Environmental impact - your land may be losing topsoil through erosion and run off. Topsoil takes years to form -  not only are you are loosing a valuable asset but your land may be potentially contaminating watercourses/ rivers/ streams with run off of top soil, as well as products used to treat your horse (that could be found in urine/dung such as wormers)...the impact on the environment may not be insignificant.

How could this affect my horse?

  • A predisposition to veterinary issues:

     

      a) Standing in waterlogged ground for prolonged periods can lead to :

                - mudfever

                - thrush

                - white line disease

                - propensity for foot abscesses

                - cracked hoof walls

                - greasy heel syndrome 

 

 b) As our horses graze their pastures, they have to navigate wet boggy surface conditions in the winter/ spring or baked hard and sometimes rutted ground in the summer. This can lead to: 

- sprains/ strains or more serious injury to orthopaedic structures such as flexor tendons of the lower limb /collateral ligaments of the foot & fetlock (especially if they are lively out at grass!).

- difficulty turning out those who are already rehabilitating orthopaedic injury

-the potential for young stock to develop skeletal abnormalities if their joints / growth plates are affected by repeated exposure to hard uneven ground conditions.

   

c) Poor grass cover can result in the overgrowth of weeds such as buttercups  which can be irritant causing muzzle dermatitis in some horses/ponies.

       

d) Uncommonly, but especially if co - grazing with livestock, wet conditions can increase the risk of infection with liver fluke.

e) Reduced turn out time 

If ground conditions are too wet, too poached, too rutted or grass is too poor, owners are likely to stable horses for longer periods through the equine calendar year. For the older animals this can difficult, predisposing to other issues especially for those with arthritis. ​

  • Increased costs

       

a)Less turnout will increase bedding/ feed/ hay/ staffing costs.

b) Veterinary costs/ time off work treating the ailments above

c) If grass quality is poor, forage and feed costs increase; many owners will harrow (to remove dead grass "thatch") and fertilise pasture - fuel costs, staff time and high fertiliser costs will be felt....and more vehicle "wheelings" cause more soil compaction.... and so the cycle continues....

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d) If owners make their own hay, yield potential will be limited by compacted land potentially resulting in the expense of having to buy in forage.

Collateral Ligament injury in the horse
Young horses at grass
Waterlogged gateway of a paddock
Hay making
Anchor Aerworx Equestrian

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B. COMPETITION GROUNDS

 

I manage equine competition grounds - how can I improve the turf? 

Compacted ground will affect grass competition surfaces for the same reasons as a grazing paddock. 

Wet winters of standing water limits grass growth and so the extent and even distribution of grass cover is affected. We need the ground to be like a sponge but if the soil can't capture and retain water, rock hard ground with baked ruts in the summer can predispose equine athletes to injury when they're training and competing.

 

Aerating will help to establish and maintain an even surface. 

We already have Aerworx aerators being used on: 

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Showjumping arenas

                                                               

 

       

 

Cross country courses

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Race courses                                                                                        

 

 

                                                                     

 

Polo grounds

Showjumping on grass. Show ground management
Event horse on a country course
Aeration of a racecourse
Polo grounds management
Dressage horse competing on grass. Ring management
Managing racecourse turf
Polo grounds Turf management
equine paddock maintenance
Small grassland aerator for an ATV equine pasture maintenance

We offer a large range of different models and sizes to suit YOUR needs, with optional additional extras and the flexibility to work together to design a bespoke machine too.

So how can I rid of soil compaction? 

AERATION!

 

Aeration of soil can improve the porous nature of soil so that water is captured and drained away, optimising soil health for grass growth and avoids those detrimental surface conditions.

How does aeration work? 

Traditionally lightweight spiked aerators were used to make holes or small slits in the surface of the soil but this often isn't enough to break up the hard pan that sits around 7cm and below! 

The AERWORX AERATOR is carefully designed to create deep slots in the topsoil, shatter the deeper soil underneath but, importantly, without disturbance of the surface. You can aerate around your horses if they are sensible enough and certainly do not need to withhold use of the paddocks after aerating as you would have to with fertiliser use. The key is to aerate when the conditions are dry so that we don't create more compaction taking the vehicle and machine across wet ground.

 

 

 

 

Can I still aerate if I don't have a tractor? 

 

YES!

 

Our Compact range (1m or 1.5m x 20" drum) is designed for smallholders, equestrians and pasture management contractors who may be limited (access/ hp availability etc) to using lower horsepower mini tractors/ RTVs/ quads/ 4x4s.​

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If you do have access to a tractor we have a large range available to suit your needs. ​

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Small grassland aerator on an ATV
Small aerator for a small tractor
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