The Horse Fair, 1853-1855 Rosa Bonheur



"Looking Ahead"

Here are  number of landscape design notes and tips as they relate to equestrian landscape design.  I hope you find them of interest:

Notes & Tips (Page 1 of 2)


What about maintenance aspects of a landscaped facility? 

  All of us engaged in equestrian activities keep a pretty busy schedule. While they would like to have a well landscaped facility they could well be concerned about the extra maintenance involved. They really need not worry. 

Low maintenance landscaping is particularly well suited for an equestrian site. Some examples of low maintenance plants are prairie style perennials and grasses which blend into the natural landscape. 

There are a host to choose from including silver fleecevine, autumn moorgrass, or maiden grass which arches gracefully four to six feet high and flowers in late autumn. Try masses of blue oat grass, a 30 inch variety with pretty blue-green leaves. Landscaping with ornamental grasses and hardy perennials makes sense for the equestrian site. Once these plants are established they need little water require very low maintenance". In fall, the maturing seed heads, stalks, and leaves add gold, russet, and brown hues to the landscape and the seeds draw birds. An excellent example can be seen at The National Arboretum, Washington, D.C.

I would be pleased to utilize the low maintenance prairie style perennials and grasses in a landscape design for your equestrian site. 


A good pasture which is well managed can provide most of the summer feed requirements of horses at a low cost. In general it takes 1.5 to 2 acres for a horse with a mature weight of 1,000-1,200 pounds. This rule-of-thumb will help in estimating the acreage requirements for an equine facility. However, in western states where dry conditions are common, many more acres may be required.

Rotational grazing is often utilized when acreage is less than one acre per horse. Kentucky bluegrass which is well limed and fertilized is a good choice for pastures.

A poorly managed pasture will supply little, if any, feed. Also, such pastures can be the source of internal parasites.

Warning: Poisonous Plants

Jimson Weed


When clearing ground for a facility site in wooded areas or when horses are allowed to graze in wooded areas, care must be taken to eliminate poisonous plants harmful to horses.

Cornell University lists these species of tress, shrubs, and plants which are of particular concern to horse owners:

Red Maple, Fiddleneck, Locoweed, Yellow Star Thistle, Crown Vetch, Jimsonweed, Horsetail, Buckwheat, St. John's Wort, Mountain Laurel, Sensitive Fern, Black Cherry, Bitter Cherry, Choke Cherry, Pin Cherry, Bracken, Fern Oaks, Rhubarb, Rhododendron, Castor Bean, Black Locust, Grounsels, Common Nightshade, Black Nightshade, Horse Nettle, Buffalo Bur, Potato Sorghum or Milo, Sudan Grass, Johnson Grass, Yew , and molds of various kinds in various feeds.