In partnership with SPILLERS™

Strip grazing is a method of sectioning off a smaller section of the horse’s field using electric fencing. The fence is moved daily to provide gradual access to fresh grazing either with a back fence (see image A) or without a back fence (see image B). If used, the back fence is moved by the same amount as the lead fence to keep the over-all grazing area the same size.

Does strip grazing really work?

Research conducted by SPILLERS™, in collaboration with Dr Annette Longland of Equine Livestock and Nutrition Services in Wales, found strip grazed ponies gained significantly less weight than ponies with free access to restricted grazing over a 28 period, regardless of whether or not a back fence was used.

Twelve ponies were turned out in individual paddocks for 28 days. All paddocks were 10m wide, but the length of the paddock was adjusted to be able to provide (at the start of the study) 1.5% of the ponies’ bodyweight (dry matter) in grass for 28 days. To test the effect of strip grazing on weight gain, each pony was assigned to one of the following management practices or ‘treatments’ (4 ponies of similar height, weight and body condition per treatment):

  • Total allowance
    After a two-day adaptation period ponies were given access to their whole paddock
  • Strip grazing without a back fence
    After a two-day adaptation period, the ‘lead fence’ was moved 1/26th of the remaining length of the paddock per day to provide controlled access to fresh grass
  • Strip grazing with a back fence
    After a 2-day adaptation period the lead fence and a ‘back fence’ was moved by 1/26th of the remaining length per day to allow fresh access to grass without increasing size of grazing area

Strip grazing in practice

In practice how far you should move the fence – and possibly whether a back fence may be beneficial – will depend on many factors including:

  • The size of the field and how many horses are turned out in it
  • The weight/ body condition of the horse(s)
  • The quality and quantity of grass available
  • The rate of grass growth

Monitoring your horse/ pony’s weight and body condition regularly will help you to assess whether any changes may be needed. For more specific advice, you can contact the SPILLERS™ Care-line on 01908 226626 or visit

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