Medieval Pasture – Garry Holter

Demeter Grassland Management is run by Garry Holter. He is an independent consultant who has developed a range of mixtures. He will if required visit your farm/land advise on the best way forward and produce a report.

In particular Garry has been involved in developing a concept called the medieval pasture grazing ley below.

The Medieval Pasture
Demeter Grassland Management through many years of grazing research involving both domestic and wild grazers developed a system of grazing known as the Medieval Pasture system. It is not just a seed mix, nor a means of grazing horses in a different way it is an entire package developed to promote health and natural fitness in all equines.

The Medieval Pasture produces grazing superior in both quality and quantity over the more modern ryegrass based equivalent. Yet its costs are far less in both terms of time and money than the modern ryegrass systems currently used for equine grazing

This is a system which re-introduces a greater range of diverse plants into the meadow. It complies with Government advice on improving the biodiversity of Britain’s countryside and improves grazing for all grazing animals. It is based upon a mixture of fine grasses which are resistant to trampling and extreme grazing pressure.

At the moment, the UK’s main type of grass used for equine grazing is agricultural rye type. This type of grass was cultivated and “improved” as animal food during and after the war as it is laden with fructose (sugary stuff) helping put weight on food animals or encouraging excessive milk production. It is however, bad news for horses and indeed all grazing animals as it can induce laminitis and due to its monoculture format doesn’t provide a balanced diet.
But why use the Medieval Pasture at all surely modern feedstuffs and a bit of grass is all that is needed? Well for some this might be acceptable, but health issues such Laminitis, gut ulcers, tying up and a general fall in condition suggest this diet is not all it is “cracked up to be”. No, horses and indeed all grazing animals, require a broad spectrum of plant material to not only be healthy but also to be able to do the things we ask of them.

The Medieval Pasture system fed and powered the war-horses of the 11th through to the late 15th centuries. These horses were expected to not only gallop into battle with a very heavy and armoured man on their backs but also carry their own armour as well. This however is not the whole story of course the man had to get to battle first and if he was lucky come away again, all on an animal fed on nothing more than herbs and fine grasses.  If it could do all that for those animals what could it do for yours?

At present please contact Garry by e-mail

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.