A large problem with horse pastures is that they are over used. Many small farms do not have enough space for pasture rotation while letting seeds mature. A rule of thumb is to let four to six months time pass before putting horses on a newly seeded pasture.
The last thing you want to do is spend money on seed and then have the horses ruin it.
There are plenty of resources for a farmer who is willing to start from scratch a new pasture. The local Ag company will help identify soil type and pH and would love to sell you the seed. For us smaller farmers, it is a challenge to upgrade an existing pasture without taking the horses off of it.
Snow seeding is my favorite way to get the seed to soil contact that is imperative for sprouting. I find that the thaw has a way of pushing or pulling the little seeds down beneath last years litter into the soil. Currently I am renovating one quarter of my pasture.
I have fenced off the area that had the least desirable plants and I am just waiting for a fluffy snow to broadcast my seeds. I took soil samples the day I put up the fence and have determined that I needed some lime to raise the pH (or make it more basic) for the seeds I have purchased.
Being a relatively small pasture I broadcast the lime by hand out of five gallon bucket. Perhaps there is a better way using a mechanical spreader, but I feel like there is a good evenness to it. With the pH accounted for, I am just waiting to sow. I did not mow the original plants because they have healthy root stock and I would like for them to hold the ground while my new crop is growing and sensitive.
By keeping my livestock off of this portion of pasture for six months, I can ensure that the plants really take hold. I am imagining that once the new pasture looks great, the summer will be half done and it will be hot.
At this point I plan to introduce my heard into the pasture for a few hours per day. I would hate for them to use this greener portion exclusively and harm the pasture. If I can wean them onto it I will then fence off another quarter of the pasture for next years seeding.