It’s a common sight: a meadow with some horses and a small group of sheep. Why is that? Is it just convenient to put all your animals together in one pasture, or are there other benefits as well?
Actually, there are some advantages to letting horses and sheep graze together.
First off: horses are really picky eaters. For example, they don’t eat the grass that is too rough or growing near their own droppings. Sheep don’t care about that and are happy to eat the left-over grass.
Another advantage is that some parasites are very host-specific. The parasitic worm eggs of the horse parasites have no influence at all on the sheep, and vice versa. That way, the combination of horses and sheep gives a cleaning effect.
Of course, there are some disadvantages as well. You need to make sure your fence is save for both horses and sheep, and you have to watch out for possible transmission of diseases from one to the other.
I think it is a wonderful combination and a lovely sight! What do you think?