Hi there, Pat Coleby is something of a legend in natural horsecare circles. Many who don't own their own property use her feeding guides to make up for having no control over the pasture their horses are on. I didn't track her book down for many years as the way I'd seen some feeding their horses on her theory seemed rather weird and didn't fit my instinct for natural land management. I finally bought the book about 3 years ago and was amazed to find it such a detailed reference on natural pasture management! We had already started managing our land 'naturally' in the sense of replacing synthetic with natural rock mineral fertilisers, slashing instead of spraying where possible etc, and I found the book a great fit. The book was really helpful, particularly in understanding the mineral profiles of the soil (more comprehensively than the standard Soil Test Kit) and plant symptoms the paddocks were showing us once we knew where to look. It also showed to us the previously-unheard-of danger of horses grazing limed paddocks. It also convinced me to put into practice the 'weird' feeding practices, to match the mineral profile of our soil, and my horses have never looked so fantastic for so little money week-to-week. Everyone comments on how wonderful they look. So for me her theories on mineralisation and animal health has been proven beyond a doubt, so anything she has to say should be considered. She is I understand now in her eighties yet still offers over-the-phone consultations for property owners.
We also have cultivated our dung beetle populations, which help to get paddock manure under the soil instead of sitting on top oxidizing.
Results? Our paddocks have definitely improved since Pat's book gave us the confidence to completely give away spraying in favour of slashing, and using our own on-farm nutrients to spread back on the paddocks. Despite drought our grass has been thicker, key weeds (sorrel, salvation jane, capeweed, flatweek) have been thinner, and the grass has a much deeper green colour.
Peter's books are adding another dimension entirely though - it's so Australian, so broad-scale applicable, and has more ideas about turning paddocks around quickly and economically (rock fertilisers are no cheaper than synthetic ones - they're all expensive inputs). Controlling our water inputs to make better use of our on-farm nutrient (we have stables - lots of nutrient!!!) we hope will see even better turnaround results. Peter's idea of focussing the nutrient uphill, with water to spread the nutrient, is very appealing as we have struggled to spread more widely across the paddocks - very time and effort intensive without proper machinery.
But from what knowledge I've gained, I think that Peter and Pat's ideas generally would go hand-in-hand.
Maybe in a year or two I'll be more qualified to comment