For many horse owners rolling is a necessary task that needs to be carried out every spring to restore paddocks, which have been poached during the winter.
Rolling can be of benefit when the ground has been badly poached, although ground conditions need to be firm (not too wet and not too dry) to avoid compaction. Where land is compacted, grass growth can be restricted and slowed down.
We tend not to roll, unless the ground has been severely poached. Instead we prefer to use either a chain harrow or scarifyer to help breakdown soil lumps and to even out the ground.
Rolling should be carried out after grass seed has been sown, preferably during September, to give the grass the best possible chance to germinate and start growing ahead of winter.