Yes my field was very wet, it is now very green and looking good and drying out. I don't know how many horses you have on how many acres and personally I hate to see people overgraze their farms. I have 2 horses in a 5 acre field at the moment and I may put 3 on it but that would be the max. I quit feeding hay about 1 month ago and the are getting enough grass to keep them looking good. I also re-seed the field at least every other year. Do you not have a barn you can put your horses in to keep them off the field?
Dusty, Thanks for responding! I am guilty of overgrazing the pasture. We started with two horses, but with circustances that would take a while to explain, now have an extra mare and two babies, well one baby and a two year old. In other words, five horses of varying ages.
I have a barn with five stalls, two pastures, one pond and a big back yard. Our house came with 6 1/2 acres, but the house (with a fenced back yard) takes up about an acrea and the pond almost an acre. That leaves me about four acres.
One small pasture I've seeded twice. The other not at all. The one I haven't seeded I need lime and fertilize year before last. I desperately need to move my horses and have the big pasture worked and seeded.
I can't find anywhere to move them to. I think they'd go nuts locked up in the barn, but I guess I could do that.
I really appreciate the advice! So you have four horses? I could deffinitly put some up at night and switch them out. That's a great idea! I still need to sell two, but really only want to sell one right now. I'm letting the horses graze in the backyard for a couple of hours each day when it is dry enough.
Our back pasture has water issue when it's been raining a lot and ofcourse it rained all winter. This is the pasture I need worked. I'm looking for someone that can do that for me. No luck so far. I'm just a farmer-wanna-be. We have a small International garden tractor and a commercial mower, but no tractor.
I have plenty of land, but no pasture at all. So for years I've kept my horses in a corral and fed hay that I make by keeping some land mowed for a hunting club next to us. I've worked on timber for a long time, and now starting on pulpwood getting some land cleared for pasture.
So for when the pasture is ate down and needs to recover, keep em up in a corral for awile and feed em hay till the pasture grows.
I suspect it would be posible to make grass grow fast enough and be high enough nutrient density to feed 4 times as many horses on the land as is normal, but it'd take some knowlege and experience in biological agriculture. http://www.westonaprice.org/The-Quest-for-Nutrient-Dense-Food-High-...
Thanks Reuben! I saved your article, it looked really interesting! I know I need to rework my pasture and plant seed. I'm looking for someone with a tractor and I need to agressively work on this! I did start rotating my horses in and out of the stalls and I'm sure they will survive, but I'm so use to seeing them run free.
Cyndy, I am learning about pasture maint. this year too. If you are having as much trouble as I am in getting things done you might want to consider checking your field for the need of lime. I've been told, and now believe, that one of the key elements to holding it all together is applying lime in the proper amounts. It takes about a year to work into the soil but it holds the whole package together. Fertilizer and seeding is much more effective after liming, and I personally hate the idea of putting that much effort into fixing something and then it doesn't work!! You can get a little bag at Co-op and the ag dept for the state will analize it and tell you how much lime you need to apply. Good Luck, Linda
Good Morning Linda! The guys at the Co-op shed know me on site! I've been soil testing for three years (maybe four) and had several tons of lime dumped, maybe two years ago. Then I had fertilizer spread (ouch$$). The rain (constant rain) has made thing a mess because the horses trucking through it and pulverizing the top soil have turned it into a bumpy mess. It's finally drying out (we have a water problem across the back of our property year round but not usually the other 3/4) but it's going to have to be disced (sp)! I need a tractor guy and might as well throw proper seed out while I'm at it (I don't know if this is the time of year to do that or not-- need to see the co-op guy again)!
Thanks for sharing,
Making the most of what I've got!
Cyndy, Good morning to you too. My pasture is chopped up pretty bad this year too. Winter was wet everywhere. I've had 2 horses on 6 acres all winter and they made a pretty good mess. I've moved them to another 6 acres and trying to reseed the first 6 now. I went and picked up a little saddle mare for the grandkids yesterday so now I'll need to really watch how I manage rotating them out. Live & learn! Linda
I feel your pain, and then some. My 2 geldings are at a boarding stable with a little less than 10 acres community turnout... for about 20 or so horses. We have a serious manure management problem, and about 1/3 of the pasture is under winter's stall cleanings (and about 1/4 of what's left after that is just dirt where the horses have stomped the grass out). This is the first year that the manure spreader has been broken, so the mounds of poop everywhere has really cut back on the amount of grass available, and what's there gets eaten as soon as it sprouts up. The owner also refuses to seed the fields, so in about 2 weeks, there will be mostly weeds.
This makes me have to supplement my forage. I use preprocessed alfalfa pellets with a lot of success. I hate having to buy hay all summer, but I have to do that, too. I can't wait for my fiancee to get done with school so that I can buy my own place to have normal pasture issues lol
I always said I wouldn't get more animals than I could keep up and yesterday I brought a new LOVELY NATURED 12 yr old saddle mare for my grandkids to learn to ride on. She's just the right size for them and everything else so... here we go. Now I have true motivation to manage my pastures. In the past I kept them on the same 6 acre pasture and never changed them out. Last year I got started on the rough 6 acre hillside and got it fenced too. I figure I will move the horses when the grazing gets low or it rains and give the pasture time to recover. In the meantime, I checked it out today and it's pretty much dried back up now. I'll probably move them to pasture this weekend, hoping my new game plan will work. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to throw them in here. I can use the advise. Linda
I'm anxiously watching the little green sprigs of last year return! Thanks to the advice of many I am stabling 1/2 the crew, 1/2 a day and swapping them out at night. Still feeding twice a day and giving hay also. Using only one pasture during the week and letting them in the backyard on weekends. I'm seriously looking at fencing off part of our huge front yard too! All that grass just getting mowed!