horses

Horses on Small Acreage

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It’s been four solid months since the two horses moved home. Home is a two acre property shared with chickens, beehives, house pets, and some animal loving fools. We put a lot of time in researching and planning the set up. The dry lot has been priceless, especially after a massive snow melt in late February. We experimented with five round bales but gave up this month. Being on an acre full time, the horses go through a lot of hay but a round bale is too much for a retired mare and a colic-prone pony. Every bale but one molded before they could finish. We now reverted to less cost effective hay bales to save having to dispose of moldy hay (that’s another story).
Portable electric fences have stretched out grazing areas into our other acre. No piece of yard is safe. Today they graze in the area near my porch. Tomorrow, they may graze in our 1/2 acre family yard. Eventually, we’ll rope off a section of the bee & chicken yard for them to visit. We’ve become artisans at arranging the tape and poles into numerous designs, allowing our horses a chance at luscious green grass in random spots. Their full time horse-yard acre is split, to allow rest times for the ground and grass. Horses are selective grazers so not always the most efficient. There are some odd spots of good looking grass, ignored, while stretches lay grazed to the ground.
Despite the challenges, it still beats relying on others or boarding. We have year round hay costs and daily mucking but it’s worth it to see their faces greet us every morning.

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