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akstaj
Jun. 11, 2012, 06:35 PM
Just bought an acre lot one lot over from the house, it is overgrown and wooded, no buildings on the property, it is fenced. It is not suitable for a long term pasture, but would it be ok to turn the horse out to help eat it down? I have always had access to pasture, but the pastures this year are awful. Looking into any poisonous plants in the region.

lorilu
Jun. 11, 2012, 08:19 PM
Why not? as long as you check for poisonous plants and shrubs.... and the fencing is appropriate. but be aware that some horses eat tree bark and kill trees (ask me how I know). They will eat the desirable plants and leave the undesirable ones.

Plainandtall
Jun. 11, 2012, 09:51 PM
Goats are better at eating down scrub than horses. You didn't say what it's fenced with- but if it was a goat worthy fence- some people will let you borrow a flock to eat it down.

I have 50/50 woods and pasture and I used to be able to let my horses in the woods- now I have a horse who developed a taste for bark and he started stripping the trees in their "hangouts" so I have to fence them out of the woods- as destroying the woods was not my goal. With ample pasture surrounding- I can tell you other than bark eating and tromping some trails in the woods- the horses weren't "eating" in there... and to offer only woods without pasture is a good way to get a horse to eat something bad that it otherwise wouldn't touch. If you were putting them out there- I'd say you'd have to offer just as much hay as you would on a drylot anyway.

One other word of warning: it once happened a horse didn't come up with the rest and whinnied from the woods- he'd gotten himself tangled in a grape vine, and being a sensible horse was standing quietly- but I have heard of other horses who have been seriously injured on grapevines... the problem is that they have a spring action- so when the horse lifts - the vine lifts too.