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How much pasture do I need?

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    #21
    Originally posted by Simkie View Post
    The more space you have for your horses to be out and not stalled, the easier and cheaper it will be to keep them. If they're stalled for the majority of the day, that's quite a lot of stall cleaning labor, and quite a lot of bedding.

    5 acres is a lot better than 2 for what you want, but if you can carve out 10, that'll be even better. Then you can set up a nicely sized sacrifice area, good sized runs off your barn, and a few different pasture areas, so you can rotate and not beat the snot out of the grass you do have.

    I loved my set up when the long runs off my barn opened into my sacrifice area, which opened into pasture through a couple different gates. There was a 12' overhang from the barn over the runs, so horses had shelter for standing outside when stalled, or when in the sacrifice area (stalls were kept closed, but runs were open when horses were out) or when turned out in the fields. Two of the three fields could be accessed directly from the sacrifice area, so it was easy to limit them to a portion of grass, or open up the whole thing. I'd repeat that whole set up again, if I were to build from scratch.

    Not dedicating enough space for this venture will just cost more $$$$$ in the long run, and will require a lot more intensive management on your part. And horses will be a lot happier (which = fewer vet bills) with more space and more time out of the barn.
    Very well said.

    The only caveat is that sometimes the labor saved in stall cleaning is frequently expended in removing mud during the rainy season. Still, that's cheaper that mucking and you don't have to figure out what to do with a bunch or raw, organic fertilizer.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

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      #22
      Originally posted by carman_liz View Post

      I don't know what the Donner Party is, but that seems very glass half empty :/. I lurked on here for almost 6 months for good ideas while we got this house under contract and sold our old one and got plenty of useful ideas though.
      Wagon train to Oregon. Lost in impossibly deep snow in the mountains. A few survived because they ate the others. You could look at that as a glass half empty.
      My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

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        #23
        I would rather not have pasture if I had the choice( i don't). I had 3 horses happily housed on about 2 acres with 24/7 access to a big barn. I fed hay 365 and there was enough " green" during the growing months to keep them looking for something edible, but it did not contribute to their diet at all. I found it so much easier.

        You have stalls with turnout pens planned, a large arena planned and since you plan on feeding hay/ grain 365 a large dryly turnout area may be your best bet. Stock type breeds can be a metabolic nightmare these days if allowed access to grass.

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          #24
          Originally posted by candyappy View Post
          Stock type breeds can be a metabolic nightmare these days if allowed access to grass.
          Totally depends on the soil. In Iowa where topsoil is measured in feet, for sure. In sandy Michigan, not so much.

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            #25
            Originally posted by Tarlo Farm View Post

            Totally depends on the soil. In Iowa where topsoil is measured in feet, for sure. In sandy Michigan, not so much.
            I should have specified good , abundant grass! Big difference in the grass I had in the extreme North West where I was and here in the Mid- West state I am in now..

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              #26
              I have three horses on three acres and it works out well because they are all QH easy keepers so I don’t want much grass. If I wanted them to have good grass, I would need to double the pasture (which I did before and got super fat horses). I went the route of building only as many stalls as I wanted to fill, because I also believe there’s no such thing as extra stalls. My horses are out 24 hours with me away from the house for 10 hours every weekday - no problems in the 10 years I’ve been doing that. The horses are relaxed with no vices and no injuries.

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                Original Poster

                #27
                Originally posted by carman_liz View Post

                Why does your husband want the trees so bad for the other 3.5 acres?? I mean come on he has 195 other acres to play with!!! 5 acres would be perfect for you to have your own space. Your friend who hays some of your acreage, do you make any money off them using your land? Have you talked to them about getting some of the hay for your horses when you hit that point or some type of trade off agreement?

                5 Acres sounds perfect for a small barn, rotated turnout and even maybe an arena. That space alone could be your "area". Dont forget you could still do your arena on the other side and still use the 5 acres for your barn and turnouts. Your husband should be happy that you have your entire space in one area then!

                Flexrail is great but will you electrify it? Hear me out, new horses, you don't know them, or how they will respect fencing. A mini is a natural fence break escape artist lol. Idk what your budget or finances look like, but the 5 acres could be fenced with no climb, or will you use the deer fencing there? Is deer fencing flexible? Can a horse get hung up on it though? No climb with elect around the perimeter of your personal 5 acres, and then you can use simple elect tape and step ins or t posts to divide as you see fit should keep any horse or mini in. I wouldnt worry too much about dee tbh. They eat around my fields but don't bother my horses at all. I guess the big thing would be that 5 acres if you can use it or not though.

                If not, and that field is going to be your 1.5 acres for turnout I would definetly fence the hell out of it and make it HOT HOT HOT to keep them in. Because smaller acreage is more options for mischief, even with quarter horses, and all the morgans I have known have been high strung. I have a scar on my elbow from when I was 11 from a morgan and a bridge, I am 34 now lol.

                I only have about 1.5 fenced on my place right now, but I have a 32 yr old and a chill pony. I have 4 lines of horseguard and T posts about 4.5ft high. My top rail is on the caps I have over the posts. I keep it off mostly now, but when it is on it leaves marks if I hit it.

                Do you have a property layout of the areas you are thinking about using you can post or google map photo so we can see what you are working with? Also what about water and electric on the 5 acres, even if you just use it as pasture is there water available on it?
                deer fencing is similar to no climb, but the holes get larger towards the top. I wouldn’t have that around the horses, that would be N extra line of fence around the property, if that makes sense,

                I was talking to my husband last night and I think we actually decided to tear down about 4 acres of grapes behind the barn and put the pasture there. The positive is that it already has pressure treated posts that we could turn into fencing. I like the no climb idea because we have customers on the property in November and December so 60” wire fence would be a deterrent and could probably allow the horses to be out during the day.
                What I don’t like about that is it is not visible from my house. I should post a picture of my land so people can see I really don’t have a great option, just a few ok ones!

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                  #28
                  Originally posted by SFVine View Post

                  deer fencing is similar to no climb, but the holes get larger towards the top. I wouldn’t have that around the horses, that would be N extra line of fence around the property, if that makes sense,

                  I was talking to my husband last night and I think we actually decided to tear down about 4 acres of grapes behind the barn and put the pasture there. The positive is that it already has pressure treated posts that we could turn into fencing. I like the no climb idea because we have customers on the property in November and December so 60” wire fence would be a deterrent and could probably allow the horses to be out during the day.
                  What I don’t like about that is it is not visible from my house. I should post a picture of my land so people can see I really don’t have a great option, just a few ok ones!
                  Trail cams somehow to see them?

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                    #29
                    Originally posted by carman_liz View Post

                    Trail cams somehow to see them?
                    Can you use extenders off your posts and do a line or two of good electric tape off of the deerfencing or no climb? Also do you have water available out there?

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