Rotational grazing...paddock improvement ideas?....

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Rotational grazing...paddock improvement ideas?....

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    05-27-2012, 09:49 PM
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Rotational grazing...paddock improvement ideas?....

So as some of you are probably aware, the little old people who own the land when I keep my horse have basically "given" me 5+ of their acres to keep Lacey on and I can really do whatever I want with it.

Currently the pasture is divided into three sections: one large pasture with shorter grass (the middle/main one in the pictures) and two side pastures (approximately 1 acre, the left most one, and 2ish acres, the right most one) with hip/midsection (on a 6ft tall person) high grass. I'm not sure of the exact acreage but I know that the field that Lacey used to live in was about an acre and half, maybe 2, and all the pastures combined are 8 acres.

Anyway, I'm not sure of "the best" way to make use of all this land. I've bought "Horsekeeping on Small Acreage" by Cherry Hill (just waiting for it to arrive) but I figure you guys might be able to lend me more personalized help with the pictures I have, etc...

I only have one horse on this land right now. I'm looking into fostering a horse for the summer for a rescue near me (the site check is tomorrow!) but that's not a sure thing yet at all.

My main hope/goal is to feed as little hay as possible next winter. I'm sure I'll have to feed some hay but not feeding any would be really nice. The other ideal goal is to not have to feed hay at all this summer. I think the summer one is achievable - not so sure about the winter one. If I do have to feed hay, I'd preferably like to only have to feed hay December-March. I have no idea if that's feasible but I'd like it! :)

Lacey will be wearing a grazing muzzle for a lot of the summer (fatty!) but if I do end up with a foster horse, that horse probably won't be.

So far Lacey's been in this pasture for about two weeks and I haven't yet allowed her access to either "extra" pasture.

Here are the pictures (yay for aerial photos!)

Dark green is the current surrounding boundary
Yellow is current dividing fences
Brown is man made shelter (Lacey has been preferring to use trees-there's a bank in front of the shelter that blocks her view of the pasture)
Light blue are current gates
Light purple is a gate I'm going to be adding hopefully this week
Dark blue dot is current water source (there's no access to water anywhere else in the pasture - I could pretty easily carry buckets of water somewhere but that's it - it's an auto-waterer, unfortunately)
Light green is current blackberry overtaken-ness - no access to those areas

I'm not opposed to adding a fence or two (t-posts and electric tape with no electricity) as well.

With trees and such:

Thoughts? :)

ETA- The areas where the blackberries have taken over are basically on a mountain goat level slope. One can get down there but it's hard. It's easier going up. I'm not sure how much Miss Nearly Blind Lacey is going to actually want to go past where the slope really starts.

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