Is this set up good for two horses? - Page 2
   

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Is this set up good for two horses?

This is a discussion on Is this set up good for two horses? within the Barn Maintenance forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category

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        04-14-2013, 12:41 AM
      #11
    Yearling
    Your dry lot sounds like it should be OK. For steady summer grazing you will need at least 3 well managed acres for 2 horses. This means with adequate rainfall and a long enough growing season, you should not have to feed hay from about the end of May until around mid-October. If you harrow, rotate and manage weeds, three acres will give you sustainable grazing. Count on buying and feeding hay for 7-8 months a year.

    With 1 1/2 acres, expect half that amount of grazing time and to buy more hay. Managing a smaller space is trickier. If you have a dry lot and hay to feed, you can graze until the grass gets down to about 4" in length and then put the horses on the dry lot and switch to hay. This periodic change in feed could be hard on their systems though. You will also need to take them off the grazing area when it rains as their hooves can do as much damage to the grasses as overgrazing can. As an alternative, you could restrict grazing turnout to a few hours every day, and offer one meal of hay every evening or morning in the dry lot. Some horses won't touch the hay if the is grass available.

    As long as the ditches are clean, and there aren't any municipal rules against it, you could graze them a bit. I would only do it when I can supervise the horses. Do make sure the ditches are not sprayed for weeds and that there is no garbage. You will find the grass doesn't last very long, but it may give you a few hours of grazing once a week or so. Again, follow the 4" rule.
         
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        04-14-2013, 11:04 AM
      #12
    Yearling
    The pasture would border half our yard. One part would be about 600'x40' and the other would be about 530'x50' + the 100'x70' grazing strip. Wouldnt that make almost two acres? That's an estimate. Might be a little more when I measure it correctly when all this snow is gone. And 200'x80' is 1/3 acre, right?
    Oh I wanted to add that I don't want the horses on the pasture 24/7. They'd be in their dry lot in the night time. Do I still need 3 acres?
         
        04-14-2013, 01:03 PM
      #13
    Yearling
    Oh I'd just like to add that I wanted to start summer grazing in the beggining of june. And end in the end of october.
         
        04-14-2013, 01:14 PM
      #14
    Yearling
    June through October is a reasonable expectation for grazing, but you will still have to monitor the moisture levels and grass growth. Buy some extra hay so you have something else to feed if the grass doesn't keep up. I keep a least 50 bales on hand all summer for 4 horses. Sometimes I use them all, others I don't touch them until fall. There is no way to know exactly how much feed your space will supply because it changes. Fence off and use what you have, but manage it. For sustainability, just be sure not to over or under-graze. Having an alternative feed source available will help you do that.
         
        04-16-2013, 02:50 PM
      #15
    Yearling
    Thanks. I wanted to fence in everything with two strands of high tensile wire. I was wondering if it is ok to have hi-tensile fencing in the two smaller paddocks(200x80' and 100x70')? Thanks again.

    PS I was wondering why undergrazing is bad?
    Should I put them on the grass when it is 7" and take them off when it is 3"?
         
        04-16-2013, 08:24 PM
      #16
    Yearling
    High tensile isn't my favourite, but if you are going to use it you need more than 2 strands. The problem with 2 strands is that it becomes too easy for a horse to get a foot through or under. You want enough strands to discourage the horse trying to eat under or between the strands. If they think they can fit any part of their bodies between the spaces that are there, they will try. Around here most high tensile fences are between 4 and 6 strands.

    Under grazing means the grass gets long, stemmy and tough so the horses won't eat it. This can also encourage weed growth because the longer grass hides and shelters weeds. Mowing is actually good for the grass as it encourages healthy growth and should nip off the reproductive parts of the weeds. Horses are spot grazers and will eat some spots right down to themdirt and leave others untouched. An even pasture length discourages spot grazing by keeping an appealing growth more uniform.

    Graze when the grass is at least 6-7" and pull them off when it's down to 3-4".
         
        04-16-2013, 10:34 PM
      #17
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Koolio    
    High tensile isn't my favourite, but if you are going to use it you need more than 2 strands. The problem with 2 strands is that it becomes too easy for a horse to get a foot through or under. You want enough strands to discourage the horse trying to eat under or between the strands. If they think they can fit any part of their bodies between the spaces that are there, they will try. Around here most high tensile fences are between 4 and 6 strands.

    Under grazing means the grass gets long, stemmy and tough so the horses won't eat it. This can also encourage weed growth because the longer grass hides and shelters weeds. Mowing is actually good for the grass as it encourages healthy growth and should nip off the reproductive parts of the weeds. Horses are spot grazers and will eat some spots right down to themdirt and leave others untouched. An even pasture length discourages spot grazing by keeping an appealing growth more uniform.

    Graze when the grass is at least 6-7" and pull them off when it's down to 3-4".
    It's going to be electric. Is it ok to have it in small areas?
         
        04-17-2013, 02:26 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    I mean, it's going to be electric most of the time. So shouldnt two strands work?
         
        04-17-2013, 07:04 PM
      #19
    Showing
    When fencing off what your night paddock Two hundred feet isn't enough. The width is fine. What you have to keep in mind is if dogs start to chase them your horses need room to run. I am able to visualize the size as my riding ring is 80' x 120 the mental picture of another 80' isn't enough. Dogs can be persistant when chasing horses.
    Koolio likes this.
         
        04-17-2013, 10:50 PM
      #20
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
    When fencing off what your night paddock Two hundred feet isn't enough. The width is fine. What you have to keep in mind is if dogs start to chase them your horses need room to run. I am able to visualize the size as my riding ring is 80' x 120 the mental picture of another 80' isn't enough. Dogs can be persistant when chasing horses.
    Well I could always add the 70'x100' paddock to the existing paddock. The length would be 270' then. My horse isnt scared of dogs since the people I got him from had a huge rottweiler mix so my horse grew up with dogs. I let my dog loose and he tried to scare Duke into flight but Duke would just try to kick him. Well if I add the other paddock to the existing one would that be enough?
    What size would you reccomend?
         

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