What I need to know before bringing my horses home? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-22-2013, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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What I need to know before bringing my horses home?

I've boarded my horses for over 12 years. My horses aren't getting cared for how I like and until now I haven't been able to bring them home. I have 2 quarter horses and about an acre of land. I was going to plant seed maybe a timothy alfalfa mix I'm not sure what kind to exactly. I'm curious if any one knows how to go about planting seed and anything else I may need to know about before I bring my horses home? Do I need to get my soil tested? Thanks so much for any help I plan to bring them home come spring or summer and I read the best time to plant is between march and april. I guess I should also post I live in PA
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-23-2013, 07:32 AM
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You should of planted before the first snow fall actually.
As for what kind of seed, ask your local agricultural rep or even a knowledgeable farmer what they plant.
To get a healthy crop of grass growing that will not be yanked out with the first mouthful you need to leave it for near a entire growing season untouched...say not on it till late August or later so it can establish roots.

That amount of land and 2 horses will not suffice for them grazing grass but a short amount of time, not every day wither.
It will become a dirt field in no time...best plan on having hay to feed them all of their meals.
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post #3 of 12 Old 12-23-2013, 08:09 AM
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On one acre its not going to matter. They are going to destroy that space in no time.
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post #4 of 12 Old 12-23-2013, 08:13 AM
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I would not plan on leaving the horses in the pasture & hoping that will be a food source. Might be better to have the horses in a small pen or shelter, feed hay, & keep the larger area as a turn-out to let them stretch their legs & have a bit of grazing. Either together or separate while you are there to watch & moniter. Have a water trough & some salt out there, too. That way you could bring them home much sooner, which is the point, right?
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post #5 of 12 Old 12-23-2013, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies! I was planning to have it as just a turn out and getting a big round bale to put in pasture as well as feeding hay with there Bfast and dinner. I wanted to plant grass seed hoping that I can get a nice little pasture growing for when they do go out. I also planned to set aside part of the pasture for them to stretch there legs but not be able to go out on the pasture if it needs a break. I don't know it's still a thought process there current situation isn't ideal where I'm boarding but it's not horrible. But I'm afraid they won't be happy on less land:(
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-23-2013, 09:22 AM
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Do you have additional land to the one acre? Keeping a horse on an acre isn't an issue. The majority of horses are kept in small spaces here on Long Island. It is going to be more work though. You have mighty high aspirations for this one small acre. I'd give the whole thing to them as turn out and plan on feeding hay 24/7 365. Don't even waste your time and money on seed.
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-23-2013, 09:55 AM
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In smaller areas, foot traffic will destroy your grass even before they eat it all. If you want to parcel off some to try and seed, talk to your ag agent about what is the best choice. Down here that is the advantage of fescue; it is hardy and tolerates heavy foot traffic and being grazed very short.
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-23-2013, 10:19 AM
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If by chance it happened to grow which is unlikely I would plant grass. No alfalfa. They shouldn't have free access to alfalfa. You might check with your extension office or coop. They may offer tips to get what you have to thrive better
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-25-2013, 01:12 AM
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grazing alfalfa is mainly used for cattle. You dont say which state you are in which makes a big difference on your grass seed selection. Do you plan to irrigate the pasture ? Do have pens besides the one acre ? or is it just the acre You could plant and seed the giant bermuda grass
pasto rico mix, if it something that grows in your area, it is a warm climate grass, takes less to establish a good root system . The fescues vary, do not use kentucky fescue offered at garden supplys .. you need a endophyte free fescue . Good luck
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-25-2013, 04:18 PM
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If you set out a round bale, seeds from that will help reseed the area. What you will find is that the areas where the bales sat may not grow anything for about 3 years because of the concentration of manure around it. But once it comes in it will be thick and grow like mad. Even if grasses grew there the horses won't touch it until the third or fourth year.
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