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another banned

This is a discussion on another banned within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • I've got too many horses

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    08-30-2012, 01:17 PM
  #21
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee    
Emm - your horses no way resemble the sort of animals I'm referring too, there are places that would put 10 or more on that land you have and call it 'natural'. They can't get out of the way of each other and all the time new horses come and go with the fights that go along with it. There isn't enough grazing so they have to compete with each other for that & whatever hay that gets thrown in and there isn't enough shelter so the ones at the bottom of the heap are shoved out. Their owners call by once a day to see them - if they're lucky and the rest of the time they are left to get on with it
Your horses have a very good life.
Thank you, I knew what you meant. :) I've seen so many horses together it looked like a feed lot and felt so sorry for them. They've got a very specific hierarchy they have to work out and when people play "musical horses", it throws their lives into chaos. As much as I'd love to take on another horse and give it a good life, we just don't have the acreage. The rule of thumb is a minimum of 2 acres per horse if there's decent pasture. We have 6 1/2 acres, but you can't count the pond or the trees. Husband says 2 horses is about all it will sustain comfortably. I'd rather take care of two, and give them a good life as take in a couple more and them have to scrounge for good grazing. (Although we do supplement free choice hay & grain daily). I hope I'm giving them a good life, they seem to be quite happy and healthy, and it's a joy to watch them play together and see the bond they have formed. I imagine yours live a very good life as well. :)
     
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    08-30-2012, 02:09 PM
  #22
Yearling
There's no reason at all you can't put 10 horses on six, open acres assuming the acres are reasonably flat. There is more than enough room for the herd to set up their own "pecking order." If you're in NV you'll have a different feed program than if you're in KY, but that's about all.

Riding style has a tremendous impact on gait. So does saddle placement, bit placement, stirrup placement, seat style, equipment used, etc. If all you want to do is "piddle" on a horse then ride as you will. You'll find, however, that proper equitation means lower vet bills and a healthier and happier horse.

As you might guess, I'm not a "natural horseman." Over the years I've learned that domestic animals require handling or they move toward being feral and that's a problem. I've seen a ton of injuries to horses and humans resulting from humans not adequately keeping their horses "domesticated."

Everybody gets to do with their horses what they will. But every action, or non-action, carries consequences.

G.
     
    08-30-2012, 02:47 PM
  #23
Super Moderator
overcrowding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guilherme    
There's no reason at all you can't put 10 horses on six, open acres assuming the acres are reasonably flat. There is more than enough room for the herd to set up their own "pecking order." If you're in NV you'll have a different feed program than if you're in KY, but that's about all.

Riding style has a tremendous impact on gait. So does saddle placement, bit placement, stirrup placement, seat style, equipment used, etc. If all you want to do is "piddle" on a horse then ride as you will. You'll find, however, that proper equitation means lower vet bills and a healthier and happier horse.

As you might guess, I'm not a "natural horseman." Over the years I've learned that domestic animals require handling or they move toward being feral and that's a problem. I've seen a ton of injuries to horses and humans resulting from humans not adequately keeping their horses "domesticated."

Everybody gets to do with their horses what they will. But every action, or non-action, carries consequences.

G.
Again we agree & disagree
Horses were domesticated many many years ago and most of them have no idea how to fend for themselves. They were bred to be around people and work and if you take that away from them they have no purpose. I keep my horses to be a use to me not a part of some simulated herd. If a horse is getting all it needs from this 'fake' herd then why should it need human contact at all - that is how they end up going semi-feral
I would not keep 10 horses on 6 acres. The rule of thumb is 2 acres per horse - and even that could be ruled by the state of the land and where in the world you are. If you stable a horse at night or during the day you can get away with one acre again down to the type of land and personality of the horses. Here in CT we have zoning laws that would prevent you from keeping 6 horses on 10 acres, it also has a law that states you have to provide each horse with a stable or ample run-in shed space per horse.
A few years ago when we were looking at properties in Georgia one town there had a zoning law that only allowed one horse per 4 acres
I'm not into Natural Horsemanship either - I'm from the UK & had never heard of it before I came here. I do think that horses need space to run around reasonably safely if they want too though
     
    08-30-2012, 03:01 PM
  #24
Green Broke
Zoning laws are man made laws limiting how many animals per acre and are usually set to reduce noise/odor from livestock. Very rarely do they actually consider how many animals can actually survive on that piece of land.
Outside of zoning laws, acreage per head totally depends on the type of terrain, soil, moisture, drainage, etc. The old family ranch was ~20ac/head but where I live now it can be as low as 1ac/head but most settle on 2-3.

Just to put out how much an acre can support here, a farmer can get 3-5 ton of hay per acre with one cutting, non irrigated. 3 ton is pretty much not doing much for the field and 5 ton for those who take care of their fields. I have seen 6 ton/acre during a bumper year but that's rare. 5 ton is enough to feed a horse for the entire year. 3 ton will feed them for a year along with some pasture to eat.
     
    08-30-2012, 03:14 PM
  #25
Yearling
I've got a grand total of about 100 acres in pasture and 70 acres in woods. It's subdivided into about 11 pastures, ranging from 5 acres to 40. All numbers "more or less." At different times during the year the number of pastures can change, as my needs change.

I routinely put 10-12 horses into all the pastures (including the 5 acre ones) as the year goes on. Sometimes they stay an hour or two or a day or two, sometimes they stay for several weeks, depending upon season and need. Who says "two acres per horse" is a standard that should be universally applied? If I maintained a "two acres per horse" standard I would be in serious trouble in some places, as some of the land is better suited than other. In other places that would be wildly profligate use of the land.

As you might suspect, I'm not in a suburb. I'm zoned A-1 (general agricultural use).

Oh, and I also am careful about which horses run with which. We've got a "geriatric" herd; a couple of mare bands; the "boys town" crowd (geldings and young stallions); and the "misc." herd. Members sometimes move between herds as necessity requires.

Proper management is an important feature of any animal operation. "Rules of thumb" are just that.

G.
     
    08-30-2012, 04:28 PM
  #26
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guilherme    
There's no reason at all you can't put 10 horses on six, open acres assuming the acres are reasonably flat. There is more than enough room for the herd to set up their own "pecking order." If you're in NV you'll have a different feed program than if you're in KY, but that's about all.

Riding style has a tremendous impact on gait. So does saddle placement, bit placement, stirrup placement, seat style, equipment used, etc. If all you want to do is "piddle" on a horse then ride as you will. You'll find, however, that proper equitation means lower vet bills and a healthier and happier horse.

As you might guess, I'm not a "natural horseman." Over the years I've learned that domestic animals require handling or they move toward being feral and that's a problem. I've seen a ton of injuries to horses and humans resulting from humans not adequately keeping their horses "domesticated."

Everybody gets to do with their horses what they will. But every action, or non-action, carries consequences.

G.
I can't imagine 10 horses on our acreage. My two keep the grass down fairly well, and when we get a lot of rain, certain areas become very muddy. 10 would be in a mud bog before winter was over. I agree with Jaydee. The rule of thumb is 1 horse per 2 acres. It is possible to keep more, but I think it's awfully rough on your pasture, and can't be as comfortable for them. As to natural horsemanship, I'm not sure if that's what you'd call what I'm doing. I believe in taking your time, giving the horse an opportunity to find the right answer and rewarding them by release of pressure when they do. I also believe in keeping them in pasture (with adequate shelter, of course) and keeping them with other horses. A horse all alone breaks my heart.
     
    08-30-2012, 04:38 PM
  #27
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guilherme    
I've got a grand total of about 100 acres in pasture and 70 acres in woods. It's subdivided into about 11 pastures, ranging from 5 acres to 40. All numbers "more or less." At different times during the year the number of pastures can change, as my needs change.

I routinely put 10-12 horses into all the pastures (including the 5 acre ones) as the year goes on. Sometimes they stay an hour or two or a day or two, sometimes they stay for several weeks, depending upon season and need. Who says "two acres per horse" is a standard that should be universally applied? If I maintained a "two acres per horse" standard I would be in serious trouble in some places, as some of the land is better suited than other. In other places that would be wildly profligate use of the land.

As you might suspect, I'm not in a suburb. I'm zoned A-1 (general agricultural use).

Oh, and I also am careful about which horses run with which. We've got a "geriatric" herd; a couple of mare bands; the "boys town" crowd (geldings and young stallions); and the "misc." herd. Members sometimes move between herds as necessity requires.

Proper management is an important feature of any animal operation. "Rules of thumb" are just that.

G.
Oh! To have more land!! I don't wish for a finer house, or finer things, but I'd love more land. What a treasure you've got. :)
     
    08-30-2012, 06:42 PM
  #28
Yearling
Sorry, but I have to reject the "one horse, two acre" rule out of hand for anyplace I've ever lived and kept or boarded horses. Now I've not lived everywhere, so maybe in some places it would be a norm. But somebody is going to have to give me some of the 5Ws on why it's two acres, as opposed to 1.75 or 2.25.

G.
     
    08-31-2012, 12:39 AM
  #29
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guilherme    
Sorry, but I have to reject the "one horse, two acre" rule out of hand for anyplace I've ever lived and kept or boarded horses. Now I've not lived everywhere, so maybe in some places it would be a norm. But somebody is going to have to give me some of the 5Ws on why it's two acres, as opposed to 1.75 or 2.25.

G.
I really think it's come out of zoning laws that are set by people who don't have a clue about animals and managing land.
     
    08-31-2012, 08:35 AM
  #30
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guilherme    
Sorry, but I have to reject the "one horse, two acre" rule out of hand for anyplace I've ever lived and kept or boarded horses. Now I've not lived everywhere, so maybe in some places it would be a norm. But somebody is going to have to give me some of the 5Ws on why it's two acres, as opposed to 1.75 or 2.25.

G.
In my situtation, the land we have is all we've got. There is no managing it and moving horses from one pasture to another. We've had them since April of 2011, and have found that there's adequare pasture for them to graze spring and summer with minimal hay feeding. Fall and winter they have access to free choice hay 24/7. We could probably put another horse of two on our acreage, but would have to supplement hay year round.
     

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