management of a few horses on 40 acres - Page 2

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management of a few horses on 40 acres

This is a discussion on management of a few horses on 40 acres within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Is 40 acres enough for 3 horses
  • How big is 13 acres?

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    11-22-2011, 11:52 AM
@Bubba13, wow, that's a purdy sight . Yes, your pastures look a bit nicer than ours, especially the "winter" photo, lol.

@walkinthewalk, yes thank you, this is really hard to find in So. California. Your usually lucky to find a couple acres here, let alone 20 or 40.
Thanks for the tips/advice, I already practice some of those. The two horses are already trained to follow my truck, something they needed to learn in order to use the pasture we used at their current stable since the pasture is way at the other end of the 60 acre property they are boarded. And I always make a point to go out and visit my horses at least once a day, everyday when out in pasture.
There is already a corral/round pen, but I'll ask about putting a large paddock and an emergency pasture, hopefully he'll be open to using electric fencing since his concern is seeing the fencing, electric blends into the background.
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    11-22-2011, 10:24 PM
Let em go!! They sure are a lucky bunch of horses... What would be so awesome if you had a herd of like 8 horses, er great for your horses, not you of course , and let them run, they could have a real herd and loads of land to run.. They would have the advantages of no predators, a shelter much more effective than trees, someone to care for them when sick, and an happier healthier life even compared to wild horses..

Agreed, just make a couple acre emergency area, and either mow it or put your horses on it lightly for a bit each year.
    11-23-2011, 01:10 AM
Green Broke
Great suggestions-walkinthewalk~ the OP is in CA,& while I've never lived in Kern Co, I doubt there will be an ice storm like that. Like the tip about teaching them to lead from different vehicles,I'll have to do that when I make my move to AZ. I'll be moving to a bit over 13 acres, & there is a bit of the perimeter fencing that is gone,but luckily the posts are there & sturdy.
    11-23-2011, 01:15 AM
Green Broke
That is sure a pretty bay, MB. How nice to have such a nice place to rent in CA-I'm on a 1/2 acre right now (& for the past 34 years) & can't wait to move to 13+ acres! Will be moving to AZ to fulfill a lifelong dream,but I'm sure it will be worth it.
    11-23-2011, 08:22 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Cacowgirl    
Great suggestions-walkinthewalk~ the OP is in CA,& while I've never lived in Kern Co, I doubt there will be an ice storm like that.
After I hit "Submit" I saw the OP is in Kern County. Three of my horses and I lived in Riverside County for five years, so I'm a little familiar with where Kern County is; yep no big ice storms there - lol lol

13 acres is also a very nice piece of land - congratulations to you, too

No matter how small or large the property is, it's always good to have a sacrifice and hospital area. The vet and farrier appreciate it too
    11-23-2011, 12:24 PM
No, not going to be any big ice storms, LOL. We will be at around a 4000'-4500' elevation, so we can get snow and will get a lot of frost and ice over the water in the mornings, but nothing that's much more "extreme" than what we get here in the high desert. Where we live now is "micro-climate" and the temps here are much lower in the winter than the surrounding desert, we occasionally get snow here and it's icy every morning in the winter.

The corral/shelter, though adequate for the two I currently have, looks like there had only been one horse there previously. Before I expand to anymore horses, I'll have to improve the facilities anyway. I know my Percheron will just stand out in the weather, I've never seen her voluntarily use her shelter she has now, only if I feed her in there. But the Mustang is a whimp, lol, he's hiding in the shelter at the tiniest sprinkle, I have literally seen him snort, run to the shelter and turn around and look outside like he's bewildered about the water falling from the sky. I've told him, toung-in-cheek, that I can't see how he ever survived in the wild, lol.

Cacowgirl, Congrats to you on your 13 acres. I have never had the opportunity to run my horses on anything bigger than 5 acres and even that was only for a short time during the year due to the property owner would turn out about a half dozen horses, besides mine and one or two other boarder's horses, and it would only last a few moths, at best, and only if there had been adequate rain that year. I know they will be very happy being able to run and be horses
Thanks for the compliment on my mare Cacowgirl, she's my dream horse. She's a purebred Percheron, but popped out bay.
    11-24-2011, 04:39 PM
Green Broke
I'm here doing the packing, while DH is in AZ fixing up the house. The horses will start out in the pens we are moving there for them but just a bit larger, & we'll build a 3-sided shelter for them. They will get turned out after we finish the perimeter fencing & pick up the trash that has been left there by the former owners-right now it isn't safe & the terrain is very different-something they will have to adjust to. But I'll be retiring, so they will get lots of riding & I already have a riding partner there that is eagerly awaiting my move=in day w/the horses. I'm looking forward to the whole adventure.
    11-25-2011, 03:03 AM
I definitely agree with the member who said give them something to keep them coming to the barn every night. You need to have eyes on them at least once a day and in a pasture that big they could be hurt or lost and you wouldn't know unless they usually came up the the barn in the evenings (or morning) and they didn't come one day.

We used to raise Arabs and one evening ours didn't come so we went looking for them. They were in a meadow on the back 40 acres of our property and one of our mares had a new foal that had got caught in the fence and was hanging upside down! We untangled the foal and carried it back to the barn with its frantic mommy right on our heels. We went out every few hours and held up that foal to nurse and dr it's cuts. In about a week it could stand and nurse on it's own and it healed up fine.

The moral of the story of course being that if the horses were not coming up every night for a little sweet feed (just a few handfuls each, enough to keep them coming up every night) we might not have found that foal who was born early and we weren't expecting her for almost another month....
    11-25-2011, 11:37 AM
We have fifteen acres - including a HUGE spring fed pond. We probably actually only have about 7 - 10 grazable acres. We have a sacrifice lot that is about two acres, then a second, smaller pen that we were keeping son in law's stud in (my garden used to be in there, too. Glad that stud is now a good gelding, so I can have a garden again!) There is another smallish pen - about 1/2 acre that the goats are in (they get let out every day) and then we have another 2-1/2 - 3 acres up around the houses for yards, chickens and whatnot.

With six horses, and most of the pasture grown up in trees and brush, we've had to feed hay year round. We've slowly been clearing out the trees/brush/weeds out of the pasture, and finally have a lovely stand of winter rye covering about 3 acres of it. Turned the horses out on it yesterday, and the were happy campers!

We will finish clearing out the pasture over the next year or so (less, I hope, but it's hard to get people down to work in the pasture if I'm not there to make them do it - and I have to work). We will probably have to continue to keep the horses in the sacrifice lot for another year or so - until the pasture is seeded and has good, well rooted coverage. Eventually, we want to turn the horses out of the sacrifice lot and get it rehabbed.

We'll need to carefully manage our pasture with as many horses as we have. Yearly fertilizing and overseeding will be necessary at least for a while - then hopefully we will only need to redo a few patches here and there.

I sure envy those of you with lots of lush pasture. Ours used to be that way, and I am determined it will be again!

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