Rufus (shepherd collie cross) thinks he is akin to a sheep that must be watched or rounded up at all times. Hermes is completely chilled about him and they get on fine.
Chica (Lurcher) either ignores him, growls at him, or when outside may attempt to do the death-chase at him. She's jealous and insecure at the same time. However, as he continues to roll over in the most submissive pose he can muster, she's starting to relax about him.
Love it! Don't know your status with her, but don't be afraid to disagree with/interrupt any behaviour you don't like. Doesn't take much.
I introduced my scrappy little terrier to my friend's boisterous bitchy boxer today. I fostered and raised that boxer for 6 months before she adopted her... And well, all my friends expect me to address their dogs as my own, so she didn't even blink when I told them both to smarten up and get over themselves. A couple more ShhhT's and all was well. I wonder what it says about me that I relate to them so intuitively... I know it drives the hubby crazy! Posted via Mobile Device
Yes, I have interrupted her a couple of times. Her offended stare is a sight to behold. I love my Lurcher - she is a cat in dog's clothing, a Queen of Sheba, a fierce hunting hound, and a wannabe lap dog. All mixed up together.
Here's what's been occupying my waking thoughts recently:
I have for the horses:
~ A winter horse pasture, about five acres of good grass, with a marshy snow-melt pond corner. Great for the winter but my three good-doers will be obese and suffering from laminitis if I don't restrict their grazing here in the summer. I have done strip grazing before in my life but I don't really like the way this restricts space and movement so I am considering a paddock paradise grazing strip all the way around.
~ A hay field, about four acres that produces two hay cuts. The second cut produced 7 good firm big round bales. I don't know how much more the first cut produces as it was done before we arrived. The hay field is a mix of grass and alfalfa, about 20% alfalfa.
~ A summer wooded starvation paddock of weeds and trees with no good grass
This winter being my first with these horses in this climate I was a bit clueless to say the least on how much hay they would need. I over fed them at the start of winter so went through my hay quicker than I should have.
I would say that all things being equal, and if next winter is no worse than this one, my seven round bales from my hay field SHOULD get me through next winter. However, next winter may be bad, I have to have a stronger plan than that.
I had already bought in some small bales in the autumn 'just in case' but it turns out that the alfalfa level in these is way too high for my donkey, and unnecessarily high for my two good-doer Canadians. So this week I found a lovely supplier of mixed grass hay who I will probably buy 40 to 60 bales from. I have plenty of dry storage space. So hurray my spare hay problem is now sorted!
My hay field stands empty and unused after it has been cut the second time. Watching my horses dig in the snow all winter it did occur to me that if I fence this field in I can use the hay field stubble as an additional winter paddock next winter. That should delay the need to start putting hay out by about 6 to 8 weeks I think.
I would LOVE to do my own hay, so that I can keep both cuts. But I don't own the cutting, turning, or baling equipment and I think the $5k -$6K I would probably need to spend would not be a good investment!! I am lucky that a local farmer does think it's worth his while coming in to do my piddly little field otherwise I really would be stuck.
So I think that my plans for the spring are:
1 - put in an inner fence around my big pasture, the fatties will graze the outer ring all summer thus saving the pasture for winter, and hopefully saving them from obesity.
2 - fence in the hay field so that I can put the horses on it in the winter.
3 - ask my farmer if he will take the second cut and I have the first cut.
Farmer might not want to swap cuts, I'll have to live with this so long as there always IS a second cut
Farmer might throw me a curve ball and tell me that winter grazing of the hayfield will somehow damage the next years hay crop?
I think I might post some of this in the Farm Forum for further opinions.
Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but the first cut of hay in this area is usually richer in alfalfa than the second cut, as the alfalfa grows faster early in the year and is more tolerant of drier spring conditions. It would be worth asking the farmer if he will take the first cut and you the second.
Also, if there is any way he would put the hay up in small square bales for you, it will me much easier to regulate how much your horses eat throughout the winter. When we first moved to our acreage, the fellow who had baled the hayfield left one round bale in the pasture. Our two horses ate through it in about 3 weeks. This was when they also had some pasture. I prefer squares because I can control how much my horses eat, I can manage the quality of the hay and there is much less waste.
As for grazing the hayfield, I wouldn't recommend it, as after a couple of years, the horses will kill off the alfalfa if they paw at the plants and disrupt the roots. The manure also leaves more weedy seeds in the pasture, which can begin to outcompete the grasses. You will have to see what the farmers thoughts are, but these may be areas of concern.
With two easy keepers, rotational grazing on your 5 acre paddock should be fine, especially if you have a sacrifice area where you can feed them when the ground is soft or overly dry. To reduce their intake when the grass is very good, you could also use grazing muzzles.
Too much feed with easy keeping horses is a much better problem to have than worrying about not having enough.