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- - Planning your pastures the way you did. (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-talk/planning-your-pastures-way-you-did-173193/)
Planning your pastures the way you did.
Meaning why did you put what where, why didn't you do something you thought about, and how's it working now? In the long run.
My personal experience is we put our water at the bottom of a hill. And feed on top. The horses naturally work themselves getting water and food. It's simple minded but works.
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My pasture drives me nuts and its still very much a work in progress. Its pretty small, only about 3 acres at the most in an L shape consisting of mostly sloping paddock - quite steep in areas. When we first moved here it was all one paddock meaning lots of tape to split it into smaller paddocks. We have now put in two fences so have 3 permanent paddocks but I want another fence to split it down to 4. I only have 2 horses - 1 gelding and a mini who both fight the battle of the bulge and my gelding had suspected laminitis last spring so even though it is a small block there is often more grass than we need.
I am working at setting up two tracks in the biggest paddocks at the suggestion of my barefoot trimmer so that they get more exercise and less grass. Every time I shift my gelding I have to set up a new area for the mini with hot tape in the same paddock because if I try and separate them he jumps the fences to get to her. Next step is to run permanent hot wire around the whole thing so I can use that instead of my solar powered unit which doesnt always keep the mini in.
I have 4 pastures. The medium one came with the property and it's practically brand-new fencing, so there was no way I was about to tear it out. The heated auto-waterer is right where the old owner poured a concrete pad and put it. Works just fine so I have no reason to even consider moving it. There's a 12x12 shed that I put at the top of a small hill so it wouldn't flood, didn't block the view from my living room windows and the opening faces the correct direction to block wind.
The small pasture is basically a dry lot. It's welded steel pipe fenced with a cattle alley and tiny containment area built in. The entire thing is concreted into the ground.... no way in hell am I changing or doing a thing to it since it's horse-safe and I use it for moving/loading/vetting cattle and OMG the work it would take to dig up all the concrete and steel pipe!!
The 2 large pastures I created. It was untouched CRP land when I bought it. I made one horrifically large pasture, borrowed a slew of cattle and got it eaten down. Cows went elsewhere for the Winter so I had some time to think/work and I divided it in half for rotational purposes.
I put all food/water at the top of all pastures right by the gates. Absolute zero desire to haul anything all over heck and back (my 3 main pastures are 10acres, 15 acres and 15 acres). The small sacrifice area has a round bale feeder smack in the middle of it.... for no other reason than the guy who has his cows here stuck it there and he fills it, not me.
I am happy with how things are other than all my fences are smack on top of the property line. This is problematic as neighbors use my fencing to tie theirs too, keep dangerous animals right on the other side and so on. I may re-fence with a 2nd fence just to keep my animals AWAY from the fenceline and the neighbor's.
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