The ratio of horse/pasture depends upon where you live and the weather conditions. Where I live, on an old farm(mette) in IL, the ratio is 1 horse/1 acre with normal rainfall. My 3 horses have adjoining, gated pastures of about 4 acres. Last fall the drought brought my pastures down to stubble and I was feeding hay in October, the first time since I moved to this property.
THIS year, they started grazing 3 weeks ago, UNHEARD of, having grass/clover/weeds (Dandelions are great for horses) up--everything is one month early in 2012.
Talk to your closest University Extension Office about this bc they'll have the best advice and figures for you.
We have had the same weather here. Total drought last fall, one of the driest I can remember...green and summer like mid March. So strange. I am just south of Kansas City, MO...Pleasant Hill, Mo to be exact.
We do have a lot of trees, but we have already cleared well over half of what was here when we bought the land! Hubby and I walked it the other day. There are places where the grazing is awesome, beautiful grass and clover...no trees. Then there are places far too treed. We estimate 20 to 30 minimum need to do, but we dont want to clear cut it all.
The front yard is 1/3 sod..in other words crappy grass that dies over 80 degrees. Not suitable for grazing at all. And its a big hill. I have tossed around the idea of fencing part of it for pasture, but I am not sure if money will allow for that right away.
So, with the round bales...do the centers mold on you? Or are you able to keep them dry enough. We would only be feeding one at first...a think a round bale would last a month.
Love seeing all your pics by the way! Makes me want to go get my girl now!