Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: central Illinois
Unfortunately I am not in charge of what horses we can get rid of. It is a university farm and the main guy who is in charge of that just keeps bringing more horses in. If that were part of my position I would get rid of half of them in a heartbeat. I love them all, and I have worked with them for 3 years, so it would be sad to see a lot of them go, but from a business aspect it needs to be done. They are standardbreds and are sold as yearlings for harness racing. This is supposed to be where our income comes from, but since we are in Illinois, there is not much money to be made with them right now, so yearling prices have dropped significantly.
The main guy is also in the mindset that if we have more broodmares, they have more babies and therefor we have a better chance of getting a really good one. In my opinion we should only have 5-10 really really good broodmares, not 50.
So what I'm dealing with is a hard situation and my main goal is to cut down hay costs, improve the feeding program and therefor have healthier mares, stallions and foals.
The foals are weaned at about 4-5 months old and put together in a pasture and separated by sex. I like the idea of having a few mares in with them to teach them manners!! We do a very good job of keeping them in line, but I think I will try your idea.
As far as putting the overweight mares in a less grassy lot.... all of the pastures are not hardly grassy at all. They keep the grass mowed down to less than and inch, and I know that is not good for them at all as it is mostly straight sugar... hence the idea of a dirt lot for them.