New Owner jumped in neck deep - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
View Poll Results: how many horses can 5-6 acres support.
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post #11 of 21 Old 10-25-2016, 03:26 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 3,444
• Horses: 8
We have 105 acres in SE Oklahoma. 5 acres are fenced off in a 'small' horse pasture. All has been sprigged with bermuda.

I say that because... even when we get regular rain and the grass is growing like crazy, 4 adult horses will eat that 5 acre pasture down to the dirt if we leave them in there very long. Horses will even pull the roots out and leave you with a bare patch of ground if you have more horses than the grass will support. Carshon's information sounds 100% accurate. Horses are eating machines. I think I read where they spend 80% of their waking hours eating if they are turned out in a pasture or in the wild.

*note: We now only use the small pasture for our weanling and nervous train-wreck of a paint horse, or when we we know we'll be riding the other 4 in the next day or so. Otherwise, we keep the other 4 on 40 acre plots and rotate them around to give the grass a chance to recover. So... think about that... 4 adults on 40 acres... doesn't take them long to graze it down to the point it looks like a golf course.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #12 of 21 Old 10-25-2016, 03:31 PM
Join Date: May 2016
Location: The boondocks of Kansas
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Originally Posted by Camo View Post
Prairie - i have not owned a horse before. i have a few people in the area that i am getting some help from but it depends on their availability. i was planning on keeping them separate once i put them in the pasture for a while until Moxy is a little older. i was thinking of next spring i would separate Moxy from Twist and start working with him more. i am working with Moxy now and he is pretty comfortable with me and has been bridal broke already. He will follow me away from Twist when i put out alfalfa and will stay with me while she eats.

why should i geld either of them or why shouldn't i?

Unless the horse is of breeding quality and has a record to prove that he is an exceptional animal, all males horses should be gelded simply because that testosterone controls that 1000+ pound animal who can become dangerous when handled by someone not experienced.

Foals are normally weaned around 6 months of age----and foals as young as 7 months have been documented to have bred a mare. Your biggest problem with 1 mare and 2 intact colts is going to be those youngsters jumping fences to get in with her unless they are gelded ASAP along with how are you going to keep the 2 colts separated so they don't fight over the mare.

However, you have bigger problems than just gelding the have no experience in starting them on basic handling and teaching them respect, the boundary of good behavior that must never be crossed, or even know how much they need to eat, type of shelter, or how much land you need. There's a saying in the horse world---Green + green = Black and Blue! A green owner should first take lessons from a noted instructor on schoolmaster horses who know their job and can teach you. Only after you understand the requirements and needs of owning a horse and how to properly handle him should a newbie even consider buying one, and that one should be an older, well-trained horse who is forgiving of rider error and who is solid enough in knowing the rules that he won't regress in his training under a green rider.
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post #13 of 21 Old 10-25-2016, 03:52 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Southern IN
Posts: 941
• Horses: 6
On 4-5ac you will be feeding hay, year round. horses will eat that to dirt, in a hurry, and the very first rain they will have it mudded in. As far as the rest of you issues, prairie has already covered my concerns.
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post #14 of 21 Old 10-25-2016, 09:23 PM
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,289
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I'm really worried about you and your horses. How long have you been riding for?

I've been taking lessons for 4 years, have my own horse, and I don't think I could handle a foal, never mind an intact colt in another 10 years at least. You have to at least have them gelded.

All the best.
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post #15 of 21 Old 10-25-2016, 10:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,295
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why should i geld either of them or why shouldn't i?

You are relatively new to horses and you will have enough on your hands working with two young geldings. Stud colts need experienced handling when their testosterone kicks in and can be unpredictable and dangerous, plus require secure fencing and stabling. They are also a liability, much more so than mares or geldings. There are a lot of good proven stallions around and it is much more practical to breed to one of them than keep a stallion of your own. The same would apply if you are thinking to breed outside mares. Most people looking to breed their mare will choose a stallion that has both proven himself in performance plus has produced winning horses. Geld them.
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post #16 of 21 Old 10-25-2016, 10:47 PM
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,141
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You can't keep horses in stalls 24/7! The first thing you should do, like yesterday, is put up a fence. You can do it fairly quickly and economically by using something like electrobraid (at least three strands) and step-in posts. Make sure the horses learn to respect an electric fence! You need to do some research about how to do this properly. This should have been done before bringing horses home.

They should go out every day for a few hours at least. I live in eastern Canada so it's colder here than it is there, but my horses are out every day year round. They're off pasture but I have a sacrifice paddock they spend their days in with lots of hay.
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post #17 of 21 Old 10-26-2016, 07:47 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
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Hi Camo & welcome. I agree with others, and your thread title - you've definitely jumped in at the deepest end! As well as asking for advice here, and the (sporadic?) help you have available, I'd be seriously looking for some on-hand support, of experienced horse people & trainers. If you have to pay for that, so be it. Matter of fact, considering the situation, I'd suggest sending Mo off for some basic training first.

And to be gelded. Aside from other reasons people have given for gelding, the fact that you're already in the deep end without knowing how to swim... continuing with that analogy, having 2 stud colts and a mare is like being in that situation, with crocodiles to boot!

Originally Posted by Camo View Post
Mo is very rambunctious and wants out of his stall but he is also barely bridal broken.
He doesn't yet need to be trained in a bridle, but I'm guessing halter trained is what you mean? I'd work on(or find someone to do it) getting him halter trained now then. Should only take a couple of days to teach him the basics.

Is he stalled full time?? Then I'd send him to somewhere that he can be out in a paddock with other horses, until your fencing is adequate to let him out at your place, with a dividing fence between the others. Aside from disease quarantine management, I'd put him out with the others ASAP. He can learn how to be sociable with the other colt, while Mum ensures good behaviour is upheld. I don't foresee a big problem with that... assuming you're taking the testosterone out of the equation.

2. how should I introduce them so there are no issues/fighting
You won't ensure there are no fights. That's how horses establish their 'pecking order' and it is likely the mare will have to put the new boy in his place. It's not common for them to hurt eachother badly though. Being young boys, the colts will also likely play fight quite a bit. As others have said, introduce them first with a good, safe(pref timber) fence in between, for maybe a few days, then, so long as they have an open paddock, room to move & stay away from eachother, not get cornered... put him out with the others & keep an eye on them for the first time.

3. as I live in a cold environment I was thinking about keeping them in stalls for the winter and only putting them out to pasture on nicer days.
No, you can't do that. Well, you can, but it's seriously not good for horses to be cooped up without regular exercise. Mentally it's also not healthy for them. There are many health & soundness aspects that are effected by cooping horses in stables. Instead, I'd keep them out 24/7 but have stables/shelter open for them to go into when wanted. If you must stable them, do it for as little time possible daily - perhaps overnight, and ensure they're out for at least a fair few hours daily. In addition, if they're not going to get much exercise on their own, due to weather or otherwise, take them out for on lead walks or such daily.

5. should i feed them alfalfa or hay or a mix and should their diet include a mix of oats cracked corn and such as a supplement
Grass hay is a good basic diet. They need enough that they will not go hungry for periods of time, if you're not feeding free choice. If the baby isn't weaned, Mum will likely need a lot more calories. Feeding some alfalfa along with the hay will provide some extra calories for Mum. A small amount of oats mixed with alfalfa chaff or such could be good, *so long as* you can feed over at least 3 meals daily. Otherwise I'd avoid grain & stick to a 'mare & foal' premix, which should also include necessary nutritional supps, which will otherwise need to be added. Youngsters may do fine just on hay and a nutritional 'ration balancer' type supp for foals.

6. I am placing a salt and mineral block in each stall, is that good or bad
I'd just put a plain salt block down, and supp minerals otherwise, as explained above, as they don't get much at all from blocks.

7. I want to build a coral for working with my colts and training, what is a good size, should I build normal wood fence or a portable metal coral?
Depends on your situation & funds what type may be best, but size-wise, you want it big enough to do all the basics in, so about 8m square or round would be a good size to start them in, IMO.

I have a 5-6 acre pasture which should support the 3 easily. I also have a 10+- acre hay field that I plan on fencing in to allow for grazing after the second cutting next year.
Ditto to others, but if you also have the 10 acres & can make about 4 paddocks out of all & rotate them, or strip graze around the outside(track setup, look up 'paddock paradise') and save the middle for pasture/hay(& play space), that might be adequate.

You will want to find a good vet asap - good to look for one & register with them ASAP, before there's a need. You will also need to find a good farrier, to get their feet attended to every 6 weeks on average. Sounds like the babies need training before they're up for that though. It's your responsibility to have them well trained enough for the farrier, and the sooner the better, as I gather they've not been seen to yet and it's far easier to correct minor problems now, than wait for them to become major ones in a more mature horse. Horses also need to be seen by an equine dentist about yearly on average. Often more frequently for youngsters.
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post #18 of 21 Old 10-27-2016, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Viborg, SD
Posts: 5
• Horses: 0

You can't keep horses in stalls 24/7!
Reply: I never intended to and have 5-6 acres fenced and that is where the horses will be normally. I only kept Mo separate to ensure no medical issues and didn't have a separate fenced area, so i kept him in a stall and walked him a bit each day on halter.. I am new to the terminology but will get it.

The first thing you should do, like yesterday, is put up a fence. You can do it fairly quickly and economically by using something like electrobraid (at least three strands) and step-in posts. Make sure the horses learn to respect an electric fence! You need to do some research about how to do this properly. This should have been done before bringing horses home.
Reply: I am going to fence in more area for them and add another acre or 2. Also I plan to build a coral.

They should go out every day for a few hours at least. I live in eastern Canada so it's colder here than it is there, but my horses are out every day year round. They're off pasture but I have a sacrifice paddock they spend their days in with lots of hay.[/QUOTE]
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post #19 of 21 Old 10-27-2016, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Viborg, SD
Posts: 5
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to all i greatly appreciated the advice and knowledge shared.
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post #20 of 21 Old 10-27-2016, 04:11 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 2,821
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One think I will also mention. If you keep your colts intact. Check with your county on any stallion fencing requirements they may have. Some areas require fencing of 6ft high for a stud horse.

The most docile stallion will still jump/knock over or run down a fence or human if there is a mare in heat near by. If you have a mare on the property with 2 studs this is going to be a very stressful for all of those animals. The mare will also go through or over fences to be bred, the stallions will fight each other to get to the mare. They will all be stressed.

If you have neighbors with in a mile or so with mares your studs can tell and if your fencing is inadequate can get out. If a scrub stallion bred my mare or harmed one of my gelding s to get at my mare I would be very angry! And a lawsuit would not be out of the question.
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