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Discussion Starter #1
okay, so ireally want a horse and have been looking up a lot of info. about their care. I am just really confused on pasture management! Here are some questions! Feel free to put any tips:D

  • Is it safe to just "crumble" the poop in the pastures? (dont know specific name:)
  • Can i use a tractor and connect something to "crumble" the poop?
  • Do you have to water the pasture?
  • I know this doesent have nothin to do w/ pasture but...what in the world do you do with all this poop?!
 

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The famous answer - it depends.

What size will the pasture be and how many horses will be kept in it? The smaller the area/denser the horse population, the more likely you are to have to do poop removal. A larger, less populated, field will allow for the natural breakdown of the poo w/out it overwhelming the area and, yes, a tractor with a tow-behind is a great way to break up and spread the manure.
Your last question actually does have to do with pasture management. Our field is too small for this so we go out 1-2 times a week and remove poo. We compost our's using a pile at the back of our property and give it away to our neighbors for use in their gardens. If we didn't remove the poo, it would quickly take over and cover the entire field. We do spread some on the field itself, but we have way more poo than we could ever use.
Whether or not you will need to irrigate the pasture will depend on your climate. In some areas, the natural climate is able to sustain the pasture year-round, in others you have to supplement nature to keep the grass going. Size/density will come into play here as well as it will determine how much "help" is needed to keep it healthy and growing -- a pasture in a poorer climate will more quickly become overgrazed (and need more support) than one in a better climate. Rotational grazing is the best approach as you can spread manure and let an area recover while the horses are safely moved to a different area to graze it off.
 

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At our club we pile it, turn it over once a year and sell it to locals as fertilizer. This only works when horses are not on grain though because the seeds get passed into the poop. Just a thought......
 

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I think the OP sounds like a responsible, detail oriented tween or teen who's trying to do the research, gather facts and come up with a reasonable plan to present.

The answers you've gotten so far are excellent. Assuming a large enough field that you don't have to pick manure, you can make a pasture drag out of just about anything. Ours is made out of woven wire fence and posts from fencing we tore down.

Best practice is to split your available pasture in two, graze one half and rest the other. When you move the horses off one half, pick and/or drag the the newly empty side and then let it rest/let the manure disintegrate further. Better for the pasture and gives you better parasite control.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
By the way..There would be 1 horse on the pasture, me and my dad were thinking that we would use 1 acre for pasture, but spilt it in half so it can alternate pastures (the horse would only be on pasture 9 hours and 20 minutes a day...I know i am very specific:)
Thanks! most of the answers have been very halpful so far!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Because i leave for school at 7:00 am.And i will take it in its stall at 3:20 pm to eat
 

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One horse will get really lonely fast, its best to have a mate with it, whether it's a goat, Donkey, mini, another horse etc..
You could even get a horse that can be just a pasture mate and not rideable, theres lots that are free.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, my dad is really into this whole "farming" thing..so he is planning on getting himself some fainting goats. So i thought the horse could share a pasture with a few of the goats
 

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Umm only thing I would mention is that some horses are ok kept on thier own but if you could get something as a companion that would be better ( we originally had a companion goat!) sorry if thats too obv.
 

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OOh will say this tho! when we buy horse feed a lot of it is fine to feed goat too but keep an eye on back of feed sacks because some you cant feed to goats, just if u were feeding both the same thing ( we do it works! saves money too well depending on how many goats)

Only other thing is that if goats have nothing else to do they tend to have a nibble at thier horsey friends tail umm tree branches are usually a good distraction for this! lol
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Haha! Horse eating Goat..BEWARE!!!
 

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Haha good, you already thought of that. =]
 

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Because i leave for school at 7:00 am.And i will take it in its stall at 3:20 pm to eat

I'm still liking the research you are doing... and I can see you are very specific and detail oriented, both very good traits, but if you don't mind just a little advice... Give yourself a bit of wiggle room. I too am a very scheduled, detail oriented person... things aren't done right unless I do them myself (which can get incredibly tiresome trust me). Horses have a way of taking the best laid plans and changing them on you. At 3:20, your horse may feel like making you jog around the pasture for a while before he/she decides they feel like being caught causing your schedule to fly out the window.
 

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Depending on how much land you have to work with, you might want to fence off more than an acre. Especially if you're going to have one or more buddies in with the horse. If I had the land to work with here, I'd fence off at least 4 acres and cut that in half to rotate. That would be for one horse, and one small buddy. That way, it would actually give the one area time to recover somewhat. Good Luck!!!
 

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Agree with what's been said about companion animals; for one acre you will need to be poop picking the paddocks. For an area that size, you really have to divide it and rotate areas to maintain any sort of grass at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm still liking the research you are doing... and I can see you are very specific and detail oriented, both very good traits, but if you don't mind just a little advice... Give yourself a bit of wiggle room. I too am a very scheduled, detail oriented person... things aren't done right unless I do them myself (which can get incredibly tiresome trust me). Horses have a way of taking the best laid plans and changing them on you. At 3:20, your horse may feel like making you jog around the pasture for a while before he/she decides they feel like being caught causing your schedule to fly out the window.
Yeah..i am working on that..lol! Uhh! Nothing is done right if not done by me:D
 
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