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8 years 11 months ago #35438 by Van7ter
.....to finally own a lifestyle block!

We are novices, in Hastings on 10 acres, and have horses booked in for grazing, so would appreciate any help or advice on Pasture management etc.

Pleased to have found this group, thanks guys!!!

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8 years 11 months ago #464510 by eelcat
Replied by eelcat on topic Feeling blessed......
Welcome to the wonderful world of LSB - enjoy - we do!

1 Border collie, 1 Huntaway, 2 Lhasa Apsos, Suffolk and arapawa ewe crosses, an Arapawa ram,an East Friesian ewe , 5 cats, 42 ducks , 1 rooster and 30 hens, 5 geese, 12 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 house cows, one heifer calf, one bull calf, 3 rabbits and lots and lots and lots of fruit trees...

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8 years 11 months ago #464520 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Feeling blessed......
Welcome, only 6 months into it ourselves. Horses were the only animals here till we bought it, and now there are none. I have to say their dung takes ages to disappear. Thankfully they were only in one paddock in the months before we bought. Still learning myself about pasture management. Happy we found this site too.

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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8 years 11 months ago #464528 by Aria
Replied by Aria on topic Feeling blessed......

Deanna;466532 wrote: I have to say their dung takes ages to disappear.


You've got to either spread it around or remove it. Important if taking on horses via a lease agreement - to determine who is responsible for what in this (and other) regard and to include that in any contract between landowner and horse owner.

According to this;

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_care/solve-the-horse-manure-pile-problem/

An average horse produces about 50 pounds of the stuff every day, or more than eight tons a year.

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8 years 11 months ago #464536 by 3 girls farming
and so many people want it... even if you give it away at the gate.. you will be popular with the local rose growers

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8 years 11 months ago #464606 by Minky2
Replied by Minky2 on topic Feeling blessed......
Yup if your 10 acres is divided up into small paddocks it is important that the horse owners pick up the dung EVERY single day (well they can have a couple of days off per year!!) or you will soon have paddocks that look terrible, full of weeds, probably a heavy worm burden and useless for feed, horses are awfully hard on grazing and also tend to graze some patches bare and leave others looking 'lush' so that it appears there is plenty of grass but in reality they won't eat over and around their droppings so the lush patches are of no feed value whatsoever.

Strip grazing with electric tape can be useful, a lot of horse owners are fortunately quite
clued up as to how to maximise feed and look after the pasture.

Unfortunately some horse people are TERRIBLE, regarding care of their horses, care of your property, and payment of grazing fees (we leased 12 acres to grazers for years and found out the hard way), so a written contract with all the rules clearly set out is VERY important, that they sign before they move in.

Best wishes and I hope you get really nice grazers, the good ones can be a 'bonus' helping keep an eye on your property, looking after your facilities, and providing a friendly ear for a chat occasionally!

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8 years 11 months ago #464668 by Aria
Replied by Aria on topic Feeling blessed......
Yep, I'm with Minky - a grazing contract is an absolute must - we put one together ourselves, just a simple single page, but we have referred to it often in terms of 'things' that happen (as it sets out who is responsible and who pays).

Saves you from any falling out in future. Start as you intend to proceed!

And with horses - if you are going to be the one to harrow/maintain the pasture .. make sure you charge appropriately for it as it's a big job!

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8 years 11 months ago #464847 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Feeling blessed......
It's important when grazing horses that you cross graze with cattle, so even though it may be tempting to load up your paddocks with paying grazers, you will wreck your pasture if you over stock with horses. It is much better to charge more per horse and keep numbers low on quality pasture, than to undercharge and run too many. They also make a big mess when they gallop, so avoid young ones if possible and electric out riggers are a must have on your fence lines, or the horses will also wreck your fences when they stretch their long necks over the wire. Some will chew your fence posts, especially the strainer stays and they will hang around and muddy up all your gate ways. An electric spring gate over top of your gates will deter them from leaning on the gates or running into them and wrecking them.
On 10 acres, you should never exceed 4 horses, (2 to a paddock) and four cattle ought to be enough to cross graze. Have two that are a year older, that way, you can shed two for either the winter when feed is scarcer, or in late spring if you want to shut up some paddocks for hay. Replace the two beasts with weaners (they eat less)
Sheep do not work well with horses since they graze very much the same way and close crop the grass. Run your stock ahead of the horses and shift frequently all animals so that you don't end up with a sacrifice paddock which will take a lot of effort to get back in good pasture. It's taken us 100kg of good quality grass seed, and a dressing of lime/super and 12 months to get our pasture looking good again after some serious abuse of horse numbers before we took over here. Our current ratio of stock to horses is 2 broodmares, 2 foals and one spelling racehorse on 15 acres with 7 head of stock. 2 biggest steers will be off to the works towards the end of September/mid October and we will shut up for hay at Labour weekend.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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8 years 11 months ago #464885 by reggit
Replied by reggit on topic Feeling blessed......
Enjoy, Van7ter, start of a big adventure :D

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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8 years 11 months ago #464909 by kindajojo
Replied by kindajojo on topic Feeling blessed......
I run sheep and cows and the horse.......sheep are good after horses as (well at least wilti's) eat dock.
Horses and cattle like longer grass so I run the horse week 1, for the best grass, the cows then move in and take out the rest of the long stuff. I then harrow and run the sheep through..
Just have enough paddocks to allow enough time for the sheep grazed paddock to recover to horse length again slow or speed up the rotation depending on grass growth speed.

Your biggest problem is not the animals, its getting the owners to 1 look after their animal, and 2. pay the bill ( fix you up next payday, can you fix up the farrier and I will pay you back). Some people think its ok to leave the horse for weeks at a time knowing you will cover and uncover, attend to feet, and all the other problems that turn up and don't pay for the extra costs (vet bills).
Avoid windsuckers and horse that chew fences or charge for the damage.
Maybe I am just soft but you will be torn between the welfare of the horse and the irresponsible owner

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8 years 11 months ago #464937 by Minky2
Replied by Minky2 on topic Feeling blessed......
As you can see, a pattern is building up here about some horse people being less than ideal!!

I wouldn't panic if you don't want any other stock, preferable to be able to cross graze if possible but I have often had to keep horses in paddocks with 'horses only' and as long as you manage pasture carefully you will always have feed available (apart from winter when the grass stops growing or has little feed value), that is the norm down here but don't know about the NI, others would be able to advise). Large amounts of hay usually need to be fed during winter so hopefully you have storage for that and other supplementary feed :)

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