Equine lifestyle one step at a time...

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10 years 4 months ago #37186 by doonanoon
Hey all,

My sister and I partnered up 2.5 yrs ago to buy a run down 10 acre property in Pokeno. It has taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears.....amongst hard work to get it to the state it is now, functional.

The objective has always been DIY and saving costs as much as possible so thanks to family chipping in we wouldn't have been able to do it without them. We both work full time whilst preparing and competing show horses, (can have about 6 or 7 thoroughbreds here at a time). The horses are our lifestyle so whilst having a functional property set up for them, we also care about how it aesthetically looks and have done a lot of DIY on the house and gardens ourselves. Our main outlay has been putting in an arena and new hot wire fences across the 10 acres (not a cheap exercise but absolutely no regrets and has added so much value to the property).

the list is endless but our next big projects are to build covered yards and get rid of the gorse that is encroaching on the bottom paddocks....so any advice from this website will be very welcomed!!!

Thanks!

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10 years 4 months ago #482950 by igor
Goats will eat the gorse, although not entirely eliminate it, and will also eat much of the other weedy crap that the horses won't touch. Cross grazing with sheep or goats might also help save the land from becoming horse sick. Do you like goat milk?

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10 years 4 months ago #482985 by doonanoon
Yeah thanks for that, someone has mentioned that goats will help. A few head of cattle that go in after the horses has proved great and kept down most weeds etc and regrowth is good. The gorse we need to tackle is 12foot high at best so goats wont make a dent on that!! We may need them afterwards.....

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10 years 4 months ago #483042 by igor
You could do as one of our neighbours has done and cut the gorse to ground level then let the stock eat the regrowth while it is fresh and soft. His gorse was only in the order of eight feet high maximum though and there isn't a lot of it.

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10 years 4 months ago #483054 by oskatd
We had goats to eat gorse, mostly they ate clover. We sprayed the gorse. Worked much better....

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10 years 4 months ago #483058 by stephclark
Hello.. like you we took on a run down and turned into an equine property..
we got goats to clear the scrubby weedy gorsey stuff.. they preferred to ring bark the trees..

being mainly horsey, we used to run the cattle after the horses, till someone pointed out the bleedingly obvious.. cattle use their tongues to hold the grass then they bite, they need the longer grass, horses bite it off directly and therefore can nibble down the shorter grass..
best to run horses after the cattle..
cattle will eat what the horses wont touch ( ie where they have poohed ).. but if following horses, that is the only grass long enough for them

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10 years 4 months ago #483079 by ourouwnfarmstead
Oh, that sounds like a great place to be a horse! Good luck in your enterprise! ^_^

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10 years 4 months ago #483122 by Baroque
I too have horses [I breed Spanish horses] and run a mob of sheep and am now running another mob of goats on our property. I borrow the local dairy farmers herd replacements to help get rid of excess grass to keep the horses a bit trimmer because they run on the smell of an oily rag!

We had about 2-3 acres or so of 2-3m high gorse in our gully which I got our local contractor to nuke with his large mulching mower while he was on our place topping weeds, and have now got my goats sorting out the regrowth.

It would be cheapest for you to talk to your local farm contractor about doing this for you as it only took him about an hour to take it from a huge lot of large shrub/tree sized growth down to a pile of wood chips... :D

Breeding & training quality Spanish horses - THE horse of Kings! Also breeding Arapawa & Pitt Island sheep.

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10 years 4 months ago #483150 by doonanoon
Thanks for the tips, the contractor that did my fences had to clear a bit of the gorse which he did with his tractor, amazing how quick it was. Before looking at goats I am going to see how far I get with Kiwirail who own the border to my property and hope that they will clear the gorse for me. Then I am happy to maintain it so it doesnt come back!

At the moment I just want it to rain.....its shockingly dry. I am bringing in so much hay its not funny.

I like the idea of the goats, I just dont want any more animals to deal with...I just got rid of my cattle yesterday thankfully too as grass was running out.

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