Sunday, August 15, 2010

Greener pastures

Our ten-acre pasture has been pretty well eaten down by the beasties. Now that the long-awaited vet visit is over, on Friday we made arrangements with a neighbor to let the animals forage on his adjacent twenty acres for a couple of months. He likes them on his property because they eat down the grasses and reduce the fire danger.

Here's what our pasture looks like right now:

And here's what the adjacent parcel looks like:

But first we needed to walk the boundaries and make sure the fences were secure.  Some spots were pretty bad...

...but most compromised areas just needed a little persuasion.

This parcel has a pond, so the animals will have water and shade.

Here's a view of our house from the other side of the pond:

Once we finished walking the perimeter, we opened the gate and called the beasties.

Brit was the first to investigate...

Yee ha!  Freedom!

Next Jet, one of our herd matrons, took the plunge...

And that was the last we saw of the animals until this afternoon when the herd wandered back up to say hi and lick the mineral block.


  1. Patrice--Just a little note of caution from a long time horse owner...never turn your horse out in any pasture with a nylon halter on. If they get caught on anything (actually, it's not IF but WHEN) they will break their neck trying to get loose because nylon halters are made to be indestructible.

    Ask some experienced horse friends if they can recommend something breakable the horse can wear if he/she is difficult to catch, otherwise PLEASE turn the horse loose without a halter on. I would hate to see something terrible happen to your beautiful Appy!

  2. Oooooh, good point, Grandma! I never thought of that. Can you tell we're amateurs when it comes to horses?

    BTW, for those wondering why we'd bother keeping an untrained horse - Brit was given to us for free by a friend who had too many horses. While we've never trained her to ride, she's as friendly as a puppy and will literally dog our heels when we're in the pasture. We keep her because she actually makes an excellent herd guardian for the cows. It would be an extra bonus if we got to the point where we could ride her.

  3. Patrice,

    Over at she has several articles on rotational grazing that are excellent. This type of grazing extends the season and enhances the quality of your pasture.

    There are You Tube videos on gentle horse training techniques. Watch one a week and put it into practice for the week. Watch the videos or read some gentling books for general info on "horse psychology". They are much different to train than dogs. You don't even need to touch the horse for some ground training. Eye movement or hand/arm position is all it takes to move a horse in the direction you want him to go.

  4. That's one good-looking mare.

    And good advice from G-ma T about the halter.

    I didn't realize she wasn't being ridden! I'm betting she'd take to it really well since she's gentle and seems willing to please. Kimberly's right about's all about the eyes, hands and arms at first, then once you're on your knees and legs play a very important role. I've ridden quarter horses to work cows and thoroughbreds for pleasure...a possible equine my favorite ride by far is a good trail mount with a bare-back pad and a sheepskin. It takes some chops and a different approach to saddle riding, but there's nothing to compare to the relationship it allows you to build with your horse.

    Hug Brit for me.

    A. McSp

    How old is she?

  5. P.S.

    I just realized that girl's an Appy!! Yay!!

    A. McSp