How to "ruin" my pasture?
Topic: What is case mix management
July 19, 2019 / By Doriane Question:
So when I built my pasture I made the very stupid mistake of designing everything for one horse. My elderly ara-appaloosa would run for at least 40 minutes every day all out and was terrible to keep weight on. So I fenced in a huge long pasture for him to run and I put a great weight builder grass mix to keep his weight up. It worked great as running kept him sane, but now that he's passed on I'm having problems.
Instead of a hard keeper and moderate keeper I now have a moderate keeper and an extremely easy keeper. The easy keeper is chubby right now and not obese, but only because I'm putting so many miles on him that he doesn't even need his hooves trimmed. He just needs his mustang roll put on when the farrier is out. This is fine for now, but I want to make plans for next year in case I can't keep the work on him for some reason.
I wanted to find out what you would recommend to reduce the feed quality of the pasture. Currently I'm looking at different prairie grass that is native to Michigan, safe for horses, but less nutritious then what I have now. I may have to reduce the pasture size, but was hoping I wouldn't just because I like my horses to have plenty of room. I've tried a grazing muzzle and he can take it off in about 15 minutes. Is there a good way to destroy/remove the plant life in part of the pasture that is horse safe?
Any recommendations appreciated. I figure I've got all winter to do research to make plans for spring, but I just feel like I'm missing options. I've spent the last 20+ years working on putting weight on a horse so I'm completely ignorant on what I need to do to keep it off.
Ok you guys are awesome. I'm going to really need to spend sometime to figure out best answer as you each have really good info.
Thanks for helping figure out I'll need to separate part of the pasture no matter what I try. I've had a real mental block against doing it and the only reason I can think of is my old guy would have hated it and fencing it off felt like the final good bye. I know how silly that sounds.
Gallop I'll try the fly mask. So far I can't even keep a neck collar on him. When I got him the old owners told me he was an escape artist and he definitely is. I should have called him Houdini.
Everyone had great info. I'm going to try the grazing muzzle again (It is Best Friends) a little tighter and w/ the mask this year. I've contacted MSU Extension Ag group for seed recommenations and to see if they can help plan the second lot when I split the pasture.
Ziggy thanks for the great info on pasture management. It gives me hope we can get a "weight watchers" pasture growing. We can borrow a seed drill from my neighbors to help get the new seed going.
Best Answers: How to "ruin" my pasture?
Cassie | 3 days ago
You need to keep the root system you have, or starting over will require two years for the new root system to be adequate to withstand the damage horses do by grazing and with their hooves. I would contact your local farm bureau or county ag extention office for help. As you've learned, pastures should be seeded to accommodate horses with metabolic issues like insulin resistance and chronic laminitis, as well as obesity. My local farm bureau has grass mixes for that. Yours may as well.
I would not plow up the earth and start over for the reason I stated. I've been through doing that, and it was fine only because I had existing pastures so that the one I started over didn't have to be grazed for the two years it took to establish a stable root system. Then the existing ones were rejuvenated by reseeding when the new one was usable.
Add....my insulin resistant mare couldn't graze any pasture grasses during hours of the day or seasons when fructans were highest in the grasses. You should put in a dry lot which is an area without grasses where you can contain the easy keeper part of the time. I don't know what muzzle you used, but you can try the Best Friends muzzle adjusted with less than the recommended space (one inch), and more like 1/2 inch, and use a fly mask over the halter and see if it helps. I had no problem with my mare keeping it on when adjusted this way.
👍 214 | 👎 3
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Originally Answered: Should i ask her does she like me then? or will that ruin things?
As a guy i think giving a girl a yes or no option is a bad idea as well as awkward. So i would advice you not to ask that question (unless you are in school). Just do what you were doing...Write text messages, ask her out on dates and show her you care about her.Girls like to be treated special but do not be too clingy. Flirt with her when she is around and don't feel scared to be physical (give her a squeeze when she does something for you, or take her hands and circle your finger around the palm asking if it tickles) I know it sounds childish but girls like that stuff... Let her know that you will always be around and most importantly, let her know you care about her (ask her how she is doing, if she needs help with anything and **** like that).If she likes you, she will eventually ask you out herself and this time, make sure its not 2 friends going out on a date.Make it a real date.Then make sure you kiss her good night (practice your kissing because it is sometimes the key factor between you coming in for the night or you driving home for a lonely night in bed).If all goes well, show her you mean to be a long term boyfriend by kissing her in the morning or at work and also having lunch together.Hope this helps and good luck
This sounds like the exact same mistake you made for your first horse though, just in opposite. You are "ruining" your pasture just for one horse that is an easy keeper. This just doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Have your tried a grazing muzzle on your easy keeper? Or, and obviously I don't know how you have everything set up, but maybe you have a paddock that you could lock him in for part of the day, then let him out to eat for part? That's what we do just as weight control. Our horses are in during the day, and then turned out on grass at night, with the exeption of our pony. It just makes me cringe to think that you want to destroy your pasture :( I hope this helps.
Sorry, I didn't see the part about already trying a grazing muzzle! There are a few different kinds though, the ones that just have the one strap that go behind the ears are useless, but have you tried the kind that attatch to a regular halter?
👍 90 | 👎 -6
Well.. it won't ruin your pasture, but it will make your grazing more sparse if you borrow some goats to graze that pasture. As far as I know, goats and horses can be compatible (some are even close friends and barnmates). Goats will eat everything in a field, normally without the problems that are often seen with ponies and chubby horses.
While you could go with your plan to 'ruin' your pasture, what you are ultimately after is to limit the amount of rich grazing that your easy keeper has access to. Obviously, this will also affect the access for the medium keeper as well, but thats ok. Hay is good food. :)
👍 88 | 👎 -15
Could you build a dry lot to keep them on part of the day? If you keep them on a dry lot for say, 6 hours a day, then turn them back out, they still have 18 hours to run around. Dry lots are better than stalls, IMO. i don't like them for 24/7, because i like my horse to be able to run off his energy and get out the bucks when he feels the need LOL, but for a couple of hours it's much better than a stall. they can still move around at least. Then are you feeding any grain? If you are, you might want to switch to something like nature's essentials... http://horse.purinamills.com/products/na... It gives the necessary protein, minerals, vitamins, etc, without the extra calories. Then of course a grazing muzzle is an option, but you said that didn't work...maybe a different design?
All in all, i wouldn't change the whole quality of your pasture for one horse. Designing a pasture for a single horse is what got you into this mess in the first place lol, so i wouldn't get into that again in case you have a hard keeper in the future. i would recommend building a decent sized dry lot. good luck!
👍 86 | 👎 -24
You could plow up the field and plant different grass seeds or you could soak the grass every week as it will make the soil less fertile and the grass won't be as sweet and fattening. You will be able to tell its working when buttercups start to grow in the pasture.
👍 84 | 👎 -33
Originally Answered: Will this ruin my chances of getting a job?
Lol. Theres no way jack is going to work you more than 33 to 35 hours a week. They arent going to pay you overtime! They dont want to, anyways. That box isnt a big deal.
N/a in everybox isnt a big deal either.