I just read something interesting from the Rick Lamb e-newsletter. It was an excerpt from his book “Horse Smarts for the Busy Rider”
It talked about a rancher with limited acreage (don’t we all) that divides it up into several small paddocks. The horses are put on a new one each day to give the grass a chance to rest and grow a bit. To get the horses to walk more, which is what they would do in the wild, he has lanes set up into each paddock from a central watering source. The lanes are considered ‘sacrifice areas’ because the heavy hoof traffic keeps the grass from growing. During the day, the horses will walk back and forth from grass to water several times, building up their walking distance.
We have something similar set up at our place. I am a worry wart about my horses and wonder if they are getting enough exercise when we aren’t riding regularly. After reading this, I feel much better because I see them come and go from their barn to the pasture several times a day. Maybe I could strap a pedometer (what would it be called on a horse) to see how far they are really walking. I might be surprised.
We have only had horses here at home for 4 years so we didn’t have a lot of experience to turn to when planning the horse area. Instead, we turned to Erin Harwood of the WSU Extension office Small Acreage Program. She is the coordinator and if you aren’t on her email blast list, contact her today to be added. She has classes and tours to teach newbies and oldbies alike about good ideas for their small farms. And if you have a question about most anything ‘ag’ she has or will come up with an answer. She has given us plans for bat boxes, feeding cribs and directed us to noxious weed charts. Click here to connect to this wonderful resource.
Blessings to you all,