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Almosta Farm, Central North Carolina
Horses waiting on some hay during the first week in the "paradise"
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|This is the layout of the 6.3 acre "almost" farm. There is a fair amount of elevation change from the western property line to the creek, but east of the creek the land is quite flat. We are planning on rotating the horses through the "mini-pastures" as part of the pasture management system. The mini-pastures are shown in green numbers, and are generally about a 1/4 acre. The horses will be let in for a morning snack when the NSCs are generally lower in the grass. The horses (currently 3) are fed hay pellet in the morning and evening in the front pasture, and then have access to pasture or hay in other areas of the track. We had been spreading hay in small piles 3x a day, and are moving towards box slow feeders, but will need to evaluate the horses movement to make sure they are not just standing by the slow feeder all the time. Water is available in the front pasture.|
|Feeding - Slowly|
| We started off dropping piles of hay around. It took a lot of time, and the horses took no time in sucking up all the hay. Then they got bored with no pasture and no hay. So we built 2 slow feeders. Basically using the plan on this site from Barbara http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/page/Barbara%27s+hay+feeders. They worked well, although we did have issues with the horses pulling enough hay through the grid to lift the grid up. We used some snaplinks and chain to keep it down - it worked pretty well. It now took the horses quite a while to get through their 8 flakes of hay (we feed about 8 flakes in the am and pm). Maybe a few hours. BUT they just stood there, minimal movement around the track. Yes they had to travel to get water, and once finished they wandered around looking for some sparse grass. So in summary - hard sided slow feeders work well at slowing the horses down, but it still keeps them tied to one spot - kinda like Golden Corral. |
Next we tried small mesh hay nets (SMHN) from Miller Harness. We ordered 6 to start with, the 1" or 1.5" hole kind. We pulled the rope out (kept it in the hay room to use before we filled the bag, then remove once closed with the shackle), a stainless steel shackle to run the the loops and a double snap link to clip to a ring on a rope on a tree (yes this is a run-on sentence). We then selected 2-3 trees about 50' apart from each other. We have 3 horses, one has a very hard time sharing and the other two can tolerate each other. The hay nets definitely slowed them down, and by spreading out the groupings of bags to remote areas of the track we got them to move. Yay!!
Now we have 12 SMHNs, we will be spreading them in 4 to 6 groups of 2 or 3 bags each, and put a flake in each. We will refill them as needed. The horses seem to each about 1/2 to 2/3rds then it get a little harder to get the hay out so they wander away looking for more. The cycle is repeated until there is no more hay in the nets. Our hope is with 8-12 bags out with 1 flake each they will do a fair amount of moving, and always find hay available. Hopefully this will relieve the desperation of hay there's hay they seem to have. We think we will be able to still only put out about a bale a day. We have about 4,000lbs of horses, so thats 40-80 lbs of hay a day needed. Our bales are from 60-80 lbs each.
The horses also get fed 2x a day. One of them gets a scoop of complete feed with some hay pellets, and the other two get a scoop of timothy hay pellets (no additives or molasses).
Latest page update: made by kiltedpiper98
, Oct 13 2009, 1:06 PM EDT
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added SMHN video
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|tangledmanes||I love the bridge!||5||Oct 26 2009, 2:39 PM EDT by kiltedpiper98|
Thread started: Sep 13 2009, 12:10 AM EDT Watch
KiltedPiper has the latest amazing PP innovation! I love that bridge. If the USFS manual isn't copyrighted, could you scan in and add the instructions? Of course, the pictures are great and most anyone could probably figure it out from those - THANKS!
Your layout map shows alternate water crossing locations, so I'm sure you can use those as desired for hoof conditioning, but it's nice to have that dry crossing for the most frequently traveled trail. Coincidentally, I temporarily dismantled my hoof pond today because Stella has a small cut just above her hoof, and I didn't want her going through the water in my artificial pond (which wasn't so fresh any more) until it heals.
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