Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

RE: [RC] Limited pasture/horse and hoof health - Paul Sidio

RE:  "I wish I had some rugged, rocky, hilly
sparsely grassed land!"
Sorry, but my place isn't forsale:)  
The Ozarks has a lot of that kind of conditions. We run our 5 horses on  40 acres of up  and down rocky hillsides. There are about 25 acres of open land which I have limed and seeded and fertilized (every third year). In spring and summer, I have to dry lot up two of the horses for part of the day, because they get way too fat. Right now in the hard part of winter, I am feeding a total of about 30 pounds of hay per day, and only giving my endurance horse any grain.Three of the non-grained horses are really still too fat. The 34 year old gelding is in just about the right weight condition.
Horses spent millions of years adapting to life outside with free movement. Whenever we try to change them into  a confined indoors animal, we have to deal with the effects of that confinement.  With my horses, I have not have to give a shot for  snotty nose, coughing, fevers etc in over 10 years. They have a shelter to come in during bad weather, but you will not find them there. In the middle of a nasty freezing rain or snowy blizzard, they will be on a lee hillside with their butts to the wind. I used to try and drag them into the barn, but 5 minutes later they were on the sheltered hillside again.

They evolved as grass eaters that covered a lot of ground each day. Not heavily fertilized grass, just regular meadow grass. The more you can provide that environment, the better off they are. I understand that is not possible for some people, but it is something to be aimed at.
Paul N. Sidio
From our 40 acres in Spokane MO, that would be over 50 acres if you could flatten it out.