Lisa's Blog
Lisa checking fences in summer pasture
Spring brush burning
Feeding Checkerboard

One of the things that I’ve never been able to buy into is the idea that horses get just one type of forage at a time. The corollary to this idea is that any new introductions should be done over the course of a couple days.

Our horses seem to feel the exact opposite, especially in the winter. I try to use a variety of hay and spread the slices widely around their paddock. (Unless the wind is really blowing. In that case, we throw it in an inside out tractor tire.) They love to snoop from one pile to the next. They especially like to wrangle over who gets whatever is deemed the better pile.

Using just one type of forage makes no sense to my very amateur horse evolutionist’s mind. From what I know, Sili’s ancestors roamed some 20 miles a day eating whatever looked good. They rarely stood in the same place for 3 or 4 hours so the cougars could sniff them out and attack.  On the move – a bite here, a few more there. 

Here’s a surprisingly artistic checkerboard of what a few days worth of hay looks like piled up and ready to go. Dark green second crop orchard grass from Paul. Our own first crop timothy and some of Gary’s brom. Both quite brown. Guess which they like best?


1 comment | Add a New Comment
1. Tara Roth | February 13, 2013 at 09:25 AM EST

I feel the same way about variety in forage for horses!

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