To continue from my previous post, since purchasing my three new horses, I have spent the last two weeks playing musical pens.
I had to deal with one of my older geldings not wanting to share ‘his women’ with the new gelding. Sails is a sweet roan gelding that I’ve been using for breakaway. He is mellow but kind of a chicken. He is usually in the pen with Peppy and Whiskey, two mares. But this summer, he’s gotten very possessive about who he allows near them.
When J2 unloaded my three horses, I put the two mares together in a pen and put Cougar in a separate one. Later in the day, I put Cougar in with Remy and Gin, thinking that would just simplify my work. But Sails wasn’t having any of that. He reared up and started striking across the fence at Cougar, who didn’t help the situation by charging toward the fence.
Ultimately, I put Cougar back in the pen by himself. But then Sails didn’t even want the two young mares next to the fence by Peppy and Whiskey. Long story short, I had to haul around about a dozen heavy horse panels and make a ‘buffer pen’ to keep the horses from fighting over the fences. In this past week, I’ve created twice the number of pens I had, by myself since Garris has been at his dad’s getting ready for his state rodeo.
Once I finally had enough pens for everyone and was sure no one was going to hurt themselves fighting across the fence, I had to figure out how to graze everyone.
We’ve had so much rain this spring that I have grass everywhere. Not only in the pasture but also in the middle part of my property, between the house and the barn. In the past, I’ve put up a single electric fence pen, to try and eat up some of the grass and give the pasture a chance to breathe. This year, with this many horses, I’ve had to get creative. I’ve got horses panels, electric fence, and am utilizing all sorts of funky barriers to get the grass accessible to all these horses. Thankfully, no one has tested the barriers very hard yet.
But I have to make a cheat sheet before I go out each morning, to put everyone in the best spot. Right now, the two young mares are in the old goat pen, where the grass is a couple feet high. Sails, Peppy, and Whiskey are in the big pasture. Ote and Fritz are in a big electrified pen. Cougar is in a horse paneled pen. It takes a good half hour to get everyone to their respective spots, get the electric fences going, and make sure no one is going to throw a fit.
Then I have to figure out where to put everyone once their grazing time is up.
I have definitely gotten my workouts the past couple of weeks. And I’m pleased to say that they have eaten down some of the areas of tall grass. Sure saves on hay when they can eat what’s on the ground!
It will be easier next week, once Garris is back at my house for a couple of weeks. The musical horses will continue until the end of the grass. So, I’m hoping we keep doing this well into fall.