Alayne took this photo of three of our blind horses resting early on a recent morning. Kate and I had been cleaning the corrals and spreading manure, and it takes us the better part of two days, even with one of us spreading with the tractor and the other spreading with our draft horses, Bill and Bob. So we left all the horses out on pasture overnight, rather than hurriedly putting the corral panels back together the previous evening, bringing the horses in for the night, and then taking the panels all back down again the next morning when we resumed the work. The horses sure didn't mind; they got to graze all they wanted (which is to say, almost nonstop), which is why they were finally all lying down the next morning.
We don't leave them out on pasture 24/7 because the paddocks are too small and couldn't take the constant grazing pressure. They'd be dirt lots in a couple of weeks. Most horses can get all the nutrition they need in 7 to 8 hours of grazing in any case, but they will eat around the clock. Cows, on the other hand, will only graze for 8 hours in a day; no more, no less. This has actually been scientifically measured in different cattle herds across three continents -- in the U.S., in Scotland, and in Australia, according to Andre Voisin in the grazing classic Grass Productivity. So cattle are actually a lot easier on pastures than horses.
None of this mattered to the three blind horses, of course. They were just happy to be resting in the early morning sunshine on a beautiful summer day. That's Bridger on the left, Rosie in the middle and Nikki on the right. Traditionally we keep our blind horses in pairs, but this is a threesome that works well in terms of chemistry.
Please Vote for the Farm!
The latest Shelter Challenge started Monday, July 9 and ends at midnight on September 16. Grand prize in this round is $5,000, plus $1,000 for weekly winners and $1,000 for state winners. There are also other categories ... please see the Shelter Challenge website for details.
*** We are now LISTED UNDER OUR NEW NAME, ROLLING DOG FARM. State is still NH for New Hampshire. ***
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We just won $1,000 as a weekly winner in the last contest, and thousands more in the previous contests. The Shelter Challenge really does bring in a lot of money for the animals here!
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