Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Caring for the land

Last spring when we were building the barn, Red and Saga (then the only boys that were here) were relegated to the back pasture for nearly 3 months. Being constantly grazed, along with the drought that we've had, have taken quite a toll on this pasture. 

Here's what the back pasture looks like today. :(

For comparison, this is the pasture next to the barn. Still not in great shape (thank you drought of the century), but better.

You can really see the difference if you compare at the fenceline. Back pasture is on the left.

Since the forecast was for rain (which, BTW, came true), I decided to spread some rye grass seed on the back pasture. I know it's not the best for overseeding, but it grows quickly and will help provide some protection from erosion so the more native stuff can get a foothold. This 50-lb bag covered almost 1/2 acre.

Slowly but surely, we've also been spreading our composted manure on the pasture, starting with the most bare spots. The hope is to build the topsoil back up after so much was lost this summer. Last year we were able to do a really great job with rotational grazing, but we were much less successful this year with the drought. In fact, the boys haven't been out on any of the pastures since the barn was finished, and now that some of our pastures have nice growth, I'm even more wary of putting them out for fear of founder! Balancing the health of the land and the health of the horses is really hard!

1 comment:

  1. So happy to see somebody being sure to take care of their pastures! It'll pay off once we're out of this drought... whenever that happens lol!