Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pasture Envy

I have a confession, of sorts, I've discovered I suffer from pasture envy. As I pass by homes with big country yards and lush thick grass I think: "what a waste of space, that would be such great pasture for my horses. If it were mine I'd put up fence and have lots of pasture for my horses. Why do they waste time mowing?"

Then there are the farms with, what seems to me, acres and acres of fenced grass fields. I find myself wistful that my two horses would love that much pasture field and the hours of grass grazing.

My two Spotted Saddle Horses came from a farm where they had probably a hundred acres to roam grassy hillsides. I remember the farm had so much grass I questioned moving the horses to our two small pastures. Granted we have over sixty acres of land, but approximately fifty of it is forested hills and valleys with creeks separating the hills. This area has been called The Foothills to the Smokys. Don't get me wrong, I do love the forests and it makes for great walking/riding trails as we carve them. I've regretted that my horses don't have more grazing area and that I took them away from some awesome pastures. I have no idea how they feel about it but I suspect if they could voice opinions, they'd prefer the awesome pastures.

My older horse was six when I bought him. He was used to roaming a big space and eating all the grass he could in a day. His body showed it. But my younger guy was two and I wonder if he even remembers the lush pastures he came from, I'm thinking, not so much. 

Over the past seven years we've worked at various rotations of the smaller fenced acres, which amounts to about ten acres. We use a portable electric fence in the front yard area of our house during the summer months, for a couple hours of evening grazing. It's more like a field anyway and I'm not a person who gives much credence to what my yard/field looks like out here in the country. God made grass for grazing animals, not so we would have to mow it. 

If I were to actually design, or buy another place, with my horses in mind, I wouldn't build it in a valley, between hills. I also would make sure there was not a tree line near my fence line. Seems we sporadically have to fix broken fence areas due to falling branches or entire trees. With a heavy sigh, I've decided, we'll deal with it all as it is and I'm going to quit complaining about it. I don't foresee us moving any time soon. The place is paid off so unless we were to sell it as a small horse farm and move to Kentucky,I love Kentucky,it is what it is. My youngest son lives in Maysville and when we go down that way to visit, I admire the green rolling pasture land, and feel that pasture envy creeping up on me. 

Hubby and I continue to work it out, for the horses, here on our little plot of the planet as best we can. Eventually, we'll have all the trees out of the back field and more grass will grow there. Realistically, because of the ground composition, we'll never see lush green pastureland back here. When I've brought this subject up to my vet a couple of times, about my lack of good pasture grass, he looked at my guys and said "You're probably better off with less pasture. You don't have to worry about founder and these guys look like really easy keepers."  So, evidently, it's not really as bad as I keep thinking. However, I'll probably continue to have pasture envy. The grass is always greener at the other farm.


Linda said...

I know what you mean. We've had a couple horse places and this one is closer than the last one for what we wanted, but not perfect. I really admire the PERFECT spots...and they are perfect. We have a hard time keeping our grass green here and we can't ride out from our house...we have to trailer out. We used to live on the edge of farm fields, but our ground was rocky. Still, I LOVED having those farm fields to ride in.

The 'Smarty Pants' Family said...

I know exactly what you mean. I have two pygmie goats that need a bigger pasture. Love the big pastures. Always envious when I pass. LOL