pasture dreams

After we sold first crop alfalfa, Brad promptly tilled & seeded the horse's future pasture. We planted a custom seed mix, with no Timothy Grass. Nemo is allergic to it. 

Every time we are on our land, I look out towards what will be the pasture and try to imagine what it will be like...to look out the window and see our horses. Every day. To take care of them. Every day. I miss that. We long for it. It is our dream. 

You have no idea (or maybe you do) what a dream come true being together will be...you know, when our horses are in the land photos. It's been so looong awaited.

view of pastures from our house-to-be
We plan to have two pastures, so we can rotate. Two acres each. Below is what we've discussed to date for the pastures. Same photo with yellow designation added. 

(L-R) The arrow shows the recently planted pasture running north-south. The dotted line shows approximately where the dividing fencing will be. We plan to have a bordering path between the pasture & the rest of the alfalfa field, for access from the barn to our trails. 

The debate is ongoing as to where the auto-waterer & (south facing) shelter will be. On the near edge, in the middle where the two pastures meet ? or closer to the barn is always ideal ? Either way, it will be a duo-purpose shelter/water with swinging gates for access to either pasture. 

What a predicament, how to best access the lower pasture?! One of my pet-peeves is "run in alley's". I will NEVER have one (said with heels firmly dug in). No offense to anyone who has one, they just don't work for me. We have yet to decide which shelter/water placement is the worst of two evils. 

What to do? what to do? In the meantime, I'll just keep dreaming...


Grey Horse Matters said...

Looks beautiful! What a lovely view. I'm sure you'll figure out what would work best for you with the shed and waterers.

Personally, I'd put the shed and waterers close to the barn. Our one shed in the catch pen is close to the barn and we have dutch doors that open onto a path that leads to the barn. It makes it easier to bring them in at night when they're enjoying some down time from grazing and bugs. We also have two ceiling fans per shed. They spend a lot of time in the sheds in the summer under the fans to cool off and get away from the bugs. So running electricity from the barn to the shed was easier and less costly. Also the waterers are close to the barn because it makes it easier to clean them everyday, instead of hiking out to them in all kinds of weather.

aurora said...

Ohhh, ceiling fans in the shelters would be nice for the horses! Now why didn't I think of that?! Guessing it will end up on the "no list" tho, since we haven't budgeted for them. Maybe later on, if the shed is wired for it? Will definitely add it to the on-going shed conversation. Thanks for the idea! I love how well thought out your farm is, and value your input. We talked about catch pen possibilities, and running the pastures east to west, and...who knew this would be such a difficult decision!!

Linda said...

You've put so much thought and work into it. Pretty amazing. We have a barn with a yard for turnout. All we have to do is open the gates on the end of their runs and they're in the turnout. We have gates off the turnout to the East pasture and the North pasture. We can close off the unused pasture, but keep the turnout open for them to return to for water or shade. It's an easy, smooth system.

aurora said...

Sounds like your system works slick Linda! We may end up rethinking East-West pastures (the fence isn't in yet!) Regardless of pasture direction, if the shelter is up by the house/barn facing south it creates more blocked areas where we can't do a visual safety check.

I should probably expand on my dislike for narrow run-in alley's (where a whole herd runs down a long path into a catch area/stalls) the short version is I firmly believe there is great value in time spent hand walking a horse into it's stall. For obvious reasons. The long version is based on observation from multiple small acreage places like ours. Not talking large ranches, where it makes sense and their alleys are the size of our pastures or larger. I won't get into it, but I didn't like what I saw. It's a predicament, and then you add winter into the mix.

Shirley said...

I would consider a few factors. If you are going to be running water lines and possibly electricity (think heated waterers for winter) then have the shelters built close to the source of power and water to save in costs. Also, if you keep the horses out during the winter, and are feeding them in the shelters during wet weather, having the shelters closer to the barn makes sense.
Interesting that Nemo is allergic to timothy hay- I've never heard of that. I have heard of allergic to alfalfa.