• Jenni Nellist

5 Weeks in the New Field

The first five weeks of grazing a field that’s barely been touched by a grazing animal for years!

I learned that despite the lack of grazing animals, the dung beetles were ready for action.

It’s a good idea to strip graze when the grass is so tall. Then they can’t trample too much.

The local verges contain a lovely mix of native grasses and wild flowers. The boys from the council strim them as they go to seed, so a useful source of free seeds for the bald patches the ponies uncovered.

The girls spend a lot of time mutual grooming.

Bronwen loves to eat bramble shoots, which is just as well as there’s lots of them!

Neither like to eat long grass when there are thistles and mature bramble stalks waiting to ambush them.

I should have got an energiser for the electric fence. I’m two posts down from their escapes.

The gate area is lovely for loafing in, which is just as well as it’s the only area of hard standing and it still drains well where there isn’t any hard core.

The ponies are about to leave the field to give it a rest. When they return there will be fewer brambles. The gateway area will be their centre-point area for drinking, loafing, shading from flies and generally resting up. The rest of the field will be split for rotation, and I will buy an energiser (and more posts). They may also be penned on what will be the former bramble patches with hay to allow the hayseeds to sow the land, and their poo to mulch it.

#NewField #Horses #Behaviour #Welfare #Grazing

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Jenni Nellist Clinical Animal Behaviourist

Jenni: 07974 569407

1 Orchard Close, Port Eynon, Swansea, SA3 1NZ

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