Insects are thrust into the air like popcorn. Barn Swallows dip and dive, dancing through the air, enjoying the feast. The sweet aroma of freshly-mowed grass, while tempting, is far from safe for the horses. The toxic chemicals released from grass during the mowing process are unsafe for equine consumption.
That doesn’t make sense. Hay is simply mowed grass. How could it be toxic to horses if we feed hay all the time?
Hay is, indeed, mowed grass. However, after hay is mowed, it’s allowed to lay in the sun and dry before it’s baled. Each bale must be thoroughly dry before it’s safe to put in a barn. Frequently even after hay is baled, it’s allowed to dry outside in the sun. Hay becomes moldy if it’s wet, and moldy hay causes colic and heaves. Not to mention it’s disgusting. Humans don’t eat moldy food–the same courtesy should be extended to horses. Worse yet, moldy hay can cause a barn fire.
There’s a great deal of hay growing on the property. The outdoor arena is currently a hayfield, as is the meadow behind the horse pastures.
The horse pastures are big enough that they’re staying green. The horses enjoy grazing, and the girls have grazed their pasture down to the ground. The boys have grazed theirs down, too, but their pasture is larger.
This is a problem.
We have three boys, two of which (Sidney and Dusty) are becoming a little overweight, and in Dusty’s case, cresty on the neck. They really don’t need as much grass as they’re getting.
The girls, on the other hand, are in need of grass. Melody is preparing to be bred. Savannah is perpetually in need of good nutrition. Honey is pleasantly plump, but is still safe to have on grass. Lexi is underweight, and could use the extra calories from grass.
Therefore, the geldings have been moved. They’re currently exploring the old mare pasture, which will be their new home. The boys don’t need as much grass as the girls, and since there’s more space in the gelding pasture, it makes sense to swap the girls and boys.
However, the “new” mare pasture (or old gelding pasture, if you prefer) is off limits after being mowed this morning. We won’t move the girls into their new pasture until Friday morning. They’re currently in the run-in stall pasture, relaxing and hanging out. All three stalls are open to the pasture, so they can come and go as they please. However, last time I checked, Melody and Honey are sharing a stall, and Lexi and Savannah are schmoozing in another.
The Barn Swallows are still whirling and twirling, spinning and swirling above the old gelding pasture. They’ll weave their magic in midair until every last insect is devoured.