This past Saturday was what we call “migration day” at the farm. Once the horses are in summer pastures, migration day happens every couple of weeks for the boys. But this was THE migration day, the one where the horses are moved from the winter paddocks out to pasture for the season.
Let me explain how we have our farm set-up. Because Vermont winters usually have a lot of snow, over four to five months, the horses need to be close to the hay and the house so they can be watered. We built several wooden fenced paddocks in between the house and the arena where the hay is stored. Each paddock holds two to three horses. We typically put the horses in these paddocks at the end of October or the first weekend of November, as the other reason is that with the time change it gets quite dark early on.
Then typically around the end of April they go back to the summer pastures. The boys have pastures in the lower field, and they get rotated to allow the grass to recover. The girls have one very large pasture, perhaps about 10 acres, to roam throughout.
Is the past years since we’ve been here, the horses have been quite excited to get out to the summer pastures, and are usually a bit wired. Not this year, all was quiet and very uneventful, which is really the way we prefer it.
First out were *Beau and *Red. More due to where they pasture first than anything else. I took *Red and he just doodled along next to me, every once in a while asking for grass, which I was happy to allow. We got to their pasture, unhaltered them, and they both took off! *Beau decided that now he missed his girls and took some time to pace up and down the fence and call. Stallions, right?
Next down were *Sun and Dude. Dude, just like *Red, doodled along next to me checking things out. *Sun was the only one to act up the whole time, and he decided to let Chuck know “I’m excited!” by rearing up a couple of times. Silly boy.
Last down were *Jack and *Leo. You’ll notice I have no pictures of them and that is because they refused to run around. We even tried chasing them, but to no avail. Grass was all that mattered.
Finally it was time to move the girls and *Love was moved first. There are only two of us and youngsters require that you are “present” and attentive. *Love wandered down the hill with Chuck and all was fine until the nearby Vixen decided she needed to scoot off. “What was THAT?” you could hear *Love exclaim! Once she saw her, then she returned to her ho-hum wandering.
Lastly we took *Babe and *Andi out. *Babe is always fabulous to go anywhere with and *Andi is still a baby in her outlook on life. Everything is new, everything is different, and it all requires consideration.
Now the routine of care changes and we look forward to spending more time with each horse as the weather warms.