Friday, March 30, 2012

Goodbye dear oak

My horses just are not letting up on the oak trees.  They've primary worked this one over, completely girdling and killing it, but they have also chewed bumped out areas on other trees too (oaks and maples).

This is the first time in the 4 years they've been in this pasture they they have gone after these big old oaks.  Oaks that have been here as long as I can remember, and even survived having horses pastured here when I was a kid!  It makes me really sad that they are doing this!  I think it is out of boredom, as the only trees they are attaching are in their resting area (they have free choice hay).   And they want out to eat, out they go!  I can't have them do this!  I was going to let the pasture grass get a head start before I let them out, but I'd rather have short grass than dead trees.  I just hope their guts are ready for it!  I didn't think that oak bark would taste good.

They've nibbled on the serviceberry that you can see flowering here, but never girdled it, nor have they touched the two big oaks near their hay feeder at all.

 I had a couple of "helpers" with me as I checked on the horses and the state of the pasture today.

The horses are just really happy that I've let them out to graze.

These two are like peas in a pod...well, only because they are always together in the pasture, not because they are much alike any other way!

My little "helper" found an old rotten log to climb over in the pasture.  She climbed over it multiple times, swinging her leg as you would to mount a horse.

Do you supposed she's pretending that she's on a horse?  She doesn't much like to be on their backs yet.  It kind of freaks her out being up high.   She's a cautious girl when it comes to controlling her movement.  And she just turned 18 months old!


Shirley said...

If you want to save the other tree, can you get 4 corral panels and put them around the tree?
Your daughter is so cute!

Kara said...

That's a good idea, just not very feasible with the number of trees that are in the pasture. I'm sure if I protected one, they'd just move to the next one. I'd have to fence the whole treed hill off. I might as well just let them graze. I'm planning to try to rent a pasture across the road this summer to give my pastures the summer off to recover from heavy grazing, so I think the grass can stand some early spring grazing just to spare the trees.

Linda said...

That's sad about the trees. Could you put some kind of netting or piping around them? We did that with our smaller trees to protect from deer and cats. Paint something icky tasting on them--like a non-cribbing thing? Idk. Your helper sure is growing up! I bet she is practicing for a horse.