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Spinal Research


The Saddle-up 'Home'

Silver Birch Farm

Situated roughly half-way between Ludlow and Kidderminster, on the Shropshire/Worcestershire borders, Silver Birch Farm is home to Saddle-up's editor, her husband, horses and dogs.  There are 52 acres of land, with about 45 acres of pasture and 7 acres of woodland.  There are two useful barns and some tumbledown pig buildings.  One of its greatest benefits - from a horse owner's perspective - is that it is immediately opposite the main entrance to 1,000 acres of Forestry Commission woodland, with several miles of bridlepaths.

The grazing land was cleared from woodland just a few years before we moved here in 1986 and the pasture was poor (or non existent!)  The ground is heavy clay with a lot of stone in it, and in the first few years, rock-picking was a high priority.  We farmed sheep here for about 8 years and had to house them from December to late March - so there was plenty of muck to go on the land.  Grass seed was harrowed in and then trodden in by the sheep - ploughing was ruled out by the amount of new stone it would bring to the surface.

There was little or no internal fencing and the external fencing was pretty rough (as were the plumbing, the electrics, the drainage, the buildings ....)  A ten-year plan was rapidly extended to a 20 year plan ...)



  Henry is seen in the 'best' field which - with the use of electric fencing - is actually two fields.  The near side is about four acres.  The far side of the electric fence (which is roughly the same size) yielded just 42 big bales of good quality haylage in late-June.  There are some good trees in the gully just behind the electric tape which give shade (sadly, the previous owners were a bit enthusiastic in their clearing operation.)

Most of the new fencing is plastic-coated sheep mesh with a rail above.  Most of the new rails also have a run of electric tape above them - this one doesn't and the post has already been 'sampled'.
  We would have liked post and rail everywhere but it's a bit expensive.  But post and rail either side of the gates was considered essential, as horses waiting for feed will paw the fence, and it gives us a safe place to tie them up if necessary.

And the electric tape along the fence dividing the field from the garden is essential - horses have long necks and - without it - there would be a lot of unauthorised 'pruning'.

Update: Renovations.


Outdoor Manege ] Pasture Management ] Drainage ] Fencing ] Renovations ] Renovations-1 ] Renovations-2 ] Renovations-3 ] Renovations-4 ]



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