Getting pasture ready for a horse (eventually) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-08-2013, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Oklahoma
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Getting pasture ready for a horse (eventually)

My family is working on getting a horse (or two). We live on ten acres on top of a hill. 8 of it is woods so we only have 1 acre for pasture. So I have some questions on how to get our pasture ready for a horse.

What is the best material for fencing?

How do you keep the pasture from getting all torn up?

Around how much hay should you give a horse living on of 1 acre of grass?

What is the best way to get ride of manure?

What is a good way to get grass to grow?
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-08-2013, 07:30 PM
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Two horses on one acre eliminates the problem of getting grass to grow and how to keep it from getting tore up. There'll be no grass. we spread the manure with a trailer. And how much hay depends on the hay, the horses, and other variables. We use 2 wire high tinsile, but I wouldn't say it's the BEST fencing. Best would probly be 3 rail wood fence. Why can't you fence in any of the woods? Makes a good natural shelter.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-08-2013, 07:50 PM
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Are you planning on only fencing the pasture, or the treed area as well? Depending upon where you live, there can be quite a lot of good forage in a stand of trees. That said, debris and branches in the trees can increase the risk of injury. If the trees aren't too thick and you can clean up the ground around them and trim the lower branches, you may be able to use that area too.

As for the one acre, you won't have a lot of grass with 2 horses as they will first graze it down and then chew it up with their hooves. You could fence off a sacrifice pen where your horses spend most of their time to help the grass grow but you will need to provide regular exercise for your horses. You will still need to seed, fertilize and harrow regularly. Even doing this, you will really only have "treat grass", not enough to sustain a healthy diet.

Fencing material depends again upon your area and your needs. Smaller spaces like sacrifice pens need sturdier fences. If you are fencing in the trees, you have to check regularly to be sure a branch or tree doesn't fall on and break the fence. My preference is to use good treated wood posts with a safe fencing material such as wood poles, wood planks or electric rope.

As for manure, we use a quad with harrows to drag, dry and spread the manure in summer and a good old fashioned manure fork and wheelbarrow in the spring and fall. In winter we let the snow cover it and do a big clean up in spring where we pile the excess.

I hope this helps a bit.
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-08-2013, 08:35 PM
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you could get some grass on an acre with 2 horses, you woul need to cross fence to keep them off until the grass was 4-6 inches high, and would need to irrigate, and keep them off the grass when the ground is wet.
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-09-2013, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Oklahoma
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We could fence off some of the woods, there is a lot of underbrush and leaves but we could clear that away.
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-09-2013, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Oklahoma
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Thanks for the help, we are also considering making part of a "building" (its basically 4 poles with a roof) we have into a stable
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-09-2013, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BookWorm View Post
We could fence off some of the woods, there is a lot of underbrush and leaves but we could clear that away.
Just clear any low branches that they can get cut on and leave everything else. What they don't eat they will trample and it will be clear in no time.
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