"Scratching" or "rub" posts in the pasture?

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"Scratching" or "rub" posts in the pasture?

This is a discussion on "Scratching" or "rub" posts in the pasture? within the Barn Maintenance forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • How to horses scratch themselves
  • Cattle scratch post ideas

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    11-14-2012, 10:29 AM
"Scratching" or "rub" posts in the pasture?

Will placing a rub post in the pasture be of benefit? I have seen "itching post pads" being marketed. My concept was a 4x4 or 6x6 pressure treated post in the ground, and attaching the pads to it.
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    11-14-2012, 10:55 AM
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If you have rail fences or trees they will pretty much ignore anything you buy and use those. My horses scratch on the pines in our field and get sticky sap all over them so I've taken to wrapping the trunks in tree bandage
    11-14-2012, 11:17 AM
little for a horse to rub on!

I have vinyl fence, so I don't want them rubbing on that! The only other thing is the run-in shed, and I don't want that torn up!

I am not a horse person, I built a facility for my daughter, so I am needing all the advice I can get!
    11-14-2012, 12:07 PM
This is not a bad idea at all. I have been thinking of doing the same. My fences are all electric rope, so my horses don't have anywhere to scratch, except on my sheds and round pen .

Someone around here was advertising 4' sweeper brooms that fit over a 4" fence post that the horses could use for scratching. I've seen these for cattle, but don't know if they would cause problems for horses or not with the bristles coming out. I have also seen the scratching pads you mentioned and they look safe and effective. They also look like they won't tear out mane and tail when the horses scratch.

If anything, I would make your scratching posts fairly tall, as most horses like to stretch up to scratch. Also, use some secure hardware (screws instead of nails) to attach the scratching pad so the fasteners cannot work themselves out.

Good luck! Let us know how this works out for you.
    11-14-2012, 02:37 PM
I've got sweeper brooms over a couple of posts in our pasture and both my guys love them. No damage to the horses but they are drafts and have a rather thick hide. The bristles bend some but have never come out or broken. I've scratched my back on it a couple of times while out working fence. I wouldn't do it without a shirt (for a variety of reasons ) but, through a shirt or jacket, it got the job done with no skin lost.
    11-14-2012, 05:18 PM
I can see a old broom working, I know a older man that uses a old push broom (not so good for sweeping any more) to scratch his belgian's backs at shows. They love it. I've also seen people use old astro turf (think old styles, and really fake looking and neon green). And they wrap it around the posts in the pasture for the horses to rub against.
    11-15-2012, 10:55 AM
I use the used street brushes as well. Some use them religiously while others prefer to destroy the sheds. You can pick them up for free at city and county yards.
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    11-15-2012, 12:01 PM
To save those pretty fences consider putting in a stout upright post and a very stout hitching rail made of cedar logs. The top of the rail that goes across should be about the height of the base of the horse's neck. That is where they really love to rub and will push fences over. That and their butts. The single post should also be at least 10" in diameter and buried deep. A horse scratching his butt can knock down a shed. I coiled plastic twine around mine as the horses seem to like the extra texture it creates,
    11-17-2012, 05:40 PM
Heck yes! I am all for providing horses with appropriate itching surfaces. I have gotten cheap push broom heads, and torn the heads off of old ones and put them on trees and posts away from the fence. It took a bit of persuading my gelding that it would not kill him for him to finally try it out. Now he LOVES it. I have not tried the specially made itching mats, because I have found plenty of materials to reuse. Use your imagination and I'm sure you'll find plenty of materials!

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