Ground hog tunnels and horse arena, should I be concerned? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By jaydee
  • 2 Post By walkinthewalk
  • 4 Post By weeedlady
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-10-2018, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Eastern TN
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Ground hog tunnels and horse arena, should I be concerned?

Hello All. We have bought some acreage and most of it is on a hill. While the property came with a pasture, run in shed, and old barn (and our house) but no other horse specific setup. I have a nice sized flatish grass spot down near the old barn and a creek that I have been trying to ride. Eventually there is a spot at the top of the hill of the pasture that I'd like to put a large riding ring but financially that will be a few years out.

I have been battling with a groundhog that has a tunnel going under the barn wall and into one of the stalls. It also has a tunnel entrance at the creek bank. I am not sure how extensive the tunnel system is. Don't worry, the horses don't use the barn, its just for hay storage right now.

I have already had one horse collapse in a small mole or rat tunnel while walking down in that area near the barn after we had some heavy rainfall a few days before. Since then I have stuck to riding in the pasture far away from the ground hogs. Riding constantly on a slant is not terribly enjoyable though

I'd like to set up a smaller riding ring on the flat area that I can eventually turn into a dry paddock when I create the larger ring. My concern is that the ground hog tunnels may collapse while I am riding, even if I put in a base and have a heavy truck pack it down.

Has anyone else placed a ring over a spot that has potential critter tunnels? Any issues? Any fixes that won't break the bank? I don't think I can collapse the tunnels without some sort of heavy duty equipment.

I attached a photo of the flat area facing away from the barn towards the creek.
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Joysthe14me is offline  
post #2 of 6 Old 08-10-2018, 12:19 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
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We had to remove one from our riding arena - they don't go deep enough to not risk collapse under regular pressure.
You don't need a big machine to dig them out - hire one from a local company if you don't have one and then fill the cavity with stone and put the soil/sand back on top.
'Our' woodchuck decided to up and move when we did it, if not you need to look at ways to deter them. They aren't supposed to like strong smells so experiment with things like bleach, moth balls, garlic etc if you can't trap them and relocate
AnitaAnne likes this.

Just winging it is not a plan
jaydee is online now  
post #3 of 6 Old 10-15-2019, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Oct 2019
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Yeah, some small animals as rats or groundhog could create an annoying problem and it is very hard to fight with them. They all are attracted by a lot of food from the floor which is in free accessibility. The only solution to get rid of this invasion of gnawers helped me. I have rebuilt the horse arena and made a special design for the horse cases. A local company helped me a lot and made the perfect arena which looks nice and have more benefits and is very easy to clean up and comfortable to ride there on bad weather.

Last edited by horselovinguy; 10-15-2019 at 06:54 PM. Reason: free advertising is not permitted
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-16-2019, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Middle Tennessee
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You need to get rid of the ground hogs, one way or another.

There's more than one groundhog -- they don't live alone. They multiply which means underground groundhog condominiums.

I have seen cattle having to be destroyed with broken legs from falling in a groundhog hole.

I have seen tires on farm equipment fall into the earth, when the ground is soft, from ground hog excavation.

They are the bane of a farmer's existence when they move into a field -- we used to hire someone to sit on a rock for a day and shoot them. Better they bite the bullet than the cattle or the horses.

They are cute little things until they cost a farmer a piece of livestock :)
Kaifyre and therhondamarie like this.

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-19-2019, 11:04 PM
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Ohio and Michigan's U.P.
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I was once able to make a ground hog move out by constantly dumping my used cat litter down his numerous holes.
weeedlady is online now  
post #6 of 6 Old 10-20-2019, 05:05 AM
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Montana
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I agree with @walkinthewalk - pay some sharpshooting high school or college kid to sit out there and snipe 'em, or do it yourself. I've found that the majority of those no kill traps are a waste of time, and even the kill traps leave them to suffer a lot. A bullet at least is a quick end. DON'T catch and release, that's just foisting this problem off onto someone else. I would definitely take care of the problem as soon as you can. My neighbors in Nevada lost a horse to a groundhog hole, after he snapped his leg and bled out. It wasn't quick, and they didn't find him until long after he'd passed. It was heartbreaking. Groundhogs don't engender the kind of loathing in me that prairie dogs do (don't even get me started on those vermin), but they're almost as bad.

-- Kai
Kaifyre is offline  

arena , ground hog , groundhog , ring , tunnel

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