Living in a wooded area - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-22-2019, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Living in a wooded area

Question on keeping a horse on property that has a large wooded area.

Hubby and I are house hunting, (finally!!!) and the house he likes has quite a bit of wooded area. About a 1/2 acre cleared. If I fenced in the wooded area, making sure there's no poisonous plants or trees, would a horse be ok?

I know it would mean feeding more hay and such but this hopefully wouldn't be our forever house.

Any advice? Or ideas on how to make it work?

Total is about 2.5 acres

If we cleared it, how long until it would be viable as a field? (if anyone knows)

RIP ~ Mr. Bass 06/09/1985-01/21/2015 my dearest friend
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-22-2019, 11:55 AM
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I currently live on a farm that has mostly wooded space and the horses here love it. The trees provide natural shelter and the horses often choose to stand under the trees instead of going into the shelter. It also teaches them to be more sure footed since they have to pay attention to what's on the ground unlike a clear open field. It is a very natural environment for a horse.
Sorry I can't offer much more advice or anything beyond that, but I wish you guys the best of luck with your house hunting :)
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-22-2019, 01:23 PM
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Horses can live among trees, sure. If you clear the fields and sow seed, you would need to keep the horses off it completely until the grass is well established. Some people might allow some limited grazing around month 4 (depending on YOUR location/weather/growing season/type of seed sown,) but you could require up to 12 months before it's strong enough to handle regular grazing.

That said, 2.5 acres is not much land. Once you subtract a home, driveway, barn/hay storage, you'll have less than 2 acres left for animals. If you want to keep grass in that space, you'll need to carefully limit grazing and foot traffic so it gets time to rest and recover. You'll need to be vigilant about using a sacrifice paddock when the ground is wet, otherwise they'll churn it into mud in a jiffy.

When I started my house hunt, I though 2 acres was perfect. I ended up with 6.25 acres (4.5 acres of dedicated pasture) and couldn't imagine having any less for my two horses! We had TONS of rain in 2018 so my horses spent a LOT of time eating hay in the sacrifice paddock...
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-22-2019, 01:26 PM
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It can be done. I live on a wooded property with my horses. We have an acre sectioned off for the two of them. Some of it is "clear" and some has trees/stumps etc. It is naturally rocky and no matter how many rocks I pick up, more still surface. The horses are used to the rocks and rough terrain, it makes them better able to place their feet on the trails.

I scatter many small piles of hay outside for them. This forces them to move around and "graze".

Mine have a run-in shed and are turned out 24/7. The trees, rocks and vegetation help with drainage and really help cut down on the mud.

I used many of the trees as my "fenceposts", We stapled the insulators to them and ran the electric fence through them.

This is a helpful book-not exactly written for your situation, but I adapted some of the suggestions and it has worked out pretty well. https://www.amazon.com/Horses-Withou...=UTF8&qid=&sr=
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SummerBliss View Post
I currently live on a farm that has mostly wooded space and the horses here love it. The trees provide natural shelter and the horses often choose to stand under the trees instead of going into the shelter. It also teaches them to be more sure footed since they have to pay attention to what's on the ground unlike a clear open field. It is a very natural environment for a horse.
Sorry I can't offer much more advice or anything beyond that, but I wish you guys the best of luck with your house hunting :)
I like the more sure footed aspect. I hadn't thought of that.
Thanks 🙂
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RIP ~ Mr. Bass 06/09/1985-01/21/2015 my dearest friend
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buggy View Post
It can be done. I live on a wooded property with my horses. We have an acre sectioned off for the two of them. Some of it is "clear" and some has trees/stumps etc. It is naturally rocky and no matter how many rocks I pick up, more still surface. The horses are used to the rocks and rough terrain, it makes them better able to place their feet on the trails.

I scatter many small piles of hay outside for them. This forces them to move around and "graze".

Mine have a run-in shed and are turned out 24/7. The trees, rocks and vegetation help with drainage and really help cut down on the mud.

I used many of the trees as my "fenceposts", We stapled the insulators to them and ran the electric fence through them.

This is a helpful book-not exactly written for your situation, but I adapted some of the suggestions and it has worked out pretty well. https://www.amazon.com/Horses-Withou...=UTF8&qid=&sr=
Thank you

RIP ~ Mr. Bass 06/09/1985-01/21/2015 my dearest friend
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 08:38 AM
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It takes around five years before cleared forest land is usable pasture. That's keeping livestock mostly off it, removing stumps, fertilizing, seeding, etc etc. It is not a small endeavor.

Short horse lover
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 09:47 AM
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Re. @Avna - its also a costly endeavor. Having large trees professionally removed including the stump is expensive, even if you keep the wood for burning. Add to that the cost of creating pasture land and its even more of a budget breaker.
As a short term thing you can thin the trees out and resign yourself to feeding hay, the horses will be restricted to how much they can do anything but walk around but its way cheaper to do.
In truth, given that you're talking short term and not a forever home, if the trees are your reason for that then buying and selling isn't cheap either so I think I'd be inclined to keep looking
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 09:52 AM
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If you cleared it, what would it do to the value of the property? What do home buyers value who are looking in the neighborhood where you are about to live?
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-23-2019, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
Re. @Avna - its also a costly endeavor. Having large trees professionally removed including the stump is expensive, even if you keep the wood for burning. Add to that the cost of creating pasture land and its even more of a budget breaker.
As a short term thing you can thin the trees out and resign yourself to feeding hay, the horses will be restricted to how much they can do anything but walk around but its way cheaper to do.
In truth, given that you're talking short term and not a forever home, if the trees are your reason for that then buying and selling isn't cheap either so I think I'd be inclined to keep looking
Thankfully it's a lot of newer growth, smaller trees my husband and I can more than likely remove ourselves. (I can wrap my hands around the trunk of most of them or smaller)
So cost I'm not too worried about. As far as removal. And I currently don't have a horse so time is on my side

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RIP ~ Mr. Bass 06/09/1985-01/21/2015 my dearest friend
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