Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
Regarding the pasture, I agree with Cherie--brush hog it down to short. I don't know where you live in Oregon but I understand that your state has desert, rainforest and in-between. Where I live, in IL, you can graze 1 acre/1 horse/average rainfall.
MY suggestion is to contact your local land grant University Extension Office. They sit by the phone hoping to gush all of their knowledge about any sort of plants and agriculture to interested parties. I was on the phone for over an hour when I called the Univerisity of Illinois after I moved to the country and I just wanted to know whether to test my well water! They can tell you what toxic weeds are common to YOUR area, and what pasture grass does best, along with what weeds are tolerable... like dandelions, which my horses love.
The rest of us, NOT living in Oregon, can only offer you generic advice about YOUR land.
Regarding the barbed wire. IMO it is a problem bc you have multiple strands. Horses really work at getting themselves into accidents, so I like the hot strand solution. Get a pair of metal cutters, cut any wire off that is loose into < 3 ft pieces and throw it away in used 50 pound grain bags. Start immediately replacing your fencing. I'm not fond of wood fencing bc horses love to kick it, but it is safe. If you go that route, you must put in 8 in. diameter posts. I use a fence post AUGER. It looks like a giant-sized corkscrew and I put in a new fence line with this by myself the first summer we lived on this property. Wooden horizontal 2" x 8" wood sections need to put nailed/screwed to the INSIDE of the wooden posts. IF your horse kicks it, it breaks but stays up. If you put them on the outside a horse can kick it off and step through the fence.
You need to run the numbers, but steel or iron pipe fencing is also safe and you attach to wooden posts with brackets. Put THIS fencing on the outside of the fence posts. This is what I have (see left.)
I have lived on my 5 acre property since 1999. I have lots of projects that are in the middle and not finished. If you are new to the country, you'll find that this can be pretty normal, unlike living in a residential neighborhood with covenants. =b