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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
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    Jul 2016
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    70
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    East TN on the mountain
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    Branson 4520R

    Default Clearing for a Horse Pasture (help)

    I have about 3 acres of forested land that I need to clear to make a horse pasture for 2 horses that were "donated" to my wife and kids...

    1. We know almost nothing about horses but are learning fast.
    2. I need to expand the pasture area for them and do it fairly quickly. The small trees I can rip from the ground whole. its the larger stumps I need help with. Can I just cut them flush with the ground and let them rot, or do I need to dig/grind them all up? Its a lot of work maybe 60+ stumps 6" or bigger with more than half of them being in the 6-8" range.

    I'd really like to cut them flush and leave them but am concerned about them causing problems for the horses. I will be planting forage grasses for them and will disc the ground, lime, fertilize, etc to get the pasture established.

    Thoughts and advice are greatly appreciated!

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    16
    Location
    Pembroke, Ontario
    Tractor
    Craftsmen LT1000

    Default Re: Clearing for a Horse Pasture (help)

    I'm in the same boat. 2 horses, and looking to make some pasture.

    I think for the Horse's sake the stumps need to be dealt with, you can't just leave them flush. rotting stump = hole=broken horse leg

    I'me trying to decide if I'm buying a 3pt stump grinder to grind them to 6" below grade OR hire/rent an excavator to dig them all out.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Birdhunter1's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    1,209
    Location
    Murphysboro, IL
    Tractor
    Ford 3910

    Default Re: Clearing for a Horse Pasture (help)

    My advice is rent a trackhoe in the 8-12000 lbs range, remove your stumps, disk or otherwise till the soil and plant a pasture mix on it and lightly disk or otherwise run a drag over the seeded soil.

    Sounds simple doesn't it?

    Contact your local ag extension office or soil conservation office of some sorts to ask what to plant, I woudl imagine TN growing season is longer than where I am in Southern IL so you might still have time to get it done this year. However you won't have a good pasture to put them on till at least this time next year. I planted Timothy, Ladino Clover and Orchard Grass last week after removing a bunch of russian olive and scrub brush with a trackhoe and prepping the soil as described above.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Jan 2011
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    4,787
    Location
    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: Clearing for a Horse Pasture (help)

    Here are some U-tube videos of excavators removing trees and stumps.

    excavator pulling trees - YouTube


    A tractor is not the right tool.

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
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    Jul 2016
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    Location
    East TN on the mountain
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    Branson 4520R

    Default Re: Clearing for a Horse Pasture (help)

    Budget is an issue for me at this time... Renting large equipment is out of the question. I'd like to avoid renting a stump grinder is possible. I have pallets of fertilizer, and can get lime done by a neighbor. The real question is should I leave the stumps 3' high, or cut them flush. If flush cut will that cause problems for the horses? I realize that i may need to dig them out as they rot and I'm ok with that. Option two is bight the bullet and rent a grinder and do what I can with limited funds. I'm already not too happy about having horses yet. We simply aren't ready for them and the expenses they bring. But here they are and now I have to deal with it the best I can....

    Thanks,

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: Clearing for a Horse Pasture (help)

    After small stumps soften some, you should be able to work small stumps out with a Subsoiler.

    I recently bought a Subsoiler from everytfhingattachments.com. I intend to assemble it and give it a try cutting roots in the next two weeks.

    VIDEO: subsoiler stumps - YouTube

    In my experience dull-tooth rental stump grinders are slow.
    Last edited by jeff9366; 09-16-2016 at 01:39 PM.

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    70
    Location
    East TN on the mountain
    Tractor
    Branson 4520R

    Default Re: Clearing for a Horse Pasture (help)

    Yes, I have a subsoiler, and a backhoe that will work after the stumps have had a year or two to rot. In 5 years I should be able to have them all out. It's the immediate question of flush cut stumps being a problem for the horses in therror near term.

    Maybe I should post under a different topic.

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    May 2016
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    314
    Location
    near Roanoke VA
    Tractor
    584 IH 4WD

    Default Re: Clearing for a Horse Pasture (help)

    A LOT depends on the variety of tree as to whether it will rot.
    We have a variety of locust that the stump just will not rot.

    I cut one (8" dia at ground level) flush with the ground,, in 1982.
    To promote rot, I plunged the tip of the chainsaw into the stump at least 4 inches,,, at least 6 times.
    The plunges are at different angles, and intersect.

    Well, any other stump would have rotted, the locust is as strong today,, 34 years later, as the day I cut it,,,

    I did one acre, in the middle of the woods as a game feeding plot.
    It had big (20"+) trees standing. A 953 CAT cleared and graded the area in two hours.

    Get an excavator,,,

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Birdhunter1's Avatar
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    Murphysboro, IL
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    Ford 3910

    Default Re: Clearing for a Horse Pasture (help)

    Another way to look at it is either spend the money feeding a horse in hay or spend some money to invest in the pasture so you have to feed less hay.

    In the midst of the same issue as you I have weighed options on my farm of where to build a pasture for a horse and have opted to take 3 acres out of row crop production to contruct fences and pasture because I can grow a good pasture there and will end up buying less hay. The other option for me was very mediocre ground that wouldn't grow good pasture and I woudl en up buying alot more hay.

    Of course I have a loan agreement worked out with a good friend of mine on heavy equipment but I would say the work I did with a trackhoe would have been $1500 maybe to hire it out or $500 to rent a machine for two days and have at it. For 6'8" stumps a large tracked bobcat and toothed bucket would do the job too, but not as good as an excavator in the 4-6 ton range.

    So in essence... spend now to have a great pasture and feed hay heavily for a year then less after that, or have a mediocre pasture and feed hay alot more.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
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    Jul 2016
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    East TN on the mountain
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    Branson 4520R

    Default Re: Clearing for a Horse Pasture (help)

    No locust, Poplar, Oak and Maple.

    Wish I could afford the Excavator. I'd have a long list of things to do in 1-2 days and I'm sure it could be done, but for now I have 2 horses eating the excavator budget in feed!

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