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  1. #1
    Gold Member Dave5264's Avatar
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    Default planning the spring pasture removation - in advance

    Hi Folks, well, im planning now for the pasture renovation so i can solicit some input. Here's the scenario, 1st yr of the horse farm last year and ive got some work to do inthe spring.

    Ground : 4 - 6" topsoil , below that unlimited pure blue clay, gets real muddy

    Pasture 1 - 3/4 Acre, was our scrificial pasture in the wet fall we had, its 80% mud now (frozen till spring and covered in snow), chance of Hay growing again here slim to none.

    Pasture 2 - 1 acre, was part of the 3 pasture rotation last yr, eaten down real low, some mud along the edges & by the gate. Chance of hay growing again 80% good, with some re seeding

    Pasture 3 - 1/2 acre , Temporary pasture, reusable as is -- area will be re purposed any way in the summer

    Pasture 4 - 3 1/2 acres, Brand new, fence posts in, will be fully operational by May. never been used, had good hay on it last yr.

    I need to rejuvinate pasture 1 and 2, while easing the Horses on to the new very lush pasture number 4 in the spring (dont want them to founder on the spring growth).

    Equipment= Box Blade with Scarifiers, FEL, Diamond Drag Harrows, manual broadcast spreader.

    The Plan:

    Preserve pasture number 2 from further damage, over seed in March with frost /snow sill on ground, May be harrow it a bit as the ground softens up ???

    keep the horses in pasture Number 1 until End of April and suffer through a month of real bad mud (like we did in the fall) -- rotating occasionally to pasture numbre 3 (temporary).

    Ween the horses into new pasture number 4 by May 1, then set to re-doing Pasture number 1 as the ground firms up/dries out: use the box blade & tines to loosen up the dirt over the whole paddock. Use the drag harrows to smoothen out. Seed it with hay (manually with broadcast spreader), re harrow it. let grow, keep horses off it for 3 months.

    what say you? will my rejuvination / re seeding work ok like this.
    Montana 5264 4wd Tractor with FEL

  2. #2
    Veteran Member jayste's Avatar
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    Default Re: planning the spring pasture removation - in advance

    Dave, how many horses do you have on it? Under normal conditions will it sustain the number of head? Sounds like you've got a good plan. Be sure and drag all the pastures that have manure piles. Rotate often. You might have to loosen the ground before you work any seed or fertilizer or other mineral into it. A soil sample test done might me a good thing. Aerating my be adviseable.
    Jay

    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
    Thomas Jefferson

    If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV

  3. #3
    Gold Member Dave5264's Avatar
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    Default Re: planning the spring pasture removation - in advance

    thanks Jayste

    3 Icelandic Horses is our curren total.

    our 3 paddocks were a stretch last year, just enough (barely). so thats why i added another 3 1/2 acre pasture.

    Agree with Dragging, we'll do that on the new large pasture. its not a problem in the smaller ones since my wife mucks them out every day, there's no manure left in the fields for more than a day. thats not going to be feasible inthe bigger paddock though.

    Ill definitely have to loosen up the soil to re seed, i plan to use the scarifiers on the box blade for that, then harrow it. hopefully that will do the trick. The mud will be set like concrete by June if i dont get it loosend up and seeded in May
    Montana 5264 4wd Tractor with FEL

  4. #4
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Default Re: planning the spring pasture removation - in advance

    If #1 has such a mud problem, I'd spend some time with the box blade and give it a slight slope to one side or to the middle with a runoff that is seeded and directed to some area that will take away the water. It may not eliminate the problem, but it will help with the mud.
    I can't control my day but I can control my attitude.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member jayste's Avatar
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    Default Re: planning the spring pasture removation - in advance

    Quote Originally Posted by ToadHill View Post
    If #1 has such a mud problem, I'd spend some time with the box blade and give it a slight slope to one side or to the middle with a runoff that is seeded and directed to some area that will take away the water. It may not eliminate the problem, but it will help with the mud.
    Toad, I'm sure you're correct it might need some grading. I'd also bet that 3 horses on 3/4 acres and over grazed might also have contributed to the "mud" issue. Not to mention 12 hooves.
    Jay

    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
    Thomas Jefferson

    If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV

  6. #6
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    Default Re: planning the spring pasture removation - in advance

    I think turning in horses on a newly established pasture is a disaster. Need to keep them off longer than three months to get the pasture established.

    That said I would pick one of the smaller pastures to rework and get it established allowing two years. Then the next small pasture do the same.

    It is very hard to establish a good pasture with horses on it at the same time, you need a way to contain them most of the time, to lessen the damage. maybe keep them on the smallest pasture the majority of the time. They will definately wipe it out.

  7. #7
    Gold Member Dave5264's Avatar
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    Default Re: planning the spring pasture removation - in advance

    You guy's are all right on with the assessment. We under clubbed on paddock space in our first year (lesson learned).

    Pasture 1 was overgrazed. By its self its too small for the 3 beasts. while the paddock allotment was generally not enough, the scenario with Paddock #1 was however some-what intentional. We had an incredibly wet fall and early winter, and with the high clay content , we'd have had all paddocks ruined. So....we sacrificed #1 paddock to save #2 and used the Temp paddock to give the Horses relief from the mud (not good for the hooves).

    Great advice on Keeping the horses off Paddock # 1 for longer than 3 months. didnt know how log it would take to re establish. Thanks will do.

    Will also be seeing how I can grade the area for better run off. It does have a huge slope to it any way, but its the only flat area by the run-in-shed and water trough thats, wettest and most muddy (as you'd expect due to traffic). I thought about a trench with some weeping stone.

    Thanks Guys.
    Montana 5264 4wd Tractor with FEL

  8. #8
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    Default Re: planning the spring pasture removation - in advance

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave5264 View Post
    ....Great advice on Keeping the horses off Paddock # 1 for longer than 3 months. didnt know how log it would take to re establish...
    I'm not a farmer but I've played one on the net...
    I've been told/read you should keep the horses off a new pasture for up to two years because it takes that long for the roots to establish. Otherwise they'll pull the grass up by the roots vice chomping it off.

  9. #9
    Gold Member Dave5264's Avatar
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    Default Re: planning the spring pasture removation - in advance

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperCobra View Post
    I'm not a farmer but I've played one on the net...
    I've been told/read you should keep the horses off a new pasture for up to two years because it takes that long for the roots to establish. Otherwise they'll pull the grass up by the roots vice chomping it off.
    Thanks !! Im learning here as I go, this is good advice, Ill will factor into the pasture building and rotation plan ,ive got 100 Acres to go at, 5 used up, and just need to plan for which fields ill be keeping for Hay vs Pasture/paddocks
    Montana 5264 4wd Tractor with FEL

  10. #10
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    Default Re: planning the spring pasture removation - in advance

    Horses esp have a habit of eating the best grass, eating it down to the root, and letting the not quite as good grass grow up tall. This means your good grass will be stressed and preform poorly, and the poor grass will grow with wild abandon.

    It's good to rotate your pastures, and mow all the grass short so it all can grow back fresh & tender after the horses leave a padock.

    For your small yard, or sacrificial pasture, that is just kinda how they are. It is real hard to ever establish a long term grass. A wet spell always crops up....

    You might consider planting a yearly grass on it, like ryegrass, which grows fast & can handle some traffic a lot sooner. It will die out every winter, but replant it in spring.

    I don't know if that fits your needs, but a different way to consider.

    --->Paul

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