PSA, Metal Detectors: A Must For Any Horse Property Owner
My husband recently purchased a $99 metal detector off Amazon to satisfy his curiosity on what's on our property. While he has yet to find Civil War relics or anything of true value, he has found some rather scary things buried not far under the surface in our pastures. As in, very large and scary rusty nails, 2' lengths of thick rusty old wire, about an 18" x 2" long pointy piece of rusty metal and some other odds and ends. Of course everything is sharp and nasty looking. Most of it looks to be quite old (judging by the nail style and degree of rust) and was buried only 3-7" below the surface!
We've walked our pastures frequently and never saw any of this! It was a larger farm at one point and who knows what this section housed before it was carved up.
Anyway, it might be worth it to buy / rent a metal detector and walk your own pastures.
"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." -Henry Ford
That's a good idea. I've found lengths of buried barbed wire, so old that the barbs are different than today's, they are kind of like triangular plates. I wasn't very happy to find that and dig it out of one of our pastures either!
Look for a giant size magnetic sweeper. I have used one every spring since I moved here, over 7 years ago, and it's been incredible how much stuff that could be nasty in a horse hoof keeps coming to the surface! Mine is about 4' wide, I think ... not something I've ever seen in a local Home Depot or hardware store. I found mine on the Internet, and after loaning mine to an indoor arena owner whose indoor's roof collapsed last winter, she decided to get one of her own & she found the same model online. So, I know they're still available.
With our ground getting frozen each winter, we often find surprises in the spring that frost forces up. Last year a couple broken off T-post bottoms came to the surface and surprised me when I literally tripped over them checking my wood post fenceline! I went and got my spade, dug them out, and found another T shaped end that I couldn't get up to pop out of the dirt.
I got husband involved, so he was curious why it wouldn't come out. After he put in another 30 minutes with the tractor, shovel, he FINALY got post pulled. Turned out to be the ENTIRE 7ft T-post, that had been driven down into the ground and covered sometime in the past!! Not actually that rusty, so post would break easily either. He was pretty amazed at the energy needed to drive the post so deep and WHY would anyone DO THAT??
He used the hydraulic arms on the back of the tractor to pull directly upward and kept moving the chain until post was out.
Those darn post ends are just perfect to fit inside the shoe and puncture a sole. Other odds and ends turn up when checking fences for dropped staples, as I have been replacing old insulators on the wire. I carry a magnet on a stick, to find the staples that "escape" me when hit wrongly. So waving the magnet in the grass, it pulled down hard. I expected to find another broken T-post, but got a whole pile of old nails and wire below the dirt.
We were quite careful when we purchased the place. Went around the outside and pulled posts, rolled up all the old wire, before having our fences installed. Still we keep finding that odd metal every spring. Not much, just the errupting posts and short bits of wire. We have been here 30+ years, so it is surprising how long steel will last with our wet ground.