• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.


1 of 2 < >

Event Announcements now available FREE to all registered users

We just reconfigured the Event Announcements forum to be available as a free service for all registered forum users. See the thread stuck at the top of that forum for more information.
2 of 2 < >

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Draft horses and pasture wear

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Draft horses and pasture wear

    We recently got a new boarder - a draft mare. The horse is very sweet, but is really causing serious wear to our pasture footing. I have never seen the pasture look so bad. Is this common with heavy horses? If so, what do people usually do? Do people charge more to board drafts as compared to "average" sized horses?

  • #2
    My Irish Draughts put far less wear on the pastures than the TBs did.. They are much more sedentary than the TBs and don't gallop around the pasture kicking out fences.


    • #3
      Drafts can be hard on fences, but not pastures particularly. I have one that boards with me -- no problem. Plus I am a light draft horse breeder.

      I don't know where the OP is located, but my pastures never look very nice this time of year.
      Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


      • #4
        We have two horses that wear a size 3 shoe-we don't see any more wear and tear b/c of them. Weight distribution...
        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


        • #5
          I'd love to get a good look at the PSI hitting the ground for average breeds at rest.... and then for a history lesson, compare it to Hannibal and his elephant army :=)
          Nudging "Almost Heaven" a little closer still...


          • #6
            I have a Clyde-X and a Percheron but don't see anymore wear on the pastures then when there were only light horses in it.
            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Belg View Post
              I'd love to get a good look at the PSI hitting the ground for average breeds at rest.... and then for a history lesson, compare it to Hannibal and his elephant army :=)
              74-78 PSI versus ~22 psi...
              Nudging "Almost Heaven" a little closer still...


              • #8
                Tough on Fencing (electric is a good idea with drafts ) but no worse on pasture..
                Pao Lin


                • #9
                  Could just be that having the extra horse, pushed the wear on your grasses over the limit during this season. Does she drag her feet at all to make wear "harder" on the soil or field?

                  We have had only small horses and now all larger horses. The big horses here wear 4-5 size light horse shoes. They are NOT drafts, but have good size feet for their large bodies. ALL of the equines make trails in the pasture. There is a LOT of wear and tear at the gates. This is both barefoot and shod horses. I think it is more numbers of hooves, active animals, than how they land if they are good movers.

                  I have good pastures, deep rooted grasses that get rained on well, so usually there isn't much "wear and tear" out in the fields during the growing season. They run and gallop, bare and shod, grass takes it with no holes left behind. Some paths develop where they ALL travel to come down the lane or around the gates.

                  If your pasture is less well rooted, on thin ground, no turf appearance, maybe it will show more wear with the added horse using it.


                  • #10
                    Have a small (16.1)full draft, size 6 shoe, not currently shod, but I only notice extra wear when ground is wet, like now, it is damp and just can't get the chance to dry out before it rains again, but that is why I have sacrifice runs. The 14.3 size 00 shoe QH tears her side up more than the draft. In summer no difference in wear on the grass areas.
                    "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

                    "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks for the replies.

                      It is definitely worse since it has been muddy. This mare paces a lot, and when she does, you can see how heavily she digs into the soil. (She weighs probably 2,000 pounds and does not pick up her feet - she digs them in to the ground). She is in a pasture that previously had 3 horses in it at once and never looked this chewed up, regardless of the weather. She is not shod.

                      Re. the fencing - yes, she has already broken numerous rails by leaning on them.


                      • #12
                        Freshley- I will back you up on your observation... but I can't give you a solution. I have had both draft horses and large ponies at my farm for the past 15 years. Our soil is clay, and terrian is both flat and rolling... most of our winters are spent in a freeze thaw cycle- so an extended mud season.

                        Draft horses do a tremendous amount of damage in terms of turf, as well as traffic area drainage. If I have a place where I only turn ponies out- near the gate where they mill around, may get worn bare and patted down into little hoofprints... I can turn a draft horse in the same spot and it only takes an hour before he can work that same area up into muck six to ten inches deep... the giant potholes he leaves will then fill with water and cause a vicious cycle of staying wetter and getting muckier.

                        When I walk a horse across wet grass, he may leave hoofprints... while the draft horse will drag six inch long skids off the turf at every step and push up a little turfgrass "dam" at the toe... these work like little miniature farmponds all across the hillsides- so that even the best draining areas of the farm can now hold some water.

                        Yes- draft horses are most certainly harder on pastures than other horses.

                        We recently built a new house and one of my pastures will be quite close to the house and I had already made up my mind that my draft won't ever be turned out in that one because when I look out the window I don't want it to look like a 4WD mudbog.

                        You aren't being crazy and it's not that this mare has pushed you over your pasture's limit... they really do more damage.

                        It's not so much that I can't tolerate the mess the draft makes, it's that I feel bad that the ponies have to deal with the churned up mess that they didn't make- although they all get along- I am working toward designated pony pastures just to limit the zones of the draft damage.

                        If anyone has any doubt, I think they should set up two coral panel stalls out on grass and put a draft in one and a 16 hand TB in the other and just see what is there at the end of the day.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
                          Drafts can be hard on fences, but not pastures particularly.
                          That's been my experience as well.

                          Though if the mare is pacing, that could certainly cause a lot of wear and tear, but that's not a problem I'd consider inherent in drafts.
                          "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                          -Edward Hoagland


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by frehley View Post
                            We recently got a new boarder - a draft mare. The horse is very sweet, but is really causing serious wear to our pasture footing. I have never seen the pasture look so bad. Is this common with heavy horses? If so, what do people usually do? Do people charge more to board drafts as compared to "average" sized horses?
                            My Draft type horse is very hard on the pasture, but with his teeth!


                            • #15
                              My Irish horses are hard on fences and doors and gates and stallwalls...and I must have different Irish Draughts than AKB because mine are very active, play all the time, cover the whole field and are tough on the pasture because of that. Fortunately or unfortunately I haven't much grass to rescue and have sand base so it isn't a problem. Electric solves the other problem. I LOVE watching them, I call it Irish Draught TV, but they are not sedate...not at all. Fun loving yes. PatO


                              • #16
                                I've had a draft horse and other breeds for many years, and I don't see any difference in the wear and tear on the footing. In fact, drafties are less apt to go tearing around and around the field because they run out of gas pretty quickly. :-)
                                However, if they figure out that they can push on a fence for greener grass on the other side, you've got trouble, so I agree with paohatch about the electric fencing.
                                Drafties are generally sweet natured and fun to have around, and while they produce a little more manure than smaller horses, they are also usually very easy keepers.


                                • #17
                                  Might have to do with just the mares way of being... I've had both light and heavy (2000 lbs + clydes) and I would say when they get going its the light horses that tore my fields to hell far more then the big paddle feet of the clydes.

                                  But using the fence as their personal scratching post - not a good thing - we always electrified our fences.

                                  Maybe once the mare calms down she might do less ware and tear, but I wouldn't be so quick to paint all heavy horses with this destructive brush.


                                  • #18
                                    I agree with those who say Draft breeds as a whole are not much harder on a pasture than a light breed horse - However, if this mare is pacing, she is going to do a lot more damage than a light breed horse pacing because of the sharp turns that pacing horses make, the heavier horse will dig in deeper than a light horse. Is the horse out alone? Is that why she could be pacing? Did she do it at her old barn? Could you turn her out with tranq for a few days to see if she will settle in easier? (and be easier on your field) Or if she is alone, just try to put her out with other horses and see if she stops?

                                    I also think you should hot wire the top board of your fence to keep her from leaning on it.