How To Turn Land Into Pasture For Horses ~ Equestrian Properties

Real Estate Broker/Owner with NJ Estates & Stables 1005281

When I am out with my buyers I am constantly looking at raw land and thinking about much time, money and effort it's going to take for my clients to turn it into great pasture for their horses.  Recently I was faced with this deleimia for our personal home...I wanted to pass along some of the research I found to me helpful ~ Tara

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Turn your land into a pasture for your animals
When land is cleared for a pasture, it takes a lot of time and effort. Every landowner uses a different method for clearing their land, but some things are the same for everyone. The land needs to be cleared, free of debris and grass growing. People have different reasons for wanting a pasture. Some people want pastures for their horses, goats, chickens and cattle to roam on, and others just want to look at the beautiful scenery and animals. Either way, a pasture is a beautiful place for everyone's enjoyment.
Difficulty: Challenging

 1.) Remove excess trees. Have someone cut down your trees. You will be paid for the wood, and they will take away the big trees. The bad part is they leave a lot of debris and stumps. Some companies remove the stumps if you ask. If you have a fireplace, have the pulp wood people leave all or part of the hard wood. Cut it up into fireplace-size logs and let it start drying. Sell cut firewood at the farmer's market or advertise online. People hunt for firewood at the first hint of a cold snap, so it should be easy to sell.

2.)  Allow goats to free range in the pasture for a few weeks. They will clear out the area faster than you will. They eat everything, especially pine straw. It's like candy to the goats.

3.)  Remove excess debris. There are several ways to get rid of debris. Push it into a pile with a backhoe and burn the wood. The bad thing about this method is you have to have a good water source available just in case the fire gets out of control. Push the pile off to one area, and leave it there. This gets the wood out of the way, but it produces a snake-breeding ground. You don't want that anywhere near your pasture. The best method is to dig several large holes with the backhoe, and push all of the debris into the holes. Bury the wood under several feet of dirt. As the trees rot, the dirt packs down flat without looking horrible or drawing snakes to the area. Place a fence around the area to keep large animals like horses or cows off of the mounds until they flatten out.

4.) Remove stumps with a chemical stump remover. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for using the chemical.

 5.) Fill any holes and flatten out any bad areas on the land using a backhoe. It is easier to fix this now. You don't want to fix these problems after animals are using the land. Remember, a hole in the ground equals a horse's broken leg and a huge vet bill.

 6.) Walk around the pasture, and remove any sticks, stumps, rocks or other items that could hurt your animals. Sticks poking straight up could seriously injure a horse, cow or goat, so look before you put down the grass.

7.)  Till the soil, and then fertilize it. Spread plenty of composted manure on the pasture. Till the soil a second time after you fertilize it, and seed the pasture. You want the nutrients deep in the ground. Make sure you clear a large enough area to feed your animals. It takes at least 2 acres for each horse or cow. Make sure a water source is at the pasture, and water the pasture daily.

8.) Fence around any trees left in the pasture. Horses use trees as back scratchers, and the goats eat them. Trees in goat pastures will fall if they aren't fenced to keep the goats off.

 9 .) Keep the following plants that are poisonous to animals out of pastures: bracken fern oleander, red maple trees, azaleas, buckeye, black cherry trees, black walnut trees, buckwheat, ground ivy, oak trees, peach trees, plum trees, potato, rhododendrons, tobacco, wild cherry and yew.

Don't Let Your Horses Eat Buttercups!

10.)  Allow the pasture to grow for at least 6 months before allowing horses or cattle on it. They will pull up the grasses before they put down deep roots. If you give the pasture enough time, the animals will have plenty to eat.

Read more: How Do I Make a Pasture and Pasture Land? |

If You Are In The Market For Horse Properties For Sale In New Jersey Visit The Resources Below

Search All Horse Properties In New Jersey HERE

Selling Your Horse Property In New Jersey

Tips On Buying Horse Property In New Jersey

Posted by

Tara Stone, Realtor, e-Pro

Country Estates and Equestrian Property Specialist

Certified REO and BPO Specialist


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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Love the suggestion to let the goats roam the field to help clear the area.  Just have to make sure you don't leave them to long or they'll eat all of the good grass.

Mar 05, 2012 10:00 AM #1
Tara Stone
NJ Estates & Stables - Frenchtown, NJ
NJ Estates and Stables

Thanks for stopping by Cindy....I have already been racking my brain to think of who I could borrow goats

Mar 05, 2012 10:17 AM #2
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