We are still trying to form a plan regarding how we are going to approach our next land project, how quickly we want it done, and how much we want to use the horses as opposed to hiring it done (just to get it over with). Either way, it will require care and maintenance after, and it seems a subsoiler is the best approach. We have been researching these, and information varies. Some say you need a minimum of 3 horses to pull a standard 12-18" subsoiler. Research has indicated a 16-18 cut in our heavy clay ground would creat 600-800 lbs of draft.
Now I have a very large team (18.2-18.3). I don't push them hard, but they are generally in good condition with the odd jobs we do. In the past, some experienced teamsters helped us do some experimenting on sulky plows. They pulled a 12 inch plow without a second thought, and it took almost 2 hours of steady plowing ( with short breaks at the end of long rows) to even break a sweat on a 16 inch plow. The next time we used a 14 inch off and on for a good 6 hour day, and they did great. They were sweaty and tired at the end, but still going strong. They regularly pull hardwood logs that we've calculated to be in the 400-600 lb draft category, with occasional 1/4 mile trips pulling loads with 800-1000 lbs draft. Mind you, I am specifically referring to pounds draft here, not the weight of the load.
Do you think my team would have any issue if I invested in a subsoiler with a single shank? Should I plan minimal depth (10"), or the whole depth (18"), or just increase as we go? Assuming average condition and temperate weather, should I expect to complete very little in a day, or potentially pull a couple miles worth?
Dris, you know this team. What are your thoughts?
Second question, for those who have dealt with a subsoiler....there are 3 main options-- a walking, a riding (reminds me of a sulky plow), and a 3 point hitch type. We are considering the latter, primarily due to lack of storage space. I can hang that on the wall when done. It would require the I&J 3pt hitch attachment on my forecart. Most I've found recommend no more than a 25-30 horsepower tractor, so I'm wondering how well that would hold up with continuous pressure from the horses. If you'd prefer either of the other 2 options, I'd love to know the reason why.
As always, thanks in advance. I do value your experiences!