The Subcompact Tractor: Five Easy Solutions for Horse Farms

What is small and equine-friendly? A 'hobby tractor' with versatility to spare.
“Hobby tractors” make light work of heavy tasks.

Like a trusty Shetland pony, a good subcompact tractor can make light work of heavy tasks and come back for more—without the storage burden or costs of its full-sized counterparts. Armed with a wide variety of attachments, it’s handy around both barn and farm, making for fewer sore muscles and more time with your horses.

Here are five everyday uses for these “mighty mites”:

1. Cleaning Stalls and Run-In Sheds

If you’re tired of pushing wheelbarrows or lugging muck baskets around, join the legion of horse owners who rely on small tractors for cleaning stalls and run-in sheds. Just fill up the front loader or attached cart, and it’s one quick and painless drive to the manure pile. Also, unlike full-sized tractors, subcompacts are more agile in tight spaces and can turn on a dime, making them an obvious choice when working in a small barn. And when it’s time to store them, they tuck easily into unused spaces.

2. Hauling Everything from Hay to Lumber

Got hay or straw bales that need moving? How about lumber, jump standards or poles, potted plants, buckets (or even bags) of feed? Hauling stuff of all sizes and shapes from one hard-to-reach location to another is a cinch with a subcompact tractor outfitted with a cart or front loader. And with the right tires, snow and mud are no obstacle, because you have four-wheel drive.

3. Mowing paddocks or pastures

If you’ve got horses, you’ve got paddocks or pastures that need mowing. It’s a seemingly endless job, but enlist a small tractor with a mid-mount mower attachment, and you’re all set to clear weeds and keep pastures tidy. Attach a manure spreader, and your little “Shetland pony” can even help fertilize paddocks or fields like a draft horse. And to break up the hard, compacted ground that can contribute to equine lameness, try using an aerator attachment. Aeration can also help improve the quality of grazing.

4. Installing and Maintaining Fencing

Fencing can be a backbreaking chore when done by hand. Add a posthole digger/auger attachment to your subcompact tractor, and it’s a whole lot easier. With an attached cart, you can also haul rolls of wire fencing, boards and your hand tools to wherever you’re working.

5. Maintaining Roadways and Safe Footing

Every horse farm owner knows how critical it is to maintain roadways and access points throughout the property. Equip your small tractor with a snow blower or blade, and you’re ready for winter’s worst. Besides getting back on the road, you can clear paths from the barn to the paddocks, clear the paddocks themselves, and get to that back field to check on horses or transport hay. It’s also important to create and maintain safe footing for riding. With your small tractor’s backhoe attachment, you can excavate a new arena; with a box scraper, you can level it. If you add loose footing material, a drag harrow or grader enables you to keep that footing even and safe for riding purposes.

So think big and consider “going small” when tractor-shopping for your horse farm.

Reliability, performance and versatility. No matter the size of the project, whether you’re moving feed or just cutting your lawn, Kubota will never let you down.




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