Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Sustainable Living and Land use › Sustainable Forestry › logging on frozen ponds
- February 10, 2017 at 7:02 pm #90035ethalernullParticipant
looking for some advice/experience with hauling wood across frozen ponds in winter. on my property there’s a 1/2 acre pond that has become very grown in with tall trees around the entire perimeter right along the bank. right now it’s frozen solid with over a foot of snow on top, seems like good conditions for me to do some thinning around the perimeter and haul logs across the pond. i know the ice thickness is technically more than adequate for the weight, but looking for some more information and considerations from others.February 18, 2017 at 9:24 am #90053RonParticipant
I read your post that ask for advice but I am not sure what you are concerned about? Iced over ponds are fraught with problems and dangers. Horses slip, ice gives way, horses get wet or worse, it is always tricky on ice. While ice thickness can be great in the center usually around the edges or currents there will be places that the ice is thin or where gas pockets are or springs that is also true with beaver if you have them and their swim paths. Horses can pass over them countless times and then when you put a load on down they go. If the pond has a good bottom and is shallow that is less of a concern then if it is deep and miry. That can be a death trap. Snow on the pond also helps skidding because you don’t need to sharp shoe but it is also a heat trap that makes gauging ice conditions even harder.
With out more information it is hard to help you on this one or at least more specifically on your concerns. As a general rule I am very cautious working horses on ice. In the past there was lots of it done but some real tragic accidents also, some will be more knowledgeable them me.
RonFebruary 18, 2017 at 4:08 pm #90059carl nyParticipant
JMHO. I wouldn’t take my team on the ice for love nor money. Not worth the chance. A couple weeks ago my son and two grand children went through the ice when they were coming back from ice fishing. People had been fishing right where he went through earlier in the day, their holes weren’t even froze over yet. As luck would have it the water was only 4 1/2 feet deep and my son is 6’3″ so he could stand up and hold the two kids. My other son got down on his belly and got to them. Everyone was ok, just wet and upset a little. Just saying.
Carl nnyMarch 2, 2017 at 4:57 pm #90133Brad JohnsonParticipant
This kind of logging is a lost art now, with plenty of inherent risks. But, it can be rewarding work too. A sled full of wood sure goes good over ice…it might be worth considering if the wood is worth the work. Horses must be shod and caulked, and you should be as well. Starting with a single in loose rigging is where I would start, then see how is goes.
-BradMarch 3, 2017 at 8:19 am #90135RonParticipant
Logging on ice today and where each of us live makes a difference. I live in the Ottawa Valley where ice logging was a way of life not that many years ago. In our winters we get thirty below weather and the ice is three feet thick in most places. My good friend and nieghbour used to haul hundreds of tons of hay to logging camps from his farm a mile across the frozen Ottawa river on the ice. We still cross the ice with cars, trucks and snowmobiles on what is termed ice bridges. It is still dangerous and needs to be done with care. Carl is absolutely correct in what he says about going through the ice many people have died and many horses have. Having said that I have spent whole winters working on ice skidding logs with out a hitch. There is no simple answer to logging on ice. The only perfectly safe way to keep from going through ice is to stay on dry land.
Most of you on this forum are away south of me and I suspect your ice and our ice are different but we still have to use our own best judgement. Probably why the Inuit have fifty words for ice.
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