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Buying an equestrian property-worth the investment!??

This is a discussion on Buying an equestrian property-worth the investment!?? within the Barn Maintenance forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category

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        06-10-2014, 01:35 AM
      #11
    Started
    Honestly, I don't know what people are spending 2 hours doing when they are looking after their horses at home. My two are on pasture, so it takes a grand total of 10 minutes at most to fill waters! Every other day I take a couple manure barrows out of the pasture, which adds about 15 minutes.

    When mine are being fed hay in winter, it takes me about 15 minutes to feed grain/hay each day (they get feed 2-3 time a day), which is long because they get fed in small mesh hay nets. That plus 15 minutes to clean the run, and water is done during that time, and then I spend something like 5 minutes swapping blankets daily. If they are stalled because of bad weather, it takes the same amount of time since they are right by food and they have special feeders so that is easy in their stalls.

    Every month, probably an average of 40 minutes is spent spraying weeds and mowing the pastures, on average, plus maybe 20 minutes of fixing fences and keeping everything organized.

    I think buying a property is totally worth it! Not if it makes you go bankrupt, though. You are going to need to invest in tools and spend some time learning the tricks of the trade. Tractors are must haves for me. We try to mow the pastures every spring to knock down the seed heads that develop, should be done more, but my horses are pretty good grazers and keep the pastures fairly even. Before the pastures are mowed, the weeds are sprayed (we get a nasty weed that takes over the pastures, as well as nasty Himalayan berry - those suckers can get half inch thick thorns that are SHARP on them!).

    You need to know your area and know what you are dealing with. If you live in a hot dry desert, you need to focus on keeping horses cool and shaded. If you live in a wet area, you need to look for properties with (or be willing to build) graveled sacrifice areas when the pasture is to wet to turn the horses out in or have them live in. Sacrifice areas are a must in my book unless you live in a desert. Horses can really chop up a pasture.
         
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        06-13-2014, 12:43 AM
      #12
    Yearling
    Honestly, if you're tight on cash, it shouldn't have to be super expensive.

    It'd probably be cheaper to buy a lot with a house on it and then just build a lean-to and buy some t-poles to put in the ground and some wire. You can build your own pasture, have a shelter, and keep the tack in your garage or make your lean to into a small barn with two stalls (can be done by putting a divider in the lean-to and having a gate), a tack room, and feed room.

    What's your budget, anyway? Maybe we can help you find properties
    ZombieHorseChick likes this.
         
        06-13-2014, 09:17 AM
      #13
    Yearling
    I keep my horses @ home sometimes. Other times I board. It just depends on what we're doing. Generally, during the summer they stay with me @ home. During the winter, they usually go to a boarding facility so I can take advantage of indoor arenas and lighting.

    I completely disagree with the idea of choosing boarding your horses at a facility over keeping them at home just because the cost of keeping them at home is fairly close to keeping them at a facility, for peace of mind no less? Nor, would I consider skirting the responsibility onto someone else the more logical decision... Sometimes in life, IT'S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY! I've never felt at ease with my horses at some relative strangers property where I have to visit them.

    No one will take care of your horse like you will. No one knows your horse like you do. That in and of itself makes any amount of time and money spent to keep them where I can see 'em completely worth it.

    Horse ownership isn't part time and only for the fun parts. And anyone who needs 2 hours per horse is well, crazy. At our property we can't water our horses with our well water due impart to the water augmentation agreement we have to abide by. That means every ounce of water the horses drink needs to be hauled in from out of town. It still doesn't take us two hours per horse to get the darn job done.
         
        06-13-2014, 09:32 AM
      #14
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ashleysmardigrasgirl    
    I keep my horses @ home sometimes. Other times I board. It just depends on what we're doing. Generally, during the summer they stay with me @ home. During the winter, they usually go to a boarding facility so I can take advantage of indoor arenas and lighting.

    I completely disagree with the idea of choosing boarding your horses at a facility over keeping them at home just because the cost of keeping them at home is fairly close to keeping them at a facility, for peace of mind no less? Nor, would I consider skirting the responsibility onto someone else the more logical decision... Sometimes in life, IT'S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY! I've never felt at ease with my horses at some relative strangers property where I have to visit them.

    No one will take care of your horse like you will. No one knows your horse like you do. That in and of itself makes any amount of time and money spent to keep them where I can see 'em completely worth it.

    Horse ownership isn't part time and only for the fun parts. And anyone who needs 2 hours per horse is well, crazy. At our property we can't water our horses with our well water due impart to the water augmentation agreement we have to abide by. That means every ounce of water the horses drink needs to be hauled in from out of town. It still doesn't take us two hours per horse to get the darn job done.
    It might not take YOU 2 hours, but that's YOUR set up and YOUR routine. I horse sit for a woman who has 4 in her backyard and YES it does take close to 2 hours daily, especially with how meticulous she is about cleaning. Stuffing hay nets, soaking hay cubs/pellets for a horse with no teeth and one who is prone to choke. Where I live there is no such thing as not mucking. Mucking needs to be done once, and ideally twice, a day. Must be nice to have pasture.
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        06-13-2014, 10:39 AM
      #15
    Yearling
    It might not take YOU 2 hours, but that's YOUR set up and YOUR routine. I horse sit for a woman who has 4 in her backyard and YES it does take close to 2 hours daily, especially with how meticulous she is about cleaning. Stuffing hay nets, soaking hay cubs/pellets for a horse with no teeth and one who is prone to choke. Where I live there is no such thing as not mucking. Mucking needs to be done once, and ideally twice, a day. Must be nice to have pasture.

    I don't know where you get off thinking I don't do all of the above too?

    *oops I forgot magical fairies do all of the work for me so I can sit around eating bon bons*

    We have stalls a barn and a pasture to take care of! Like civilized folk not dragging our knuckles like primates, so where do you get off?!

    I boil two kettles of water every time I feed my horses grain which consists of grain, beet pulp, supplements, & electrolytes. Then wait for it to cool down and absorb all of the water before I feed it. I & DH muck out the pasture every single day. We clean stalls EVERY SINGLE DAY and obviously ensure they have water and are very well taken care of. We stuff nets and ensure we have more nets than they can eat when they're out in the pasture so they can free feed. On top of that we have to drive over 3 hours one way down a mountain to get hay once a month since storing more than that would be near impossible with our set up. Also, like I mentioned. ALL WATER FOR THE ANIMALS NEEDS TO BE HAULED IN FROM OUT OF TOWN!!! I don't get the luxury of just dragging a hose over. We have to fill buckets or water storage containers and walk them to the trough and fill it. We have to make several trips and often times the horses will flip the trough so we have to do it multiple times a day.

    Even on the hottest/coldest day in the thickest of fog or the deepest of snow it never took 1 1/2 hours per horse. That's insane.

    You guys must be draggin' your heels. I'd be changin' my routine if I spent 1/6 of my day just mucking a few stalls. Over two hours a horse just takin care of it? She must never have time to ride or live a normal functioning life for that matter.
         
        06-13-2014, 11:42 AM
      #16
    Green Broke
    And also Ashleymardigasgirl, sometimes the extra money for boarding or hiring someone is worth the piece of mind. Knowing I don't have to rush home after a 12 hour shift to feed the horses or clean stalls/paddocks. Being able to sleep in after working 3 12 hour shift would be impossible if you didn't have help. Just because you board or hire someone to help take care of you horses doesn't mean you copping out of responsibly or your any less of a horse owner.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    2BigReds likes this.
         
        06-13-2014, 11:52 AM
      #17
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ashleysmardigrasgirl    
    It might not take YOU 2 hours, but that's YOUR set up and YOUR routine. I horse sit for a woman who has 4 in her backyard and YES it does take close to 2 hours daily, especially with how meticulous she is about cleaning. Stuffing hay nets, soaking hay cubs/pellets for a horse with no teeth and one who is prone to choke. Where I live there is no such thing as not mucking. Mucking needs to be done once, and ideally twice, a day. Must be nice to have pasture.

    I don't know where you get off thinking I don't do all of the above too?

    *oops I forgot magical fairies do all of the work for me so I can sit around eating bon bons*

    We have stalls a barn and a pasture to take care of! Like civilized folk not dragging our knuckles like primates, so where do you get off?!

    I boil two kettles of water every time I feed my horses grain which consists of grain, beet pulp, supplements, & electrolytes. Then wait for it to cool down and absorb all of the water before I feed it. I & DH muck out the pasture every single day. We clean stalls EVERY SINGLE DAY and obviously ensure they have water and are very well taken care of. We stuff nets and ensure we have more nets than they can eat when they're out in the pasture so they can free feed. On top of that we have to drive over 3 hours one way down a mountain to get hay once a month since storing more than that would be near impossible with our set up. Also, like I mentioned. ALL WATER FOR THE ANIMALS NEEDS TO BE HAULED IN FROM OUT OF TOWN!!! I don't get the luxury of just dragging a hose over. We have to fill buckets or water storage containers and walk them to the trough and fill it. We have to make several trips and often times the horses will flip the trough so we have to do it multiple times a day.

    Even on the hottest/coldest day in the thickest of fog or the deepest of snow it never took 1 1/2 hours per horse. That's insane.

    You guys must be draggin' your heels. I'd be changin' my routine if I spent 1/6 of my day just mucking a few stalls. Over two hours a horse just takin care of it? She must never have time to ride or live a normal functioning life for that matter.

    ... Guess I must be slow then...

    And no, not per horse. That would be for a barn of 4.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    2BigReds likes this.
         
        06-16-2014, 09:02 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    I've done both, boarding and kept my horses at home. In terms of cost, there are many factors to consider. Keeping horses at home, you don't have the outright cost of board, but there are many hidden costs and it isn't cheap when you add it up.

    First off, you have the cost of the property itself. Rural property is an investment, however the rate of return when you sell depends on economic conditional. If the economy dives, people want homes in town, closer to their jobs as rural property is seen as a luxury. Property taxes can be high and upkeep can be costly. Replacing or fixing big ticket items such as septic fields and drilling wells can add up quick. You need to be able to afford to do repair these things if they break. With horse property in places that freeze, water lines are also an issue. You will also have the cost of fencing, upkeep, power, water, pasture management and extra insurance. You will also need the equipment to do the work on an acreage, which is expensive to purchase and maintain. You will also have to buy feed in the winter and depending on the year, you could pay dearly for it. Around here, hay producers honour their contracts with the bigger facilities first before they sell to individual acreage owners. When boarding, these are all factored into your board. Most properties don't have a designated place to ride, while many boarding facilities do. Also, unless you have a trailer, you may pay extra to bring out the vet one farrier. At a stable, this cost is often shared because the vet or farrier will do multiple horses in one visit. When you keep your horses at home, you need to arrange care for them when you go away. This is the wot difficult part of having horses at home for me. We don't go often, but it is very hard to find someone reliable when we do.

    The work can be intense or minimal depending on your set up and your expectations. I spend on average about an hour per day looking after my four horses at home. They are pastured and I am fairly fussy about things, so I think that an hour a day isn't bad at all. That doesn't include upkeep on the property and maintaining the fences and my horses are almost always on pasture even though we have a barn. I had one horse who was on stall rest for about 2 months and my time requirement doubled. In summer, if I don't have to blanket for flies daily, I get away with about 10 min twice a day checking horses, checking fences and checking water.

    All that said, despite the work, the cost and the commitment, I love having my horses at home. I don't think anyone on the planet cares for them as well as I do, and it is a labour of love. This is why I choose to do it, not because it is any less expensive. Having lived in town and boarded two horses, I found I had far more time to ride, and it was actually cheaper (for pasture board).
    Glenknock likes this.
         
        06-16-2014, 09:11 PM
      #19
    Trained
    Doesn't take me hours a day to feed or look after horses, HOWEVER there is property maintenance, and it's not all the time but it has to be done otherwise your investment will look shabby. Lots of those around, like overgrazed, weedy pastures, fences not properly maintained, barns, fences with faded, peeling paint, barns with leaky roofs, things of that nature, devalues the property.
         
        06-16-2014, 11:06 PM
      #20
    Green Broke
    Everyone does things differently. Doesn't make anyone inherently faster or slower or more or less thorough than anyone else xD

    There's also much more than just money to consider... How long have you owned/ridden horses? If something goes wrong, would you know what to do and look for? 24/7? Would you know when to call the vet? You don't just pay for services, you pay for peace of mind.
    Glenknock likes this.
         

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