Keeping horses on your own property
 
 

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Keeping horses on your own property

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  • Can you put horses on your own land?
  • Can i keep horses on my property in lindon wngland

 
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    10-04-2011, 07:16 PM
  #1
Foal
Keeping horses on your own property

In the near future (as soon as our condo sells), my fiance and I will be house shopping and we're considering getting a horse property so I won't have to board any more. There are a few aspects of home horse ownership that I'm not clear on - hoping some of you guys with experience can clear things up!

We'll likely be looking in the 5-7 acre range, and there would probably be just two horses.

My questions relate to:

Hay - How do you find someone to buy hay from? Is there any way to check the quality of it? Where and how do you store yours?

Shavings - if you have 2 horses, do you buy bagged or a truck load? How can you find someone to buy a truckload from? If you get a truckload, how & where do you store yours to keep it dry?

Manure pile - how do you manage yours?

Did you wind up buying any equipment like a tractor or a bobcat or something to manage your home stable? I'd imagine a bobcat would be cheaper and I know they can push around a manure pile, but can they drag an arena?

Lots of questions, I know!
Thanks,
~Cheryl
     
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    10-04-2011, 07:28 PM
  #2
Yearling
For hay ask around to every horse or livestock place you can think of. Write down names, numbers and types of hay. Than it is a matter of going around and checking it out. Around here there is local growers or I can buy from three major feed stores how get it from the valley or I can order a transport load full or split with someone.
As for storage I rent a barn from some one (200 bales fit) and have a little wood shed I put 30 bales in at a time.

Shavings I buy either the plastic bales or go to a local mill and bag my own for free. But they deliver also. Most people get it delivered and cover with a tarp or have a small shed or barn for them (no one has a large barn here).

Manure I have a rock/gravel/fill pad that I dump it on and cover it with a tarp, all goes onto gardens once everything dies. Everything is done by hand, but we do use the four wheeler with a plow (and someone standing on the blade) to push it once and a while)

We also use the ATV to drag pastures and arena because the drag was only $150 new for it, use a cart on it to bring large amounts of hay, feed, bedding, manure, and water in jugs back and forth. It is a lot cheaper because we have one already so easier than buying something new.
     
    10-04-2011, 07:45 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
I know for a fact that there are better ways to do things than what I do, but my way works pretty well for me and my horse so I might as well share. :) I only have one horse, who lives with 2 llama companions, so there's another difference.

Hay- I put an ad in my church's classifieds and tons of people called me wanting me to buy their hay. My church is a pretty rural church though so one in the middle of the city probably wouldn't have that sort of thing. That being said, even in the city, people often know someone who knows someone etc and that could be a good way to get hay. On that same line of thought, an ad in the newspaper could probably generate interest.
However, as it turned out, I only have room to store maaaaybe half a ton of hay so I ended up not buying from any of those people since they wanted to sell larger amounts than I could house.
I keep my hay in a little shed that's attached to the stall/run-in. It has a wooden floor, a solid roof, 3 sides and a tarp over the doorway. The tarp is attached in such a way that it's basically like having a solid door there, except it offers a little more ventilation than a solid door would. I haven't had any issues with keeping my hay like that, yet, but I kinda feel like it's only a matter of time.
With hay, you want to look for stuff that smells good and the inside should be relatively green depending on the type of hay. Alfalfa should be very green, grass hay kinda greenish/brown is ok. It shouldn't smell musty or moldy and it shouldn't feel damp. It should feel dry.
Now what I do to get my hay is I drive out to the feed store every couple of weeks and pick up a few bales of whatever I need (I feed a mix of alfalfa and grass hay). That's probably not the cheapest route for multiple horses but for me and my single horse, it works really well.

Shavings- My horse is on full turn out, 24/7. I do have the ability to create a large stall for her but I think I've only shut her in once, ever. Her "stall" that's not a stall transforms into a run-in shelter when the gates to it aren't closed and I use pelleted bedding to bed it down. I tried using shavings but it just got so messy and nasty that I couldn't deal with it. So I switched to wood pellets and now 2 bags last me about a week (with daily picking out poop, wet places, and such). She doesn't go to the bathroom much in there though, there's maybe a poop pile and a pee spot after a normal night, so it works.
I just buy as much as I need at a time from the farm store so no help there with storing.

Manure Pile- When the pellets get dirty, I just throw them in the corner of the pasture. I use a small enough amount of bedding that it easily biodegrades (that's the other thing about wood pellets, they go away faster out in the weather) and my pile never gets large enough to be at all a problem. With two horses you might have more of an issue, I couldn't say.
My gardener neighbors are always begging for my cast off poop/pee yuck becuase apparently it's really good for gardens, but I never have enough to warrant giving it to them. You might though. You should check with the neighbors you end up with, maybe they'll want it.


Good luck! :) Hopefully this was semi helpful even though we have very different situations.

Also, you might want to look into Cherry Hill's book "Horsekeeping on Small Acreage". I read it once and I seem to remember it having quite a few valid and helpful points.
     
    10-04-2011, 08:02 PM
  #4
Trained
If you buy 5 acres and only have 2 horses on them, your manure pile shouldn't be a problem. I pick out my stalls daily and cart the manure to the back of the property and dump the trailer that I haul behind my atv. Then I just spread it in a long thin line and keep dumping the manure there for about 1 year and then I start a new line. After 2 years it's turned into lovely black soil and I spread it on my veggie garden.

For hay for 2 horses, I'd go buy 10 or 20 bales of hay at the time from the local feed store and buy my grain the same place.

While I love having my horses in the back yard I'm also starting to have fond thoughts of the day when I'm down to 1 or 2 and COULD afford to board them and let someone else do the grunt work and I just enjoy them.
     
    10-04-2011, 08:07 PM
  #5
Super Moderator
Hay - How do you find someone to buy hay from? Is there any way to check the quality of it? Where and how do you store yours?
You can find it in the paper or you can buy round bales. For 2 horses a round bale would probably last about 10 to 15 days, maybe a month. If fed freely. There is a lot of waste with it but the cost savings is big. With a round bale you would have to get an extra shot (botulism). I prefer square bales, I have a place to store it in my barn but it's so much cheaper to buy round bales that I pick those up. There is a farmer right next to us that bales horse quality hay even though it's for his cows. We store it in the barn but I peel it and feed a layer at a time. It's harder to measure it out then it would be to feed say 2 flakes per horse but I still manage to save quite a bit of money doing it.

You can have your hay tested for nutrition but I've never done it.

Shavings - if you have 2 horses, do you buy bagged or a truck load? How can you find someone to buy a truckload from? If you get a truckload, how & where do you store yours to keep it dry?
It is much much cheaper to buy the sawdust by the truck load. I prefer it that way, you can get it at a saw mill. I don't have any where set up to store it, alot of people just put it under a tarp. When I buy the truckload I just unload it into each stall. (I have 5 horses). I put the extra up on the sides or in the corners and pull it down as I need it. I end up buying shavings alot from tractor supply because I can never get to the mill before it closes. It's much more expensive that way.

Manure pile - how do you manage yours?
My manure pile is on the other side of the riding arena. We just spread it around the yard and stuff or we give it away by the truck load...

Did you wind up buying any equipment like a tractor or a bobcat or something to manage your home stable? I'd imagine a bobcat would be cheaper and I know they can push around a manure pile, but can they drag an arena?
We have a John Deere 4300 that manages pretty well. We also have a dump truck and then a bunch of attachements for the tractor. My ring is grass for now but it will be sand some day.
     
    10-05-2011, 12:49 PM
  #6
Foal
Thanks all for the replies! And the tip on that book - I think I've thumbed through a copy once at a bookstore years ago. I ordered it from Amazon :)
     
    10-05-2011, 01:18 PM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acco    
In the near future (as soon as our condo sells), my fiance and I will be house shopping and we're considering getting a horse property so I won't have to board any more. There are a few aspects of home horse ownership that I'm not clear on - hoping some of you guys with experience can clear things up!

We'll likely be looking in the 5-7 acre range, and there would probably be just two horses.

My questions relate to:

Hay - How do you find someone to buy hay from? Is there any way to check the quality of it? Where and how do you store yours?

This is not ideal for everyone, but I have two horses and I buy 7-8 bales every 2 weeks from either of two feed stores. I store it on my tack room floor, which is elevated and I've never had a mold issue- then again, its gone in 2 weeks.
I go to Tractor supply about every 2 weeks and buy 2-3 bags of feed.

Shavings - if you have 2 horses, do you buy bagged or a truck load? How can you find someone to buy a truckload from? If you get a truckload, how & where do you store yours to keep it dry?

Not cost affective but I like a tidy barn, so I buy pre bagged shavings. Horses are only stalled fall/winter and I go through 4 packs a week.

Manure pile - how do you manage yours?

Ours goes behind the barn along a bush line. The neighbors use it for their garden, so it never stays too full.

Did you wind up buying any equipment like a tractor or a bobcat or something to manage your home stable? I'd imagine a bobcat would be cheaper and I know they can push around a manure pile, but can they drag an arena?

I don't have an arena, but we have a bush hog to keep some of the land maintained.
Lots of questions, I know!
Thanks,
~Cheryl
thats my tid bit of info. Feel free to ask any additional questions.

Edited to add- We use our 4 wheeler DAILY for chores. The barn is a bit of a walk fromthe pasture so I use it to carry 2 feed buckets and hay at feeding time. I also use it to lug my tack out for riding instead of bringing the horse to the barn.
     
    10-05-2011, 01:36 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acco    
In the near future (as soon as our condo sells), my fiance and I will be house shopping and we're considering getting a horse property so I won't have to board any more. There are a few aspects of home horse ownership that I'm not clear on - hoping some of you guys with experience can clear things up!

We'll likely be looking in the 5-7 acre range, and there would probably be just two horses.

My questions relate to:

Hay - How do you find someone to buy hay from? Is there any way to check the quality of it? Where and how do you store yours?

Shavings - if you have 2 horses, do you buy bagged or a truck load? How can you find someone to buy a truckload from? If you get a truckload, how & where do you store yours to keep it dry?

Manure pile - how do you manage yours?

Did you wind up buying any equipment like a tractor or a bobcat or something to manage your home stable? I'd imagine a bobcat would be cheaper and I know they can push around a manure pile, but can they drag an arena?

Lots of questions, I know!
Thanks,
~Cheryl
Hay
I have two horses on six acres, split into a larger field of three acres, a smaller field of 1 acre, a half acre paddock, and 1.5 acres that the house and buildings sit on. This is enough to rotate my boys on for the summer to graze so I don't have to buy hay for the year.

For the other nine months, I buy hay for the year. I find sources on local bulletien boards and in tack stores and feed stores and from word of mouth from my farmer neighbours. We buy square bales since it's easier for us to move them. We have a truck and a flatbed hay trailer which, combined, holds 100 square bales.

We go and check out the hay. We will buy one bale on the spot, then open it and check it out. If we like what we see, we toss that in the back of the truck and buy 99 more bales, load them up and bring them home. I like to have 300 bales of hay for my two horses.

Once home, we place pallets on the ground, stack the bales and cover with a tarp and tie it down.

Bedding
I buy straw, about 100 bales. I like to get oat straw since they will eat some of it. They are stored the same as the hay. We spread it out under the big lean to and some in the stall. I only have the stall to house sick/injured horses, so it doesn't get used a lot.

Anything dirty gets tossed on the woodpile (from cleaning up the small wooded area of deadfall) and burned.

Manure Pile
Since the boys are not stalled, I don't get a manure pile. I will pick up a few obvious piles along the driveway or beside the house and toss them into the field. Then we run the harrows over them a couple times a year to break them up.
     
    10-06-2011, 08:05 PM
  #9
Yearling
I keep three horses on 7 acres.

Hay - I have 2 suppliers and order half of my year's hay from each. One is a neighbour who used to put up hay on our property before we bought it. His hay has much more alfalfa in it and is a little richer. I found the other supplier through the stable where I used to board. I was already familiar with the quality of his hay and I am able to share part loads with the stable if I need to. Having 2 suppliers is nice because I can choose the type of hay I am getting and I can price shop a bit. Also, if something happens with one, I can still fall back on the other.

Bedding - I don't run a barn as my horses have run-in shelters outside. I bed them down heavily with straw for the winter and then clean them out in the summer. The used straw goes into my garden.

Manure - I drag my manure with a quad and a piece of chain link fence. It works like a dream! Spring gets a little nasty thought because we are snowed in for about 6 months straight, but a few days of good dragging means the manure spreads as good fertilizer and the property dries quickly.

With a small acreage, it is important to cross fence and have a "sacrifice area" that the horses can tear up when the weather gets bad. It is also important use rotational grazing and weed management to keep the property productive.

When you add up the costs of the property, feed, equipment and maintenance, it isn't that much less expensive than board, but it sure is nice to have your horses just outside the kitchen window.
     

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