Need Advice: Basic Setup
   

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Need Advice: Basic Setup

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  • Horse barn setup
  • Basic setup for training horses

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  • 1 Post By tinyliny
  • 1 Post By PaintHorseMares

 
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    06-03-2013, 04:01 PM
  #1
Started
Need Advice: Basic Setup

Hey all, I'm about to move in with my granddad in Alabama and I'm taking at least one horse with me. My granddad owns 300 acres, so we will be able to cut our own hay and everything. I will have access to a 10 acre pasture for my horse's turnout and living needs. The pasture is great, but I'll need to set up something in terms of a run in shelter and a sacrifice area (my horse is an easy easy keeper and I just don't think it's plausible that he can have 24/7 access to the pasture without the risk of obesity and all of its associated problems).

This set up is not really intended to be my permanent arrangement. I just need something that will serve its purpose for the next 2-3 years. Therefore, I need to find the perfect intersection between safety/effectiveness, budget-friendliness, and quick set up time. So here are my questions:

1) How large should a run in shelter be for 3 horses? (It is more likely that I will only have 2 horses -- mine and a retiree companion, but I would prefer to build with just enough flexibility to be able to shelter one extra if needed.)

2) How large should my dry lot/sacrifice area be for 3 horses? Am I likely to need to put down gravel or something to prevent it from becoming a mud pit?

3) What should the flooring of my shelter consist of? I have considered putting down gravel and perhaps some sand on top... or would gravel with rubber mats on top be better?

4) Is it more economical to look into pre-built shelters or "kits"? Or more economical to hire someone to help build a shelter from scratch?

Actually, I probably have about 100 other "little" questions... but these are the main ones for now. I would really appreciate any input or advice that can be offered.
     
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    06-03-2013, 08:10 PM
  #2
Yearling
For three horses I would guess between 10 (or 12) by 30. It's cheaper to make a run in, divisible by 4' as most wood comes in 4' lengths. If they get a long you might be able to get by with 12 by 24.

If you can afford it putting down sand or gravel in the run in is a good idea, but if not, after a good rain walk around and see where the highest and driest points are and mark them. Or have an area graded and use that as your dry lot.

It's cheaper the build them yourself for cost of materials, if you hire someone ask if you can buy their supply list so there is no materials mark up, check if there is saw mills in the area. If not it's cheaper to have someone build it, but have something in mind and don't let contractors pressure you into more than you need, fancy siding or longer life shingles etc.

If it helps any for cheap and quick electric fence posts, use 2x2 lumber and add insulators and pound into the ground ( I sharpen the ends too). I had 2 by 4s ripped and used like that and they were made for under $2 each.
     
    06-07-2013, 11:55 AM
  #3
Showing
Dimensional lumber is based on the 4' measurement. Figure 144 sq ft per horse (12 x 12). Be sure to have two openings space well apart to prevent a horse getting trapped by another. When it comes to 3 horses it works best to not have 3 of the same sex. Two geldings and a mare seems to work fairly well.
     
    06-07-2013, 12:28 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
Eolith,

I can't offer any advice but just wanted to say good luck in your new arrangement. Your knowledge is really expanding rapidly, and this will open up tons of new opportunities for learning, too. 300 acres!
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    06-07-2013, 12:49 PM
  #5
Green Broke
I prefer 3 sided shelters to ones with openings. No one gets trapped that way. The "top" horses pick their spots and the others take the left over space closer to the outside. Ours is 10' x 30' for 4 mares.
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    06-11-2013, 12:39 AM
  #6
Started
Can't answer your last one-

1) How large should a run in shelter be for 3 horses? (It is more likely that I will only have 2 horses -- mine and a retiree companion, but I would prefer to build with just enough flexibility to be able to shelter one extra if needed.)
Like the first poster said, 10 (or 12') by 30 feet.

2) How large should my dry lot/sacrifice area be for 3 horses? Am I likely to need to put down gravel or something to prevent it from becoming a mud pit?
Yes you will need gravel. I like pea gravel, its small enough it won't hurt horses hooves, keeps them out of mud, and toughens hooves. I have a 100 foot long dry lot, half 40 feet and half 70 feet wide- Candy will bully Casey sometimes, but no more than just walking around her with her ears pinned. I would recommend 120 by 50 feet wide for 3 horses, as long as they get along with each other.

3) What should the flooring of my shelter consist of? I have considered putting down gravel and perhaps some sand on top... or would gravel with rubber mats on top be better?

I would put down some road base or large crushed gravel, make sure it is packed well, and put down mats. Easiest to keep clean, horses are more likely to poo and pee outside rather than stinking up the shelter.
     

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