Owning on my own property?! Questions needing answers - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-26-2011, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Port Orchard Washington State
Posts: 1,870
• Horses: 3
Talking Owning on my own property?! Questions needing answers

Feel free to skip these first two paragraphs if you don't like a long read.
So I've finally taken the steps with the help of my parents and their agent looking for a home I can eventually move my menagerie of animals to. I have a million questions. even if we buy the property now, my parents aren't willing to sign the property over to me for about a year. At that time I'll be making payments to buy it from them. All that taken into account I've been researching local prices of on hay, grain, feed for all the animals plus my horses. Also taking into account vet costs, farrier costs...I can't ask this community about suggested vets and farriers since I don't believe many of you are in the Puyallup, summit, Tacoma area. If you know though please shout it out! My vet and farrier are strictly Gig Harbor and Kitsap based so I'll need new ones or haul over.

Ironically the breeder I bought Legacy from is selling her already draft horse friendly set up property and called me offering it at a discounted price before she puts it on the market. It would be the perfect property and it's offered at a more than reasonable price since it would be going to someone she considers family. My parents and I go look at it on Saturday so fingers crossed! I know what it looks like but they don't so I hope they understand the set up is perfect!

Anyway onto questions!
Mucking stalls: Where do I put it? What do you use it for? I currently board and we have it in huge piles in the back pasture that's open to the public to drive in and take out in truck loads. I could do that or should I just pile it and use it as compost? How do you do that? I don't know how to garden but I could learn.

Wells vs city water: I asked Ms.Bek and I'm waiting on a response but if anyone is in pierce county with city water and horses, approximately how much does it run you? Sorry if that's a bit personal, feel free to PM me.

This is up for debate, beam and wood arena vs cover all. Which would you choose? I'm looking for an 80 x150 arena. My trainers trainer has that as an arena, perfect for setting up a small jump course or practicing flat work.

Covered or open arena? I have space for both or to keep pasture open more I could just do one. There is a small sand outdoor arena I was going to panel and use as stud turn out to expand the current stud or sick pony turnout area on the property.

If there is anything at all I'll need to know about doing this on my own I'm taking notes on everything and making a little booklet to get me on my feet with it all. I know it's far from cheap and I'm prepared for that. I've been saving since before I was born and even know I'm set if I absolutely wanted to move tomorrow, however emotionally and time wise I'm not ready.

Anyway...any and all information, tid bits, little facts, tips...whatever are appreciated! Especially from the washington staters! Anyway thank you from all my girls and little buggers!
Pyro and Bailey (cream and black fainting goats)
Caleigh and Legacy
Zeus and Orion (great danes)
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When life gives you lemons....chuck em at whoever is giving them to you!
I don't want lemons! I want cookies!

Last edited by drafts4ever; 10-26-2011 at 04:51 AM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-26-2011, 01:50 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bear Creek, Wa
Posts: 353
• Horses: 1
I can actual be a ton of help on this as I live in Redmond/Woodinville not too far away from you and I’m about 1 year ahead of where you are now. Plus I have big horses and Great Danes too.

My husband and I bought our farm earlier this year, but I had been researching and planning for the past 3 years while we searched for the right property.

1) Your absolute best resources is going to be:
Pierce Conservation District: http://www.piercecountycd.org/
King Conservation District: King Conservation District Home
Horses for Clean Water: Horses For Clean Water

Our local conservation districts are fantastic and they can help you create a farm plan and help you plan out what is the most efficient use of your property, what are the best environmentally best practices, how to store and comport your manure and how to manage your pastures. They come out to your house measure and talk to you about what you want and for free the build you a complete plan.

PLUS after your farm plan is approved you’re eligible to apply for cost sharing grants to implement the suggestions they’ve made. I got $2000 this from King County and KCD to help make my paddocks mud free and improve fencing. Plus I’ve barrowed their manure spreader and hay probe, both are free services.

Also Horses for Clean Water has a partnership with the various County Conservation districts, and they have farm tours where you visit other local farms and see what people have done for ideas to incorporate on yours. Some of the farms are in the middle of working on the changes and some are done. Last weekend I went out to a farm in Redmond where I learned about setting up a sacrifice area for your horses and making a “horse litter box” and a couple weeks before I went out and saw a farm who is using “Track Pastures” an innovative way of horse keeping versus standard sit-in-a-pasture methodology.

Also they have a ton of great free classes including one down near you in Enumclaw this weekend October 27, 2011, Workshop: Manure Management, Black Diamond Library, Black Diamond, WA

I’ve gone to that one is absolutely great. They share different ways of storing manure and how to compost is quickly or how to get rid of manure in environmentally friendly ways. Again, if you get a farm plan done, they’ll help you pay for building your manure solution.

2) I’m not familiar with specific farriers in your area but costs are about the same $40-$50 for a trim $110-$150 for a full set of XL shoes. As far as vets Rocky Bay Equine http://www.rockybayequine.com/ in Gig Harbor are fantastic. I went through them when I bred my mare earlier this year and their prices are absolutely fair and are great people
3) Water: Well water is free, but you have to be very carefull about using well water when you have animals. Washington State has very strict laws about keeping animals, livestock specifically if you’re using a well on the same property. Specifically about manure run-off & e-coli contamination. Water is one thing we have a lot of in Washington, and it’s never very much.
4) Arena, I only have an outdoor arena/round pen so I can’t help you much there. Because of the weather I always would go for the covered, but if that is too cost prohibitive and you have to settle for the outdoor, I recommend investing in lights. As you can see by my own post in this same topic it gets dark super early ie 4PM and if you want to ride even when it’s not raining in the winter you’re going to need some heavy duty lights.
5) Hay: There’s a bad conundrum in your area; you can get AWESOMELY cheap timothy from/out of Graham, but it’s a horrible HORRIBLE quality. It’s usually dusty, and has a lot of stems and the national analysis I got back on the 1–ton I did get of it earlier this year but it a half notch above plain straw. Conversely the best hay in the entire world is grown in Ellensburg, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016112558_hay05m.html and unfortunately you have to compete with international businesses to get your hands on it. I absolutely swear by Bob up in Kingston. It’s a bit of a drive from the south end but he does deliver for a fee. But he sells this beautiful super compressed export Timothy. It’s green with tons of leafs and minimal stems and seeds. My nutritional report says it’s full of moisture and protein. Plus Bob is the absolute best if you find a bale you don’t like, set it aside and he’ll replace it. Hay runs $200 for of a ton, but they are super compressed so you can fit 3 times as much in your loft. http://seattle.craigslist.org/kit/grd/2659360028.html

I know this is a lot of info, but please let me know how I can help!
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-26-2011, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Port Orchard Washington State
Posts: 1,870
• Horses: 3
Thank you! All that helped a ton!
Right now for vets I use rocky bay so I know how great he is. Hes breeding my clydesdale for a 2013 foal. I won't have my own truck though right away so getting there would be an issue unless i could borrow a friends for the day and I've had him come out to a gig harbor farm call at an outrageous price so I'm not too keen on bringing him over the bridge if I'm unable to haul to him. I heard Tacoma equine is really good with decent farm call prices so I'm giving them a ring today to get some estimates from them.

My farrier however doesn't come across the bridge at all so I'd have to find someone on this side. My only shod horse is Legacy and she only has front shoes. Currently I'm paying 40 for a trim on caleigh and 60 for a trim and fronts of Leggs. I'd like to stay I that range if possible but I'll look around as well.
I can't make the meeting for farms this weekend since that's when I'm revisiting the property with my parents to show them around but I'll use the links and make some calls when I'm absolutely for sure getting this place. It'll bump up the proof I'm ready for it.

The farm itself is already completely set up with barn arena feed storage tack room and it's built specifically for draft horses. I just have to figure out some prices on a covered lighted arena. It would be my best option.
I don't know of this place is set up on a well or city water so I'll have to find that out. The place I board at now is on two wells.
As for hay I've heard the same thing and figure if it comes down to cheap hay I will have to be super careful however I have mapped out the high end on a budget and if I were to move tomorrow I could current afford 6 months of hay from Wilco. When I do move I'll be able to afford much more at a time but again delivery or pick up might pose as an issue if I can't figure out transport. Hopefully I'll have my truck but I never know about grad presents until they are sitting in my driveway.
Would you know anything about body disposal? I think I read something about hurrying livestock 1000 feet from the street but I'm not sure. I think there is a pierce county burn ban so that wouldn't be do able but if anything happened to my horses I'd have no idea.
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Last edited by drafts4ever; 10-26-2011 at 02:59 PM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-26-2011, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Port Orchard Washington State
Posts: 1,870
• Horses: 3
I got a few answers back from the seller. She said she's on community well and listed the price for that. very reasonable even with a full 7 stall barn. She said she has a compost pile and spreads the corners and fence line once or twice a year depending on the amount. I have a few more calls to make but that answered those questions.

When life gives you lemons....chuck em at whoever is giving them to you!
I don't want lemons! I want cookies!
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