Shelters, fencing, mud free paddocks OH MY!

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Shelters, fencing, mud free paddocks OH MY!

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  • Price on 4 acrea horse fence

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    02-22-2012, 07:26 PM
Green Broke
Talking Shelters, fencing, mud free paddocks OH MY!

Please help me figure out good fencing/shelter options, as its been along time sice I have had a horse a home nad that was with shelters and fencing already up when we got there!

So this spring/Summer we will be moving for many reasons, one big one is that I can get my 1st horse back :)

So talk to me about fencing and shelters and how to best and in a budget make it all come to gther and work?!

My Idea is to have a paddock with her shelter and then be able to have pasture space (I am looking at a 5 acre peice of property right now)

Ideas, layouts, suggestions, prices and brands names of what you haveand how much it cost you would be great!!! Thank you so much!
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    02-22-2012, 11:57 PM
You have lots of choices depending upon how much you want to spend. Starting with no fencing is nice because you can build what you want. Here are some suggestions:

Fence the 5 acres into two pastures so that you can rotate between the 2. This will extend the length of your grazing season and allow you to fertilize, weed and reseed while your horse can still graze. You can fence one large pasture and put up a temporary cross fence with step in posts if you prefer.

Use fence posts that will last in the ground you have. We use treated wood posts and put them in with a pounder here and they will last for years and years. Your fence will only be as strong as the posts holding it.

You can use a variety of fencing materials that are easy to maintain and look good (i.e. PVC rolls, wood, vinyl, coated wire, electric rope, electric tape, electric braid) Regardless of what you use, buy the recommended fasteners and install according to the manufacturers instructions. An inappropriately tightened or fastened fence will not hold up!

Fence off a "sacrifice area" that will eventually be trampled down to just dirt. It doesn't have to be very large but big enough for your horse to comfortably move around. Make sure this area is well drained so that it does not become a mud pit. This is also the best place to put your shelter. Smaller areas need more solid fencing. This area could also be used if / when your horse is injured or ill.

A three sided run-in shelter is inexpensive and will provide wind, rain and weather break for your horse. It will need to be at least 8'x16' and 8-10' high. You can mount a salt lick inside the shelter to make it available and protect it from the elements. I started with 2 sheds, one for shelter and one to store hay. A barn is ideal, but expensive, and usually isn't set up so your horse can go in / out at will.

Water troughs have a tendency to leak, spill and overfill. Plan to place your water in a convenient location with good drainage to avoid the mud pit.

When you are fencing, don't forget to give yourself a tacking up area where you can safely tie your horse. Tying to fenceposts or gates is not a great idea. Also, if there are no trees, put in a scratching post for your horse, otherwise the horse will use the fence, shelter, gates, or you to scratch on.

I'm sure I missed a bunch, but this is what comes to mind right now. Congratulations on moving your horse "home". Enjoy!!
    02-23-2012, 12:11 AM
I would recommend gravel for outside dry-lot areas. Other organic materials such as straw and wood chips will just decompose and turn into dirt and therefore turn into more mud. Pea gravel is probably the most preferred by horse people as it is easy to seperate poo, and less likely to get really wedged in hoof. It will also toughen up the hoof, and give your horse a miny foot massage. How much gravel you need depends on how much mud you get, on some horse site it said a 1:1 inch ratio. So if you usually get 4 inches of mud in that spot, you need 4 inches of pea gravel.

As for fencing, my favorites are electric and no climb fence. No climb WOVEN wire (with holes no bigger than 4 x 2 inch) lasts a while and can be used for basically keep out/in every single size/type of animal. Horses tend to use it as a scratching area, so putting 1-2 strands of electric rope will have less wear and tear on the fence. You can use meta t-posts with caps, or wood posts, but a mix of the two is typically the best, using the wood in corners and around gates or other high stress areas. You can use electric wire, tape, rope, or twine. Twine is just thin electric rope about the width of baling twine. Wire is the least visible and portable, and will cause the most damage to your horse if they get tangled in it. Tape is notarious for falling apart in just a year or two because the wind "grabs" it and tears it apart, but has very good visibility. My two favorites are rope and twine. Twine breaks a bit more easily, and therefore is my favorite as if the horse gets tangled in it, it easily breaks. It also easily ties back together. Rope is a bit harder to move as it retains its shape a little more as it is thicker (and a bit harder to break), and to tie it back together you have to get special metal things that I am blanking on the name of.. The lowest you want to go for horses as an outside fence is 5 feet, but ponies, or as a inside horse fence, 4 feet will do.

Find where most of your storm winds come from and make sure your shelter has walls to protect your horse from those winds. Also, make sure the shelter is located where there is good drainage, so preferably up on a little hill or some other high point on the property. Try to keep it away from big trees that could fall and reck your creation also! If you build the walls of plywood, make sure it is at least 3/4 inch thick, and boards two inch thick. Metal siding is also popular, but you must have 3/4 inch plywood or two inch thick boards about halfway up the walls, otherwise the horses will punch through it .. Which causes some NASTY injuries. The lowest point should be no less than 8 feet tall. Typically you want a 10 by 10 foot area for each horse sharing the shed.

Also, practice rotating your pasture, split it into at least 2, if not 3 or 4 different areas to graze your horse. I have 2.5 acres of pasture and 6 different areas.

Gosh darn it Koolio.. You beat me to it.. I STARTED WRITING FIRST. I SWEAR.
    02-23-2012, 12:19 AM
Green Broke
Thanks!! This really helps!!

Keep it coming!
    02-23-2012, 12:24 PM
Heres a pretty informative site:
Learn about building and planning horse barns and horse fencing projects.
Klassic Superstar likes this.
    02-23-2012, 02:42 PM
Originally Posted by Koolio    
Fence off a "sacrifice area" that will eventually be trampled down to just dirt. It doesn't have to be very large but big enough for your horse to comfortably move around. Make sure this area is well drained so that it does not become a mud pit. This is also the best place to put your shelter. Smaller areas need more solid fencing.
I have my 3 in that right now, and they are complaining that 1/2 acre is to small. I'm keeping them off of 3 1/2 acres of grazing area that lost grass in 2011 due to drought.
Plan on building a small barn with stalls. THEN, you don't have to worry about your dry lot turning into a mud lot. I trail ride my horses and I expect them to DEAL with mud.
I kept my herd outside with a shelter for 14 years, 1985-1999). The first year in, after the BO had a fire and I lost my perfect shelter, and blocked off, cement, drive through area in the barn (also lost) that I was renting, I absolutely HATED IT!!! But, I couldn't afford to move then and the 2nd shelter wasn't at all a good substitute.
When it's raining, like today, or slick and snowing or icy I keep my horses IN. When it's dry they spend oodles of time outside playing with each other. Temperature isn't a factor bc I start working on their winter coats in the Fall by leaving them turned out until they've dealt with a few freezes and they grow a decent coat. I hardly ever have to use my 4 blankets and 1 canvas sheet.
We bought a place that a had a 16 x 19 shelter adjacent to the barn with a cattle manger. DH and I just replaced it last November. Consider this manger.

If you have a small pony AND taller horses the height won't work. My horses at 15'2hh, 15'3hh and 16'3hh and they love the height. I LOVE the hay that isn't wasted bc it's out of ALL weather. The one change I made was to replace the floor with 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood which overlap. "Buster" destroyed my first floating floor chewing on it. =/
IF you have fencing like mine--see Avatar, left-- you CAN use the 8" diameter fence posts to tie up, and I do. Congratulations!! When you become an estate owner the work NEVER stops! Lol
    02-23-2012, 03:43 PM
When we moved here there was a 2 stall barn on the property so I put mats in the stalls (which had concrete flooring). I did'nt care for that but I add bedding also. The horses have a little paddock attached to the barn so I put them out to pasture all day and bring them in at night. I think a little shelter closed on 3 sides in the pasture would be great because then they can stay out .
We put up the fencing which was no climb and put posts about every 10 feet. Were on 5 acres and the pasture the horses are in is about an acre. I'm going to fence in another pasture but thinking about electric fencing this time around.
An ideal setup would be the barn stalls that opened up to a the pasture or a large paddock so they could come and go as they please.
    02-23-2012, 06:19 PM
Green Broke

So this place I am interested in, the owner called back!

Here is what it is and would love ur input for ideas options and suggestions.

$825 2bed 1bath small house garbage and water included, no dishwasher but room for a small one to be put in. It's in two acres not fenced but far from the road and no close by in sight naighbors.

Next door the. Owners brother has 3 acres of fenced pasture with a shelter
(ew barbed wire, one con)

So when I look at the pros and cons here is what it comes down to:

Cheap neighbor pasture for rent (just across from the driveway) $100 a month
Shelter already up with hay storage in back
Saving $425 or so a month from current living situations in the city
No neighbors
Away from the road
15 minutes from my barn where Oliver is
Room for gardens
Room for other small farm animals; chickens and goats
Room for my dogs to run and have more freedom

Very small house 700 sq feet or so
No dishwasher
No dog fence, but he said tottally fine to put one up and take it down when we leave
Barbed wire fence already in place (not safe)
15 minutes further then my mom wanted to be out north

All together rent a month for 3 acre naighbor pasture and 2 acres on the landlords land $925.00

We pay $1,350 for a house no with fenced yard in west Seattle garbage, electricity not included but has extra storage room

The rent difference would allow more gas money for summating to seatle 45 min for work and school 3 days a week for me and more for my mom more money for hay, fencing ect in the first couple months

We are looking for a place to live for awhile. My mom retires in two and half years and she would love to spend her time in the garden relaxing and just at home or able to go do things she enjoys.

So what do you think? I'm going to tell her all this info tonight after class and work.

I like the sound of it, yes work will most likely need to be done but not as much as there could be and for less then I was expecting to pay.

Just need to find out the elevation of the property cause of the rainy gross state I live in haha
    02-23-2012, 07:45 PM
Green Broke
Bumping! Would love to hear what you think! I will hopefully be able to get pictures this weekend or next week!

What would you do about the barbed wire fence?
    02-23-2012, 10:49 PM
Sounds great! At least for the most part. Where my instructor rents her place, there is saggy barbed wire, and she just bought some plastic posts, put them 2 feet in front of the fence, and strung electric rope through them. Of course you have a slight danger of the barbed fence, but still much better than just barbed wire. And since there is electric in front of it the horses tend to give it a fairly wide berth anyways. I am assuming your possible landlord said no to getting rid of the barbed wire?

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