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tell me about keeping your horse on your own property

This is a discussion on tell me about keeping your horse on your own property within the Barn Maintenance forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category

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        08-16-2011, 08:57 AM
      #11
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
    You won't have barn drama though, and to me that's one of the biggest pluses to having the critters at home!
    Yes, so true. That is a very good point!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Delfina    
    It's also very nice to be able to ask someone "Does he look off to you" or OMG, I'm calling the Vet, he's hurt!! And have another person point out it's pathetic scratch, just clean it!
    That is one of the few things I miss about boarding. No one to bounce care thoughts off of. No one to add a hand when you just need one more hand for a second. (Because we all know asking your husband to help when he is busy with something else leads to husband grumpiness.)
         
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        08-16-2011, 09:15 AM
      #12
    Showing
    As AB said, it's definitely a labor of love...and lots of it! I do it all myself with the help of my hubby for the building/haying/fence maintenance type of stuff. He doesn't do the horse work itself minus a few trail rides here and there and halter breaking babies. There are NO days off.

    I have 11 right now, including 2 stallions. The least we've had, ever. We have 40ish acres of pasture, divided into 3 - 10 acres pastures, the other 10 is divided into 3 stud lots. Then there's a 12 stall barn to maintain as well as an indoor and outdoor arena.

    Here's my typical day.

    In the barn by 7, feed, pick stalls, kick the boys out for the day.
    Come in to feed myself and play on this forum and check fb.
    Back out to barn, drag arenas. Ride a few training horses, let them out on pasture.
    Lunch
    Back out to ride a few more training horses, let them out on pasture.
    Feed again.
    Feed myself & family
    Give lessons - up to 3 a day
    Ride my own horses.
    Bring in stallions, training horses & mares w/foals on their sides for the night.
    Crash around midnight.
    Wash, rinse, repeat....

    Weekends - clean tack, wash saddle pads, any fence repair, building projects, spread the manure pile. Show if there is one that weekend. Maintenance on trucks, trailers, tractor, skid loader, hay wagons, etc. Mow pastures, trips to the feed store, etc. There is never a shortage of work and getting the to do list completely finished doesn't ever happen as there is always something new to tack on to it. Even with all the work it entails, I'd not trade it for anything
    goneriding likes this.
         
        08-16-2011, 11:48 AM
      #13
    Yearling
    We have 3 horses on 8 acres divided into two pastures with run in shelters. We don't have a barn (yet), and so our horses spend all of their time outside. For the most part, our set-up is fairly low maintenance, but it does take effort and time. I also work full time and am the mother of 2. Fortunately, my daughter helps a lot with the horses.

    Summer is easy because we have great pastures that are very productive. I check the horses at least twice a day for injury, illness, blankets, etc. I also check the paddocks daily for signs of gophers, garbage, broken fences, etc. We harrow the pastures to spread and dry the manure, or pick it up if it gets too much.

    During fall, we prepare for winter in stacking and storing a 6 - 8 month supply of hay and filling the grain / complete feed bins. Once the snow comes, we have limited access to bring in a hay truck. I also bring in straw to bed down the shelters really well.

    Winters here are cold and harsh. We do chores twice a day, which takes about 30-45 minutes. This involves feeding grain, hay, checking water, checking the fencing, re-bedding the shelters, refilling / checking the water, etc.

    Once the snow thaws in the spring, we have to keep the horses confined to a "sacrifice area" so they don't damage the pasture. This is when pasture management is most critical. A poorly managed pasture won't sustain the horses for the summer.

    When we go away, we either pay someone to come in and look after the horses and dogs, or we board them out. It makes going away very expensive. Fortunately, we have a great relationship with a stable owner who will take the horses for a week or two at a time. She will also take a horse for the short term who is injured if need be.

    I do love having my horses at home, and as others have said, it is a labour of love. I wouldn't say it is less expensive because when you add up all the secondary costs like power for the water heater, the cost of farm implements, animal care when you are away, fencing repairs, travel surcharge for the farrier etc. it really isn't much less than boarding. The benefit comes when you can look out and see the horse munching on grass or playing with each other in the field. By the time all the chores are done, we don't really get in much more riding time than we did at the stable, but can go for a short ride on a moments notice though without having to drive somewhere.
         
        08-24-2011, 09:14 AM
      #14
    Started
    It is a pleasure. =] Yes, you'll have a much heavier workload than a boarding situation, but the benefits make it well worth it.

    You have to go out and do chores every day, rain, sleet, or snow. The worst thing for me is going out in the bitter cold twice a day in the winter. I can't stand the cold. Also, if you enjoy being around other horse people, you'll probably really miss your barn buddies. It does get lonely sometimes. But like others have said, you won't have any of the drama, which is one of the nicest things about keeping horses at home.

    The one thing I love most is the fact that I never have to worry about whether or not my horses are being taken care of and fed enough. At the old barn, I was constantly fighting with the BO about feeding and I went out all the time to give my horses extra hay, especially in the winter. Now I can sit in my room and watch my ponies munch on hay all day long and know that their tummies are always full. You can't put a price on that kind of satisfaction and peace of mind.

    The best advice I can think of would be to get your horse home and figure out a routine as you go, through trial and error. You'll soon figure out what works most efficiently for your setup and work schedule.
         
        08-24-2011, 10:01 AM
      #15
    Weanling
    I currently have two horses, but in years past have had many more to look after (up to 15, including boarders). Two is easy in comparison, as long as you are well set up- ie- good fences, etc. Run-in shelters make life a lot easier but at least one enclosed stall is good in case of illness or injury. My next plan is to install automatic waterers which cut down on the chores, and I always have a choice of at least two pastures so I can rotate. I am also considering taking on a boarder- if you have the space I have found this works well as long as you choose the right boarder who will share the work, etc. I have had a lot of success with 4H kids- I charge them minimal board in exchange for help around the stables, and can trust them to look after my horses when I go away.
         
        08-24-2011, 10:27 AM
      #16
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jessabel    
    I

    You have to go out and do chores every day, rain, sleet, or snow. The worst thing for me is going out in the bitter cold twice a day in the winter. I can't stand the cold.

    Aaah winter!!! We get 6-7 months of winter up here no matter what. I found I used to hate winter when I lived in town, as it seemed so long, cold and depressing. Now that we are on an acreage and have to go out to feed horses every day, I have learned to enjoy winter. I think because we are out working in the cold and have a job to do, we don't notice it as much. I also find I spend much more time outside in the fresh, cold air and really like it. Bareback winter riding around the pasture has now become one of my favourite winter activities, and something I couldn't do when I boarded my horses.
         
        08-25-2011, 10:29 AM
      #17
    Banned
    And then there is the other side of this coin.

    2am an unexpected (by me, maybe the weather guys knew about it) huge thunder storm rolls in. The barn is wide open. Driving large rainfall will not only cause a river to run down the aisle it will ruin a whole boat load of hay.

    Leap from bed and run outside (ignoring your fear of thunder and lightening) in your PJ's to close the barn doors.
    While you are there toss a flake of hay to everyone.

    This means when you get back into the house you are not only wet but have hay bits stuck to your wetness.

    Change clothes.

    Go back to bed.

    Start falling asleep again and there is a huge thunder boomer that sounds like the lightening strike was really close.

    For the next hour you lay in bed awake worried, looking out the window from time to time to make sure the barn is fine.
    Phantomcolt18 likes this.
         
        08-25-2011, 11:01 AM
      #18
    Banned
    Hmmmm.....great thread!

    We don't have our horses on our property but we keep them at a nearby private residence 23 acre farm....we do all the care ourselves.

    How much work is involved is directly related to the quality of care you want your horse to have.

    Example: For us: water buckets in the 2 large grass pastures and stalls are scrubbed and changed daily, the two 100 gal. Outside tanks changed and scrubbed once a week. The fields are mucked once a week, the dry lot paddock EACH day. Stalls are picked, and readied for when the property owner brings them in at 11 am.
    The horses are groomed DAILY and hooves picked Daily. Their stalls are mucked once a day unless the weather dictates that they are stall bound for the day, then the stalls are picked TWICE a day.

    Add to that added work that crops up...like fence repair, hay or tack room cleaning, stable sweeping/cleaning, routine weekly inspecting the pastures for groundhog holes, etc....




    Our routine is as follows:

    Property Owner turns horse out into grass pasture at 7 am

    Property owner brings them into dry lot paddock(or stalls if the weather is hot or stormy) at 11 am.

    We arrive at 4:30 pm and spend 3 to 4 hours of work, cleanup, grooming, etc.

    Horses are fed at 4:30

    They are then groomed

    Then turned back out into the grass pastures for 2 more hours of grazing

    They are then brought back into the dry lot paddock to spend the night.

    In the morning, the routine is repeated.

    Riding is done on the weekends usually, as the weekdays are just too busy....

    Even with me and my two adult children doing the work, the level of quality care that we require that our horses have means that the three of us do alot of backbreaking and time consuming work..
         
        08-30-2011, 12:05 AM
      #19
    Foal
    Hmm. I don't have my horses at my house since I live kind of in town but I do keep them at my Nana's (Grandma >>) place which is only 15 minutes away. I spend most of my summer there and most of my day's after school there. Sometimes I'll spend the weekends/weekdays there and help out a lot more.

    I'm not sure how big the farm is but I would say 20-ish acres? Maybe a little less.
    The barn is quite old and has 9 stalls on the bottom with a chicken coop and a little..stall area? For the goats/pigs/alpaca. There is also a lean-to looking thing up against the barn for our pony since we don't have enough room for her in the barn.

    We actually have two pastures but we have split them into three and there is also a "Mini pasture" out in the lawn since one of our horses doesn't get along with anybody.. She sure does mow that grass though :)
    The 3 guys go out in the back pasture where the ring is. Our 4 year old palomino goes out in the other smaller pasture between the back and front. And the "senior citizens" go out in the front pasture. They also have a lean-to. Our donkey USED to go out in the front pasture but he was picking on our 27 year old paint.(he was stepping on her and all sorts of things) Our 5 yr old buckskin goes out in the mini pasture and our 13 year old haflinger goes out in her little place since she can't have a lot of grass. And the donkey goes out in our Small corral.

    Our routine is we get up around 7-9.
    Get everybody's grain ready.
    Feed/Hay
    Check water.
    Put a little shavings in the stalls. (We usually don't pick out the stalls that often)
    Once they're done eating we check everybody and then put them out in their own pastures.
    If we DO decide to ride we keep everybody in because our Ring is actually inside of the biggest pasture.
    So then we groom the ones we want to ride and go out to ride for a couple hours. Then we might go on a trail ride out back.
    Then we wash them down and then put everybody outside for the day.
    At night we put everybody in and feed/hay.

    It's also fun getting eggs out of the chicken coop or chasing away the mean chickens >> (They like the pick fights with me and my younger cousins)

    We would LOVE to get an indoor arena but we don't have enough money(yet?!) and I can't think of a place to put it..

    As far as travelling goes I myself can travel as I may (which I don't do a lot. I hate being away from my horse!) But if my Nana ever decided she wanted to go somewhere she definitely has lots of people to take care of the farm.

    Right now we don't give lessons or anything since it's all family oriented. (Myself, my cousins and my brother were all taught to ride by my Nana/Family members. No lesson fees needed :) )

    That being said I (and I think my Nana does too) want to open up to giving some lessons to people. We plan on naming the farm "Hemlock Havens". (Hemlock is the road it's on)

    So yeah sorry this post was so long! I liked reading everybody else's stories about their farms. I can definitely relate!!
         
        08-30-2011, 05:45 AM
      #20
    Started
    I've only been riding just over 3 years, but all of that time I have had my horses on my (parents) property. I live on a big dairy farm with my parents, brother and sister (I'm only 16, no property of my own yet )

    I like it because it means I'm closer to my horses and if something goes wrong I don't have to drive an hour to get to them, they're 10 metres away. I also recently had my old mare pass away in my front paddock 8:30 on a school morning.. Having her in my front paddock meant I was able to be with her as she passed and not have that phonecall that every horseperson dreads.

    It also means that I can come straight home and ride/feed etc then do homework, if they weren't at my house I wouldn't have the opportunity to ride because it takes so long to get home.

    A lot of my neighbours ride also, so even though I'm out in the middle of no and where, help is still close if I need it. Vets are also still within a half hour drive when needed.

    I like being able to look out my side door in the morning and see Mitch as I'm eating my breakfast (actually I hate it because if I can see him the little booger has escaped again, but hey, still get to see him ) There is also never a day where I can't check up on my horses myself, I don't like relying on others to tell me if I can't get there to check myself.

    I don't have stables, and I only have one horse and one mini (now anyway) so I don't need help with them on anything.

    -We do go away on holiday quite easily, my neighbours have to drive past my horses every morning to get to wherever they're going, so it's not difficult for anybody to check quickly. My two also don't need to be hardfed etc everyday, so long as they're both in a grass paddock with our auto filling water-troughs they're fine. (we don't go away in winter/spring though, more because it's calving season and we can't get away from that)

    I think though, the one thing I would like about boarding (if it were even possible here :\ ) is that I would be able to get lessons etc easier, as it is we don't have a float so I can't take my horses anywhere unless I'm offered a ride, or the neighbour isn't using his float. So it's quite difficult to be able to get anywhere away from home with Mitch
         

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