Leaving the city behind ... and freaking out a tad - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 55 Old 02-14-2013, 04:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
Posts: 16,322
• Horses: 3
You Canucks have my respect when it comes to living through winter, that's for sure!

I live in south central Virginia, and suffer when the temps dip below 30 F. I can't imagine living with MINUS temps for about 9 months out of the year. Our winters last from December to maybe mid-March.
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post #12 of 55 Old 02-14-2013, 04:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Desert from Hell, CA.
Posts: 1,377
• Horses: 5
Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
As far as having more time once you have horses at home? Baahaahaahaaa!


You're are kidding, right? xD
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post #13 of 55 Old 02-14-2013, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
Posts: 16,322
• Horses: 3
Originally Posted by demonwolfmoon View Post
You're are kidding, right? xD
Sorry, no.....

All that time you used to have to ride? Now goes to fixing fence, cleaning stalls, mowing grass, getting and stacking hay/feed, and a thousand and one other chores you never had to think about when you were boarding.

I honestly wouldn't have it any other way, but all those things really do cut into any free time.
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post #14 of 55 Old 02-14-2013, 04:12 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 7,109
• Horses: 3
I made MY city to country move in stages--first, grew up in "Chicagoland", then to two smaller cities, then to the country, after driving out to the country to care for my horses for 14 years.
Congratulations!! You will love the quiet, and the sunsets, and the freedoms. THIS spring, you will want to prepare for next winter. Winter has more animal keeping work than the summer. That means have your hay in the barn by November--all of the bedding, too, if you can afford it. Buy grain cans. Keep them full if you have bad weather coming bc you won't be able to run out to the local feed store and buy a bag any ole winter day.
You have BIG plans--living off of the land, (I still haven't got that one mastered, even though I've double dug (30" deep, 3' x 12' raised beds for vegetables), maintained old fencing until we bought new, this year we are re-roofing the house&garage&barn.
Don't be hard on yourself if it takes some time to accomplish your goals.
Smart to keep boarding until April.
If you or DH are still driving to work, there will be some snow days where you HAVE to stay home.
Enjoy the boarding stable, and the times that they fed for you. YOU will do that now. I have fed horses for 27 winters now. I recommend a good pair of Cartharts and the bib overalls. These are my basic winter outerwear. My overalls don't get a lot of use, but the jacket does.
In the summer I often wear flip-flops and old clothes.
You will really want a 4-wheel drive vehicle, but you don't need to buy a truck or tractor this year.
You will need a good wheelbarrow. A muck bucket with a wheeled dolley doesn't get the muck to your manure pile. I also like those big grain shovels to clean with. Many people prefer to use an apple-picker, too, and/or a rake.
Surprising, there is garbage pickup in the country. After 12 years, I've learned to recycle so much stuff that I often put out only 1-2 bags/week. The rest goes to the garden, the horses, or the chickens.
If you get chickens, start SMALL. You only need 3-4 hens to supply your needs. I'm considering giving away 3 of my young layers. I have 15 of them, and I now nave 4 1/2 dozen eggs in my kitchen and fridge. They lay 8-13 eggs/day. Even giving some away, I'm still eating a lot and feeding them to my two dogs and 5 cats.
Speaking of cats, you will WANT them. Get them fixed, get them rabies shots, and replace them when the wildlife make them into a meal. I know of one horse owner who killed mice and rats with Warfin and also poisoned her peacocks with it. NON-chemical pest control is the best. I feed my cats the cheapest, dry cat food and trigger their desire to kill. Everybody is fat, and I get to see the mice and voles that they killed for sport.
On the other hand, I can look out my house windows and drink coffee while I watch my horses grazing and playing. So...yeah, it's worth it.

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman, Amazon.com
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did! http://www.horseforum.com/general-of...queens-617793/
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post #15 of 55 Old 02-14-2013, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Alberta
Posts: 54
• Horses: 5
Awesome advice, Corporal ... I'm copying it and printing off and putting it in my reference file (which I actually do frequently look at) Thanks!
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post #16 of 55 Old 02-15-2013, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
Posts: 6,206
• Horses: 5
Enjoy. If you love peace, quiet, and your horses, you'll never regret it and after awhile you won't miss "city things".
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post #17 of 55 Old 02-19-2013, 01:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Onalaska, WA
Posts: 142
• Horses: 3
Originally Posted by Corporal View Post
Speaking of cats, you will WANT them. Get them fixed, get them rabies shots, and replace them when the wildlife make them into a meal. I know of one horse owner who killed mice and rats with Warfin and also poisoned her peacocks with it. NON-chemical pest control is the best. I feed my cats the cheapest, dry cat food and trigger their desire to kill. Everybody is fat, and I get to see the mice and voles that they killed for sport.
But on the other hand, if you love your cats, don't toss them outside. Specially if they have been indoors or used to little neighborhood yards and streets. My cats are not allowed to roam free - they have an enclosed cat yard and house to keep them safe.

For rodent control we use the repeating catch live traps. Or sticky glue traps. Either work great. And my Muscovy ducks love to eat the mice we've caught. They will catch them themselves if they can.

As for water for the barn, I am seriously looking into spending the money for a heated hose just for the barn. I don't always get all the water out of the hose at night and find it frozen in the morning.
Make sure to also mark out where it'll get muddy during the rainy times and put down hog fuel or gravel (which ever you can afford).
Make sure the water drains away from the barn area. It'll help a ton with keep mud to a minimum.

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post #18 of 55 Old 02-19-2013, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Alberta
Posts: 54
• Horses: 5
Oooh - good idea, Danielle, about marking out the muddy parts. We'll be in just before the rains start, so I'll be able to deal with those spots over the summer.

I agree about the heated barn - we're having the water line put out there, and I'm seriously considering putting radiant heat in the floor and just pouring more concrete over the existing floor to do so. Will have to get a professional in to see. When we did our inspection the lovely smooth concrete floor was so slippery with frost that we all nearly went head over heals. Definitely could not risk a horse on that (we do have mats to put down, but not sure if there are enough). Will have to decide on some way to heat the barn, though. We've been spoiled where we are boarding and I don't think we could handle frozen fingers

Where we currently live (Calgary) cats are not allowed outside, so our cats are definitely indoor cats. But, there is a barn cat that was part of the sale agreement (seller's request) so we'll have a hunter out in the barn. Phew! But ducks eat mice?? Who knew??
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post #19 of 55 Old 02-19-2013, 11:29 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 3,155
• Horses: 1
I'm excited to hear about your adventures. My husband and I are in our 30s, and after finishing PhDs, had to decide how to target our job search- were we going to move anywhere that had a faculty position, were we only willing to go to a city, target one part of the country, etc.? After a lot of soul searching, we decided it had to be one extreme or the other- either in the middle of a very large urban center, or out in the country. We now live in rural New Hampshire, and while we only have 5.5 acres, it truly feels like a world away from the in-between small city/exurb living we did while in grad school (and HATED that environment).

My horse is still boarded since we don't yet have a proper barn set up, but we do have chickens (there are a lot of fun chicken threads on here to explore!), two dogs, and a cat. Hope to get the horse home in the next 5 years or so.

One piece of advice: some people- both on these forums and in real life- will be suspicious, and even rude, about people moving from the city to a more rural setting and trying out this whole "hobby farming" thing. Like with most things in life, I think the reaction you get is based largely on how you present yourself and interact with others. Just expect that, at the very least, there will be a different pace of life and a different way of doing things than you might be used to, and be open to learning new things from people who have a lot more experience. Asking questions is good- acting like you have all the answers, maybe not so good. I'm not saying any of this in reaction to the way you worded your original post (your enthusiasm was exciting!! :) ) but I've just noticed that when you are an outsider to a place, you have to work a little harder to prove yourself to people, you know?
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post #20 of 55 Old 02-19-2013, 12:11 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Surry, Va
Posts: 4,712
• Horses: 0
Just dont tell all you neighbors how it was done in the City, or begin every conversation with what people or the local governemnt should do,
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