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Would you do Natural Boarding?

This is a discussion on Would you do Natural Boarding? within the Horse Boarding forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category

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        11-10-2011, 09:38 PM
      #41
    THN
    Foal
    I have skimmed through the replies but haven't read them all so please excuse me if I mention something that has already been beat to death.

    I would want stalls of some sort. Maybe figure our how many horses are going to be in a pasture and build the run in on the fence line closest to the arena with stalls and access from both sides. (pasture side left open all the time unless horse needs to be contained, outside world side always closed) then you build your paddocks in an arc or square around the arena and other facilities.

    I think the term pasture board has already been mentioned so no need to cover that.

    I don't know how familiar you are with pasture rotation, but I have seen it done very effectively with a large variety of livestock. The farm I worked at didn't have horses, but after the sheep were rotated through a section of pasture next went a flock of chickens then the cows and then another flock of chickens. The chickens would eat the parasites and spread around the cow pies. The farm was well balanced so that they never mowed but never had a shortage of good grass. Every once in a while the fields would get mowed in the fall just to level everything out. They would rotate the section of the pasture was left for hay every year as well. They would compost and had a veggie garden that was split in half with a fence down the middle veggies on one side and compost with another flock of chickens on the other. They would flip flop the chickens and the garden every year.

    Anyway, back from my tangent, if you are serious about the natural part and are doing pasture board think heavily about pasture management and the capacity of the land you use. Can the land seriously be expected to sustain the number of horses? If not then you need to reduce the number of horses or supplement their diet. Really think out the design of your facility design it to be low maintenance / maintains itself.
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        11-11-2011, 02:23 PM
      #42
    Started
    Yes most definitely. However, I would rename it something like Pasture Boarding, or Natural Pasture Boarding. You could offer your stalls to people, and have like an $60 amount of money they would pay to have a stall available to them.
         
        11-11-2011, 04:07 PM
      #43
    Foal
    I don't want the stalls to be a privileged thing. I just want them available when needed. I guess that an indoor arena would be a high priority in order to be competitive in the Oklahoma City area. I should also be willing to pay the high price for land close to the city.
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        11-11-2011, 08:13 PM
      #44
    Green Broke
    When I went off to college(13 years ago in central Oregon) I pasture boarded one of my horses.Geldings in a pasture about 20 acres with about 10 horses and the same for the mares. Horses were introduced slowly in to the herd by being put in to a panel pen for a few days in the corner of the pasture before turned out with herd.

    Fencing was wood posts with no climb fence with a couple of 3 sided shelters. Horses were fed hay 2 times a day spread out to keep from everyone kicking the crap out of each other. Horses that needed to be grained were brought into the barn to ensure they were fed properly with out being bullied out of their grain.

    We had use of an outdoor arena, round pen and access to thousands of acres of BLM land to ride. Stalls were available at request and inclimate weather. Tack rooms were shared but I never had a problem with stealing, all the boarders were great.

    At the time I paid $200 a month and that included hay. Remember that was about 13 years ago. I thought it was great because at the time I had a ranch horse that had never seen a stall, had a ton of energy and needed to be turned out and ridden very regularly. I think it was also great for people who couldn't ride all the time and at least the horses were turned out.
         
        11-11-2011, 08:16 PM
      #45
    Weanling
    My place splits pasture board and barn board, but it's really a "full care" facility either way. Both are turned out most of the time, and come in twice/day to eat.
    From the horses' point of view, both board types are pretty similar. Only real difference is that the barn horses have an assigned stall, whereas the pasture horses go into standing stalls on a first-come first-served basis, and barn horses stay in during the worst weather.

    From the owners' point of view, there's a big difference. Owners can have tack boxes in front of barn stalls, keeping everything convenient, instead of in a back room. The barn is in out of the wind, whereas the pasture board tack-up area is just under a covered area that's open on the sides. Also, if coming near feeding time, the barn manager will leave a barn horse in if we txt him that we're on our way.

    Our three turnout fields are between 7 and 10 acres, and the herds are 3 horses (the barn mares, for some reason no one is boarding mares with us right now), 9 horses (the barn geldings), and 16 horses (mixed gender pasture boarders).
    I like our turnout size. I want him to have lots of room to run and play. Sure, sometimes it's a pain because their favorite place to hang out is always the FAR corner, but otherwise it's great. I just walk out to get him, use the fence to hop on, and make him carry me back
         
        11-17-2011, 09:20 AM
      #46
    Banned
    Hmmm....your ideas, OP, seem sort of exclusive to some potential boarders.

    In particular:

    The small paddocks and small group turnout idea is not ideal for some horses. Take our 6 yr. Old OTTB as an example. He is a psychotic alpha...extremely bossy and loves to herd the herd....when he was in a herd in the past, everyone would give him his space and he often would herd them around and around. No one was seriously injured by him but that was because they would all submit...but newcomers were in for a time as he taught them the rules. Which included charging at them with bared teeth, etc. Even in a small group of 3 or 4, if confined in a small space, the others would not be able to give him the space he requires nor would he be able to herd them, so fighting would result.

    Our OTTB also LOVES to run... he will often break into full gallops for no apparent reason and just run and run...till he's breathing hard and sweaty.
    In a small paddock/pasture he would not be able to do this.

    We also have special needs regarding both our horses. Our fat draft needs dry lot as her pasture time is limited, especially in the spring....

    Our OTTB also should ideally be in private turnout due to his aggression with other horses.... where we are at now, Beau and Epona have three pastures which total 23 acres....even with the large pastures and lots of room to run, he still sometimes has aggression issues with Epona once in a while.

    Also, I would definatelly want stalls for our two horses available for use when we needed it. And not just for injury or illness. Our OTTB is an "indoor" horse, also known as a hothouse flower. he does not like rain or snow. And will refuse to go out if it is raining... he also does not like flies in the summer and will come to the barn door and stand to be brought in

    So, where we are at now is a private residence with 23 acres of pasture and 6 stalls and a dry lot. We are the only boarders and we have the place to ourselves. We do not have an indoor areana but since we just do trail riding, we don't need one....there are tons of trails on this property. We also have a heated tack room, a heated bathroom and hot and cold running water in the barn and in the bathroom. In the summer the property owners provide a 60 inch barn fan for our horses. The property owner will bring them in or turn them out as we request and does remove blankets when needed. She also fills buckets and throws hay when asked.
    We do our own feeding regimen in regards to grain or supplements and provide our own hay.

    So, being unwilling to offer stalls to those who want for their own preference or who have "hothouse flowers" may limit your clientelle.

    Also, not having a dry lot will limit your availablility to those with fat horses or those with metabolic disorders...like IR

    Also, smaller paddocks limits your acceptability to those with high energy horses or younger horses that need room to romp and play.

    Smaller paddocks can also increase aggression in small groups as some horses need their space and if a herd member crowds them wil react negatively.

    Just my thoughts....as someone who needs stalls available and who has two special needs horses.
         

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