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Horse Professional Advice Please!

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    12-12-2009, 05:56 PM
  #1
Foal
Exclamation Horse Professional Advice Please!

First I would like to introduce myself, my name is CaSandra and I'm new to the Horse Forums. I decided to join this forum hoping that I can gain a lot of good advice and knowledge on horse care.

I have ALWAYS wanted horses and my husband has decided to go to Alaska for commercial fishing and promised me that we could fulfill this life-long dream of mine! :) I have no idea how much work a horse (or two, we plan on having two) will take but I am prepared to dedicate the time to that special team when the time comes.

Beforehand, however, I want to know what to expect. I am also currently in Veterinary Assisting school and I plan to go further after I graduate in August 2010 because Assisting school does not cover livestock as well as I would like.

I'm interested in having two Clydesdales for leisure driving every once in a while, riding and having in our family. We don't have children and we're not planning on having a baby any time soon, either.

We'll be purchasing a home with land and to help us decide what size lot we should buy, it would be nice to know just how much space is far from the minimum but practical for only two horses? 3? 4 acres?

Also, what should we be looking for in the horses we plan to buy? Age? Temperament? I know that we would definitely want very mellow Clydes.

How much feed would two healthy Clydes need monthly? What would you all suggest on how to purchase their feed? Annually? Monthly? How much to Clydes eat per day?

Basically, I need some horse professional's break-downs of how to take care of horses day-to-day because I don't want to end up being one of those people who buy horses without knowing anything. I want to know EVERYTHING!!!!
     
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    12-12-2009, 09:07 PM
  #2
Weanling
Welcome to the wonderful world of horses :)
What size property you will need depends on your town/city. Some cities have rules on to how many acres you need per horse, but if there is no room, I'd suggest at least two acres for 2 horses (1 per horse) or more if possible, and that for just pasture land...you'll probably want room for an arena also.

You want to make sure the horse is healthy and sound, a highly suggest a pre-vet exam for any horse that you buy. Very well worth it!
Age will really not matter as temperment and horsenality. You want a calm horse that is sound, well mannered, and very unspooky

I am not a fan at giving any horse grain, just hay. Horses should have unlimited hay to keep their gut and digestion track healthy and will reduce the risk of colic. If you are buying hay you can purcahse how much you want at a time, but for winter you'll want to bulk up...people normally sell out of alot of hay during the winter so it might be hard to come by. So buying as much as you can then would be smart :)
     
    12-12-2009, 10:08 PM
  #3
Trained
Hi and welcome!
First of all, this all really depends on where you're going to be. In Oregon, keeping horses is much different from keeping them in Alaska.
In either case some things that you're going to need or find useful on your acreage:
-A field with good safe fencing, no wire!!! There are a lot of options currently out there. You will also want to leave a space between your fence and the neighbors.
-A smaller paddock (200X200 ish??) with a gate out and a gate to the field. This is good for introducing horses and keeping one "away" to treat an injury or something.
-1 shed per enclosure of adequate size for one (or two) more horses than you currently have.
-A hay shed. With my horses, the rule of thumb is about 1/3 of a bale, per day. For a clyde, I'd think bump that up to about 1/2 a bale each, so one bale a day = 365 bales a year *5% for spoilage/wastage. You may also consider feeding round bales in the winter, esp. In Alaska.
-You might want to add tire feeders to decrease the wastage of hay.
-A small heated barn. This is more of a creature comfort for humans. Horses don't NEED to be stabled, but it is nice to have the option in case you have to deal with a serious illness in mid winter (esp. In Alaska!). 2-3 stalls would be adequate, and a tack room!! You don't need anything for heat, just insulate it well upon building and you're good to go. When there's horses in there it will get plenty warm. I'd also like to suggest adding a good ventilation system. There are a lot of inexpensive "pre-made" barns for sale in this day and age.
-If you are just going to be driving, have somewhere to drive, perhaps the separation between yours and the neighbors property could be made wide enough to put two horses through. If you're going to be riding, you'll need an arena. Either leave the land and just fence it, or get it properly based and footed. Bad footing is worse than no footing.

Good luck!
     
    12-12-2009, 10:14 PM
  #4
Foal
Welcom. Im new here to and so far it has bin good and the ppl in here are awsome and so helpful. I was reading your post and and had to laff not trying to be meen but I was saying that's all I wanted was two horses. Well after being away from horses for about 20 years the wife and I decided we would get back into it now that the yongest of 5 kids is now 17 and off doing his own thing. So we looked around and found a 4 year old mor-abb so we got her that was 5 months ago now im the proud owner of 7 horses and to top it off my oldest son and his wife bought a horse along with my 2nd yongest son and last week my yongest dauter bought a horse lol. So all togather we have 10 horses. So if you buy one just as well get a dozen lol. You can't have just one or two lol
     
    12-12-2009, 10:21 PM
  #5
Foal
I have great experience with Clysdales. This was the first horse that I had at the age of 5. He was my favorite and took great care of me. Just like many other people have said you want to make sure that you have a pre vet examine. NEVER buy a horse that has not been check by a vet, I would also suggest that you use your own vet not the vet the people you are buying from use. It is an extra expence but you can't give your horse back generally once you have it. They are a great a wonderful breed but remember they are big and can be pushy if you are not ready for it. Be prepared to be the boss these are not big pets until you have established who's the boss. Good luck and have fun.
     
    12-12-2009, 10:22 PM
  #6
Trained
ETA: I would also look for horses older than about 10 years old. At this point they will have lots of miles under their belts, and experience really shows when you are handling horses in an unfamiliar environment. This is also the age when the prices tend to go down because there is less of a market for competitive horses at that age.

Good luck!
     
    12-12-2009, 10:23 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Every one seems to be giving you great advise here. Can I just ask one question? Have you had ANY exsperiance with horses at all? Also are you sure you want to but a clyd for your first horse? They might be generaly calm but they are still very big and can be pushy if given the chance.

Is there a barn nere where you live? Maybe you should call and ask if you can come out and see the horses and maybe take a few lessons on how to handle and car for a horse? We can tell you every thing about horses but we can't make you a better rider or horse person just by giving advice. Horses can be very dangerous if your not carefull so please don't jump into this to fast.
     
    12-14-2009, 02:54 PM
  #8
Foal
Thank you!

Wow! Awesome advice everyone! Thank you! I believe we're going to stay in Oregon but move out further into the country for more space. We haven't quite decided on an area yet but there's tons of small horse ranches around where we live even now. I do know that we're thinking of heading farther East into Central Oregon because they have hot summers and cold winters. :P The driving of them would be just a very small carriage for getting around in the winter, riding would be all the time and an arena is definitely in the picture as well as riding trails right off our property. I've ridden horses, I grew up with my grandfather taking me horseback riding every weekend, it's just that I never had the responsibility of taking care of them and I don't like to jump into things. Every Clyde I've encountered whether it be on friend's properties or at the fair have been our favorite. They just seem to be the perfect gentle giant, also why I wanted to know more about temperament - they can't allll be mellow, right?

Questions:
We have two dogs that I wouldn't want out with the horses but they're smaller and could easily slip through fencing with no wire, would it be too bad to have chicken wire in between the gaps and down into the ground along the fenceline between the horse pasture/turn out and our yard?
  1. Going for 4-5 acres
  2. Small barn with a maximum of 5 stalls (smaller but room for more IF we decide (or end up with lol) more than two! (Heated!)
  3. Have a turn out, have an arena
  4. For Clydes, 1 half bale per day for each
  5. Have MY personal vet check out the horses before purchasing
  6. Seperate (from barn) storage for hay
  7. BE THE BOSS! :P
  8. Look for 10 yrs+
  9. Go work with a friend with their horses BEFORE buying my own
Thank you so much everyone, I really appreciate the advice! :) :)
     
    12-14-2009, 05:39 PM
  #9
Foal
Unless you feed some sort of grain, you should probably be giving them unlimited grass or hay. Especially since they are big!
     
    12-16-2009, 12:18 AM
  #10
Green Broke
Make sure you have BIG stalls if your going to have clyds. I guess a normal size one would be fine but there sooooo big :P
     

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