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Ideal horse property?

This is a discussion on Ideal horse property? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        03-01-2012, 11:05 AM
      #11
    Trained
    Good bermuda square bales here are $10!!! UGH!

    I'd start saving NOW and make a plan for what you want to do and how many horses you want to have. I'd also look for an area that is horse friendly with lots of trails, training, local shows and riding groups. I miss that out here!

    I wouldn't have any less than 20/30 acres and 40 would be ideal so you could cut 20 acres of your own hay. I personally like river valleys with great pasture. Throw in a nice barn and a home for you of course and that equals Heaven!

    I'm east of you in AR but in the "mountains", there have been tornadoes around us but we are nestled in where it's a tad safer.
    There is a BREATHTAKING little farm down here that we tried to buy. But the people didn't want to sell. It had 65 acres, nice southern exposure but nestled on the north side of a valley, well fenced with wood railing, nice small horse barn, immaculate rich pastures, cute house kinda 70's but doable, a greenhouse, hay/cattle barn, and was on a NICE big spring fed creek. It was also just down the road from the National forest so there were a thousand miles of trails. We still go look at the place.

    We got our place instead and I like it but I wish we had more pasture.
    80 acres surrounded by national forest with good trails, cool 1910 farm house we had to gut, three barns, decent well and one original hand dug well, a cute open horse barn, loads of big timber, private waterfalls at the bottom with a nice little creek. CONS! Hadn't been lived in in 10 years so we had to renovate everything. Fencing was terrible and we are still working on it, only have 20 acres of decent pasture so we can only have 3 horses without having to feed hay year round. Good and bad is that we are on the north face of a mountain so there is a constant breeze but it gets chilly.

    I'd go for rich pasture, private, no neighbor horses, sunny south facing property, fresh water and good wells, sturdy fencing, established trees for shade, nice barns, and a workable home. You can always fix up a house, you can't add on good pasture! As far as location... I think Tennessee, Virginia, the Carolinas but they can have tornados too... Maybe Colorado or Ohio? Ohio seems nice especially near the mountains.
         
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        03-01-2012, 11:17 AM
      #12
    Showing
    I'll second the midwest. I have great lush pastures and even though I put up my own hay, the sale prices are generally comparable to what SR mentioned. This year has been a bit higher that I've seen though as a lot has been trucked out of state to areas hit by the drought, farmer's can sell it for a premium. Even with that I've seen recent ads for alfalfa/timothy squares for $4.50 and straight alfalfa squares for $6.

    I love my farm but I have a lot of sentimental attachment as I bought the family farm from my grandfather. I have a good chunk of land with ample pastures, 20 acres of woods, 12 stall barn with tack room & washrack. It has an indoor attached to the back of the stall barn with a foaling stall in one corner of the indoor. Large outdoor arena and thanks to my grandpa spending 40 years clearing scrub trees & brush, the woods is very clean & I can make my own trail wherever I choose.

    The only downside, winter. I'd love to live somewhere warm all year round!
         
        03-01-2012, 11:30 AM
      #13
    Banned
    Not to distract from the original topic, but do you guys pay for someone to hay up your fields, or do you do it yourselves?
         
        03-01-2012, 11:41 AM
      #14
    Yearling
    I live on an amazing horse property right now, I would just want more fenced acreage. Where we are, we'd have to remove a bunch of trees, which would take away our trails. I'd want a min of 10 acres, preferably something like 20 with a 4 stall barn with tack room, and a seperate feed/hay barn. I'd like a sand arena, and some nice big shelters in each pasture.

    As for hay, pshh, don't get me started. I thoguht I was getting an amazing deal last weak paying $13.99/bale- I was paying $16.99 a few weeks ago. This is for good quality alfalfa/orchard though.
         
        03-01-2012, 11:42 AM
      #15
    Showing
    We put up our own. It's very cost effective. My hubby and I do the cutting/raking/baling & we usually hire 3 or 4 teenage boys to stack wagons & put it in the hay barn.
         
        03-01-2012, 11:45 AM
      #16
    Banned
    Ahh. Well, I guess I'll have to learn how hay fields for the future.
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        03-01-2012, 11:45 AM
      #17
    Trained
    We have a couple farms and cut about 1,000 acres each year. We also do a couple others in the area and take a 1/3 of what we cut for payment. I think it's best if you have enough land to have someone else do it. It's heck keeping such large equiptment running, something is always breaking down. Then you gotta wait for parts, haul them to town, and that can throw off an entire cutting. You can get used smaller tractors and just do twine bales. Ours are net wrapped which gets all fouled up and the machines/tractors come with 10 pound manuals!
    I think there is an art to it all and a ton of good luck that's better left to those who have it!!!
         
        03-01-2012, 11:51 AM
      #18
    Banned
    So would I be better off paying someone to do it since I have no clue about it?

    I honestly have no clue about haying and I wouldn't want to spoil a cutting.
    Plus I don't want to have to manage all of that equiptment.
    I understand having a good Deere around but goodness, too much machinery for me. Haha.
         
        03-01-2012, 11:58 AM
      #19
    Trained
    I agree--get OUT of the "Great American Desert", where the droughts are serious business! I'm sure you have your favorite places to live and why, so I won't give you my opinions on that.
    NEXT, check the zoning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    When I was renting I took 12 years to find the right place to have my horses in my backyard. Location was for my own personal reasons, BUT, I kept reading about horsepeople who had bought/developed a property, only to find that either they were not zoned for horses (and other livestock) OR, a developers bought farmland adjacent to their property and, in a few years THEIR zoning was switched from AG to Residential. This was bc the new homeowners complained and had THEIR horse-owner's zoning switched for them.
    In either case, the horse owners had to either sell their horses or move them off of their own property. Kinda pointless to own 5, 10, 20 or 150 acres and you can't do what you want on it!!!!
    This has been happening for decades.
    The rest of my advice is...gravy.
    I'm very happy on 5 acres. I am zoned AG2. I've been there since October 31st, 1999. At the time other people were bragging about their undeveloped 20 acres lots, in a horse community NNE of us. MUCH more expensive and I think several people have lost their properties since then.
    I wanted the following:
    1) A REAL house
    2) A REAL barn
    3) Fencing in place
    I GOT;
    --A 100 year, 6 bedroom farmhouse
    --A 4-car garage
    --A Barn with an adjacent shelter, room for 3 indoor stalls (8 x 10, 12 x 12 & 12 x 16) and a loft that stores up to 500 bales
    And, 2 outbuildings.
    The fencing was cattle fencing and old, but it had been correctly installed. It's since been replaced, but my older horses never hurt themselves on the barbed wire top bc they had lived with electric fencing and respected it.
    My property value has decreased of late bc of the economy. It was $89,9K and is now $85K
    Don't plan on moving but I can (or my daugthers, if DH and I die) sell it in a heart beat bc of location, usability, and price.
    Just some FYI. Good luck on your hunt!!
    FlyGap likes this.
         
        03-01-2012, 12:09 PM
      #20
    Trained
    Well, if you have enough land and can find a good contact/broker/farmer they will be happy enough to take hay in payment so you don't have to pay to have it done.

    Another tip is find land that has hills or some sort of elevation to it. Acreage is measured "as the crow flys" so you can increase surface area/grazing if you have hills. For instance our farm is 80 acres but more than half of it is a gently sloping mountain side. Flatten that out and you have at least 1/3 more land.
    The "back 60" has winding logging roads cut in and I think there are around 4 miles of them. There are also a couple grassy levels so if I ever get desperate I can turn the horses out on it and there would be extra grazing, at least for a month or two.
         

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