Thinking about a horse...
 
 

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Thinking about a horse...

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  • Though about a horse

 
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    03-29-2010, 04:30 PM
  #1
Foal
Thinking about a horse...

Ever since I was a little girl I've always wanted a horse. (What little girl doesn't ask for a pony at least once in her life?) I've worked with a few and ridden a few and I really, really enjoy doing it. Now that I'm not a little girl anymore and can stand on my own two feet, I'd like to start getting things set up so perhaps in a few years time I can finally make my little girl dream a reality and get my own horse.
I don't want to compete or show or anything...I just want an older gelding pleasure horse with a stable, easy going temperment. I think the most strenous activity I'll do will be trail riding. LOL

I most definitally can not afford to board a horse. I just don't have, nor will have, an extra $400 a month floating around. So I started thinking..."Why pay to board a horse when we have seven acres just sitting around not doing anything?"

Unfortunately, said acerage isn't fenced so we would have to start from scratch.

So. I need to know the basics of getting a pasture set up for a horse, since that is the first step. Our property plot is like a square, with our three acres of yard being in the right hand bottom corner and then we have a field in the upper right corner and the left side of the square. It is roughly seven acres.

Right now, it is an alfalfa/grass/clover mixture. The alfalfa was planted, the grass and clover have snuck in over time. Our neighbor maintains it and harvests the hay for his cows.

The horse(s) would be out on it year round, as we don't have a barn. A pasture with a shelter from the elements is as good as it is going to get.

So a few questions:

1.) What fencing is the best and cheapest? I'd prefer something other than electric (simply because I hate having to avoid the fence), but I really don't care as long as it is durable, hardy, cheap, and safe for everyone involved.

2.) How much acerage should be used as the pasture? (Either as one big thing, or split into lots for rotation purposes.)
- On a side note: I know I will have only one horse, but since horses are herd animals there will need to be something else. So the pasture will need to support at least one horse and either a mini donkey, a mini horse, or some goats.

3.) If the horse it out at pasture the entire time, I'm assuming no supplemental feeding will be needed until winter starts up and grazing becomes poor?

Once I have these questions answered I'll move on to my next set...but these need to be resolved first so I can get all my eggs in one basket. LOL
     
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    03-29-2010, 07:49 PM
  #2
Started
1) I'd just go with the classic wood... I mean, there's the plastic and wire fences, but I don't think anything works as well, and you can sometimes fiind people getting rid of good, free wood.

2) Right now I have 3 horses out on just under 3 acres.

3) Unless they need anything special, then no.
     
    03-29-2010, 08:37 PM
  #3
Weanling
First off, it's well worth the money to board someplace with your first horse. You can learn basic first aid and basic horse care. You can also work out deals where you do barn chores in exchange for board. It will be well worth learning how to take care of a horse before you bring one home. When you bring a horse home, you're all on your own...except a message board, and you simply can't learn effectively from that. You can also make friends with people with horses, and it's much more fun to trail ride with friends than alone.

Now to answer your questions-

Wood or flexible vinyl is best imo, but it's the most expensive. Wire will always be the cheapest.

If you have the space, fence in at least two pastures as big as possible. I suggest more than an acre per horse, as the smaller you go, the more it turns into a mud pit. Definitely do rotation. Also think about drainage for the field, and where you will put gates. Gate areas get the most traffic and will turn into mud very fast. Also if the horse is alone, he may pace the fence, resulting in more mud.

Supplemental feeding depends on the horse. It's hard to gauge that without knowing.

You will also need a place to storage of both hay/feed and horse equipment. You may want to think about a space for riding, you may not want to go on a trail ride every time you ride.
     
    03-31-2010, 04:48 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
When you bring a horse home, you're all on your own...except a message board, and you simply can't learn effectively from that. You can also make friends with people with horses, and it's much more fun to trail ride with friends than alone.
I have a very close friend that has had horses since she was little, so I'm hoping she can give me pointers in that regard. Her parents are also horse-people and they live just down the road so if I ever have any immediate concerns or questions, I can bug them. I'm taking lessons starting in May, hopefully, so we'll see what comes out of that in terms of finding out about boarding. I just don't know if I'd like doing it.

After looking around at different fencing types, I'm really leaning towards the Electrobraid. Does anyone have any experience with that?

Fencing three acres (maybe more) in with the Electrobraid should be in the budget (still doing more research in that area - I need to get exact measurements first). And that way we will still have roughly four acres left over to expand upon, harvest for hay, or lease out to our neighbor to harvest for hay.

So that would be one horse on a three acre pasture, along with something to keep it company. What would be best as a pasture mate? A few goats? Mini Donkey or horse? A beef cow?

Quote:
You will also need a place to storage of both hay/feed and horse equipment. You may want to think about a space for riding, you may not want to go on a trail ride every time you ride.
I was thinking of a little walk in shed to store tack/feed in. Where to put hay is still something I'm puzzling over. What size of area would be best? I may be able to store hay at my friend's place, but that is all highly conjecture and it would be better to have a back up plan.

As for riding space, we live out in the country so there are plenty of open spaces.

New question!

How would I handle freezing weather in relation to the water trough?
     
    04-01-2010, 12:22 AM
  #5
Started
How would I handle freezing weather in relation to the water trough?

Read more: Thinking about a horse...
You can buy water heaters. Before you buy a watering trough, check out the heaters available for that particular watering trough.
     
    04-01-2010, 01:11 AM
  #6
Foal
hi

You seem very organised!
The thing about wide open spaces to ride in is great but I found when I got my first horse I spent quite a while getting to know him and riding him in a small paddock... they all have their quirks and it takes a while for them to settle. As for company I have friends who keep a horse on her own and she is perfectly happy however mine needs company or he paces the fence all day. Not sure about a goat and sometimes horses can be scared of donkeys.... over here there are a lot of companion horses and ponies going for next to nothing but im allways wary of taking on other peoples vet bills! Some get the best years out of a horse and want someone else to fund its retirement.
     

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