Lake for watering and natural barrier - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-28-2013, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Lake for watering and natural barrier

I am new to the forum but have been reading for quite some time and have learned a great deal. Thank you all.

I am getting our new farm to bring our horses. There is a rather large lake (~ 4 acres) on the property and due to location it would make sense to use as a natural watering hole and barrier from rest of the property. Does anyone have suggestions regarding fencing or other issues or concerns?

Not sure if this is the best forum but is the one I read the most. Thanks
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-28-2013, 11:54 PM
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I have personally had horses swim a pretty swift river just to... I have no idea why. They had about 2500 acres behind them and a house, shop, and tractor storage that they went to. Go figure.

Based on that, I would fence the lake on the pasture side and make only a small area that allows access for watering. Also, with the shape of horses hooves they tend to beat down the flora around watering areas, increasing the risk of erosion. More important along streams, but still, you probably want to protect what grows around your lake.

If you find that the horses are damaging the area that they can access, gravel can be put down.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-28-2013, 11:56 PM
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i would make sure that it has water running through it, stagnat is not good as we all know. ;) I would try to fence around it.
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-29-2013, 08:26 AM
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I would be leary of using a lake for a natural barrier. There are horses that will swim and cross a water body just for fun. The larger concern would be water borne parasites. Stagnant water has issues but even slow moving water has its issues. I am not just thinking protozoan but flukes and some trematode species. The flukes can be ingested and kill tissue as they migrate from the stomach to the liver. The liver fluke is pretty common in the USA and most ranches will treat the water with a pesticide to kill or reduce the number of flukes. They are a bigger issue for food animals but horses are just so sensitive that I can see them getting sick.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-29-2013, 11:25 AM
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Our horses have drank crappy water ever since the drought started more than 2 years ago. We have put out tanks and 'good' water only to have them keep wading deep mud and drinking from very nasty ponds. So far so good. Nothing sick, but we sure worry about them.

I have never known a lake to work as a fence. I have always had horses cross them. I would do like Boots said.

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