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Just bought 44.5 acres :D

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        11-26-2013, 01:16 PM
      #11
    Foal
    Thanks for all the helpful advice everyone :) !!
    I wanted to post a picture to see if you had some suggestions of where I should fence off for horses and whatnot, is there a way to do that?
         
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        11-26-2013, 01:48 PM
      #12
    Trained
    2% of body weight is a good number to use to determine how much the horse needs to eat. Pad that number to allow for waste and the occasional bad bale.
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        11-27-2013, 08:54 AM
      #13
    Foal
    Congratulations on your purchase and a wonderful new way of life!

    You've received some great advice and specifics on the topic of hay, but here are a few random thoughts that may be helpful:

    - horses are herd creatures, so recommend getting more than one, especially if you're going to pasture them and leave them (apologize if you already said you were, I read all the comments about hay so may be losing a detail!)
    - you need to build some sort of lean-to or shelter for them
    - factor in a small monthly budget for feed in addition to the hay. You may not need it, but if your horse becomes ill, or you purchase an older horse, or start using them daily, they may need more nutrients for optimal health. If you don't end up buying feed, trust me, that money will be eaten up with something else horse-related
    - when budgeting, remember you will have to pay for having your horse vetted before you buy them ($100-300, depending on your area), annual vaccinations and Coggins if you choose to have them ($100-300, depending; in many areas you must have Coggins by law to ride your horse off your property), farrier every 4-8 weeks (anywhere from $25-150+, depending on barefoot, shoes, your area, etc.), feed and supplements (highly variable), a vet budget (recommend a couple thousand set aside each year - if your horse gets seriously ill once, you can run through that amount easily), having the teeth floated every few years (opinions vary here, find a dentist you trust and go with what they say, but it's about $125-200, depending on your area), and tack and grooming supplies, as well as a few basics like a feed bucket. You must be able to transport your horse in case of medical emergency, natural disaster, or you just want to ride somewhere else, so you will need a trailer. Remember to factor in the cost of diesel, and shavings or outfitting such as hay nets and no slip footing if you intend to use them in the trailer.
    - For land management costs, remember to factor in the cost of a good fence (DO NOT SKIMP ON FENCING!!!! Caps here because I maintain 25+ well cultivated acres, and even with high quality fencing, with the number of horses kept on the property fencing is a daily issue), as well as the cost of repairing said fence. I recommend putting in some sort of stock tank if you can, even though you have the creek, because it makes your land more versatile - you can keep the horses in different areas, you can use pastures for a variety of purposes if the way you use your land changes, and you can keep better track of how much your horse is actually drinking. The tanks here are on automated watering, but that is a little more expensive and we water a lot of animals.
    - you will have to rotate pastures so they don't stress out, which depending on your area could mean every 6 months or every few years. Talk to local folks, but make sure you have space cleared to do so.
    - in everything you build, think versatility. Just because the land is given to a hay operation now does not mean that is what you will use it for. I don't know where you are located, but to cite an example - if I came by an additional 40 acres down here that was good for growing hay, I'd turn it into cattle pasture. Other folks might start running horses, grow crops, or stop doing any of that and maintain the land for personal use. Just food for thought….

    Bottom line is that everything you want to do is going to take more time, energy and money than you thought; you're probably going to underestimate the amount of time, energy, and money upkeep and maintenance will take; and you are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and will love nearly every second of it :)

    Congratulations, and please keep us all updated!
         
        11-27-2013, 10:24 AM
      #14
    Green Broke
    Good advice Xena!! What kind of fence do you like?
         
        11-27-2013, 11:48 AM
      #15
    Foal
    Thank you, Taffy Clayton!

    The best fence we've had up here is actually made of fiberglass - it has stood up to nearly 20 years of hard use and all kinds of weather. I like it because the rails are about 4 inches in diameter, which visibly deters the horses, but it cracks cleanly when it gets kicked so the risk of injury is nearly nonexistent. If they struggled like crazy they would break the section of fence apart, which is messy in terms of land upkeep but they can't get seriously injured (I also have an iron gate and other fencing around the perimeter as a safeguard, so if a horse breaks out of their pasture they still can't get to the road or in a truly dangerous situation).

    I've also used oak, iron, and wire fencing, which while cheaper to put in presented their own sets of problems. Wood fencing can seriously injure a horse or cow that kicks through a board and gets caught, because it can tear tendons and muscle when they pull their legs out. A nimble, determined, or pasture stupid horse can get caught too easily in conventional wire fencing. Metal fencing rusts, so it works, but in a situation with boarders my personal opinion is that it isn't as professional looking; also, if something happens to it (say, for instance, you run into it with a Bobcat or tractor…. Hypothetically speaking, of course!), you're stuck with gnarly angles for the life of the fence because you can't easily or cheaply replace a single section.

    In past lives, I've boarded horses at places with plastic or synthetic fencing. I don't like that because it always looks dirty….I'm not in the business of paying folks to stand around wiping down fences, and heaven knows I don't have time to do it myself! So that wasn't an option for me, but I do know of those who like that solution.

    This is long, but to actually answer your question - I am in the process of re-fencing and creating some new pastures, and I'm doing it with cedar posts and no-climb aluminum. It is light in appearance so presents a pleasant aesthetic, the wire is too tightly woven and strong for an animal of any kind to get hurt in, and because I run both cattle and horses, it presents the maximum versatility and options for pasture rotation.

    Whew, that's a mouthful but hope some of it helps! What kind of fencing do you use?
         
        11-27-2013, 11:49 AM
      #16
    Foal
    Oh, forgot to mention - they no longer make fiberglass fencing like what I've got up, because it's expensive to manufacture. I'm keeping that fence up as absolutely long as I can, but the newer pastures are / will be done in no-climb.
         
        11-27-2013, 12:05 PM
      #17
    Foal
    Thanks so much AllXenasHorsesLLC, you've answered so many of my questions before I even had a chance to ask them :P

    I know you just talked about fencing but I do have two additional questions about them. First, since I live in Atlantic Canada, what fence(s) would be best for every type of weather (freezing rain, snow, etc.) and secondly, my property is somewhat hilly in parts, does that make a difference when choosing fencing?
    AllXenasHorsesLLC likes this.
         
        11-27-2013, 12:55 PM
      #18
    Started
    You will also have wildlife that will migrate through and take out a fence just because they can. I would be asking your neighbors what works, what they tried and had to replace. If the snow drifts, it will build up against a mesh fence and take it down. That's why you will see mostly 3 strand wire fences.

    I'll add the fiberglass does not work in freezing climates. One little brush against them and they will shatter.
    AllXenasHorsesLLC likes this.
         
        11-27-2013, 03:02 PM
      #19
    Foal
    Our neighbours all seem to have different fencing. As for wildlife we have a few deer that stay on the property and coyotes that are nearby as well unfortunately. I was thinking of getting a Ramm Flex fence. Does anyone have any experience with them?
         
        11-27-2013, 04:57 PM
      #20
    Yearling
    Assuming you grow your own hay, your main expense will be grain and vet bills.

    If you get a ration balancer type grain (just meant to provide vitamins/minerals, not energy), those usually cost $30 a month per bag for one horse. That is $360 a year.

    Vet bills: Equine dentist is maybe $300 including sedation
    Deworming might be $25 per year, depending on how often you deworm
    Vaccinations 2x yearly $30
    Farrier $25 every 6 weeks for a trim, not including shoes

    At least $1000 for tack if you need to buy a saddle/bridle

    I would plan on an extra $2000 in case of emergency vet visits. My vet bills this year were $1400 for one horse.
         

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