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skylark 01-15-2012 08:19 AM

Can I successfully keep horses
I have a farm about two and a half hours from my home in central alabama I visit about once a week for a couple of days. It has a nice stable with automatic waterers and and stable pads and three pastures totalling 5-8 acres. I am interested in getting two horses for riding around the ranch. I would be requied to put in a system of automatic feeders for the horses. Could I be successful in this?

usandpets 01-15-2012 08:33 AM

Yes it could work. You could feed them round bales during winter and let them graze on the grass in the summer. Make sure they have some sort of shelter.

However with how accident prone horses are, I would want to be checking on them on a daily basis. I know some people and places don't always do that and they could be just fine anyway. It's just my personal preference.
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maura 01-15-2012 08:35 AM

I'm not sure what your question is - is it can you keep horses with no one there to supervise and you only visiting once a week?

I would say that it is very risky. It could be done with the right horses and the right set up - very good fence, turnout with access to shelter, good grass, unlimited access to water.

We frequently leave our place for up to a week at a time and no one has to do anything with the horses BUT there is someone observing them and able to intervene if something goes wrong, that's a key difference. And they are not feed grain, and do fine with either free choice grazing or free choice hay.

Feeding any kind of grain in this set up, even with automatic feeders, puts a whole other level of risk to it. Over or under feeding, one horse getting all the food, one horse going off his feed and no one noticing, etc.

The real risk with this set up is a horse getting ill or injured when no one's there to notice or fence getting damaged/horses getting out with no one to notice.

If you have a close neighbor or someone who will run an eyeball over the place and horses on a regular basis, I would say it's doable. Otherwise, I'd be very concerned about what all could go wrong in your absence.

hobbyhorse 01-15-2012 10:10 AM

I totally agree with what is being said here. I am renting a similiar property. I do feed 2x a day. I tried to make it a one time a day visit. They have a round bale. I'd grain and hay in the evening. I have a 100 gal water trough. Well into my 2nd week(trial period), last thursday I went out to feed dinner and my beloved arabian was not waiting with the other horses. I am in an isolated location. I could see her in the back pasture. She was standing with her head down and she wasn't moving a muscle. I knew she must be in the barb wire. I grabbed my cell phone and wire cutters. The adjacent property had a tree that fell down and opened a gap between the horse fencing and the top 2 strands of barb wire. She tried to graze though the gap. When she went to raise her head the barb wire prevented her head to come up. Her legs became trapped in the bottom part of the fence. I cut her out and to my surprize she had no injuries not even a scratch. She had been stuck there for hours(several dried manure piles). Her and I were EXTREMELY lucky that day! Trial period over and back to 2x a day. So sorry for the long reply but something for you to think about cause I am still thinking "what could have happened if she panicked or I didn't show up".

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