New Around Here + Setup at New Property - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-13-2020, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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New Around Here + Setup at New Property

Hi there!! I’m new to the forum. My name is Lexus. From Springfield Mo. Bought my first horse in May. She is a 16 yr old MISSOURI Foxtrotter, I named her Zara. I boarded her at one barn for the first month, beautiful facilities, indoor arena, indoor wash racks, indoor tack, very fancy place but didn’t make any friends there and felt very much like an outsider as a newbie. Luckily I was recommended to a different place about 20 min outside of town and it was a night and day comparison! Wonderful group atmosphere, I get invited on trial rides every weekend, the owner is always willing to help critique and help out with any questions I have. Nothing against the other barn, it was more of an English barn and this new place is definitely more “country”. 😆 Anyway, I’ve been there for about 2 months now and have loved every minute of it, however my husband and I just purchased a 3 acre property where we will moving Zara once we get the fence put up and the horse barn built that I have designed. Just wanting any friendly feedback or tips before we start to build up our little farmette!

• Plan on doing a four-strand barbless wire on 6 ft T-post, with recycled telephone poles as the corner posts. Right now where I board her she is kept in this type of fence with no hot wire and does not challenge fence whatsoever. Very laid back chill horse.
• we are having a barn/shed built. I’m attaching a picture of a rough drawing that we have come up with. Only change from the picture is the 3-side covered area with now also have a gate on it so I can stall her if needed, and the 3-sides will come all the way up from floor to ceiling (drawing says 2/3 and is inaccurate).
• plan on fencing in about 1 3/4 acre total, divided in two parts, one portion 1 acre the other portion 3/4 acre. Plan on feeding hay twice a day and stalling during rainy weather to prevent the ground from being tore up from her hooves.
• plan on rotating pastures. I just ordered the book “Keeping Horses on Small Acreage” and am excited to learn more about the pasture management.
• we will be purchasing a trailer I the next few months so I can haul her to trails with friends and have it in case of emergency.
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-13-2020, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomOfZara View Post
• plan on fencing in about 1 3/4 acre total, divided in two parts, one portion 1 acre the other portion 3/4 acre. Plan on feeding hay twice a day and stalling during rainy weather to prevent the ground from being tore up from her hooves.
• plan on rotating pastures. I just ordered the book “Keeping Horses on Small Acreage” and am excited to learn more about the pasture management.
Welcome to the forum!!!

I'm sure other's will have more to share, but I would consider taking a 1/4 acre off of the 1 acre pasture, and create a sacrifice lot. You will read about sacrifice lots in the book you ordered, I have it on my shelf as well, and have used it for a college research project about horse property sustainability.

The importance of having a sacrifice lot is that when you have high rain, too little rain, etc (that hinders the footing, or the ability for the grass to grow back) the horse can be totally removed off of the pasture. This allows the pasture to regain it's previous lushness, and also take a break to dry up/etc.

I'm not too familiar with MO and your climate, but a sacrifice lot will also come in handy during the winter months when grass growth slows/stops completely, so that the pasture doesn't get destroyed and turn into a mud pit.

Also, if you get snowfall and your horse cannot be on grass for x amount of months, then you can slowly transition her back onto grass and not worry about the founder risk of just throwing her out into pasture.

He's Ultimately Fine - Toofine - 1998 Half Arabian
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-13-2020, 03:56 PM
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Oh - I forgot! Will beautiful Zara be on the property by herself? If so, have you considered her need for a companion? Horses are social animals and need a friend - whether it be another horse, miniature horse/pony, donkey, etc.
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He's Ultimately Fine - Toofine - 1998 Half Arabian
Wilhelmina - Minnie - 2013 Morgan
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-13-2020, 08:47 PM
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Hi & welcome Lexus.

First & foremost, it's not fair to keep a horse alone. They need company. They commonly develop physical probs, as well as mental ones from being kept solitary. So I'd first organise to get her some company, and budget for having at least 2 paddock beasts on your 3 acres. Pref. another equine, but if you can't possibly manage that, horses are often happy kept with sheep or goats.

Depending on your climate & environment, setup, 3 acres may not be enough space for one animal, let alone more, if you want to avoid having it trashed, so I'd also consider looking at keeping your horse(s) elsewhere part time, to rest your property. Praps you can 'keep sweet' with the current barn & keep her there for the trail riding season!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MomOfZara View Post
• plan on fencing in about 1 3/4 acre total, divided in two parts, one portion 1 acre the other portion 3/4 acre. Plan on feeding hay twice a day and stalling during rainy weather to prevent the ground from being tore up from her hooves.
I suggest looking into track systems, aka 'paddock paradise'. Instead of fencing into blocks, & having a square, boring, sedentary 'sacrifice yard', you fence a narrow track around the border - this can be done as permanent fencing, or using just tread-in removable posts & hotwire, so you can chop & change, easily move areas to 'rotate' grazing. The advantages are; the horses are not permanently on most of the land, so it doesn't get trashed/overgrazed(or if too rich/much for them, they don't get so much); it encouraged exercise, especially if hay, water, hangout areas are spaced as far apart around the track as possible. Especially if there are a few horses on the track. Whereas horses kept in 'regular' type paddocks, esp if they're smaller, esp if there are only a couple of animals, tend to be sedentary; you can easily put down areas on the track of 'pea gravel', or logs for them to step over, or such, to make for better footing, specific exercise(lifting feet high over logs good for stifles for eg), etc.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-13-2020, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
I suggest looking into track systems, aka 'paddock paradise'. Instead of fencing into blocks, & having a square, boring, sedentary 'sacrifice yard', you fence a narrow track around the border - this can be done as permanent fencing, or using just tread-in removable posts & hotwire, so you can chop & change, easily move areas to 'rotate' grazing. The advantages are; the horses are not permanently on most of the land, so it doesn't get trashed/overgrazed(or if too rich/much for them, they don't get so much); it encouraged exercise, especially if hay, water, hangout areas are spaced as far apart around the track as possible. Especially if there are a few horses on the track. Whereas horses kept in 'regular' type paddocks, esp if they're smaller, esp if there are only a couple of animals, tend to be sedentary; you can easily put down areas on the track of 'pea gravel', or logs for them to step over, or such, to make for better footing, specific exercise(lifting feet high over logs good for stifles for eg), etc.
I have seen a set-up like this - I will say it is pretty handy! A woman I worked for had her two retired geldings in a layout like this. I would take her tractor each morning and drive hay bags around the track, hanging them as I go. The horses were always moving, and weren't allowed to just stand and snooze at a roundbale. For two retired horses, they looked the best I've ever seen for retired horses.

He's Ultimately Fine - Toofine - 1998 Half Arabian
Wilhelmina - Minnie - 2013 Morgan
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-14-2020, 04:14 AM
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@loosie Thank you for posting that book title, it looks so interesting I am going to try track it down at a local library to read...and I don't even own land or horses. A track system looks so fun! It is totally up my alley and very similar to what I like to do with my garden but for nature playscapes for my kids. Horse nature playscapes. If I ever have land, I am so doing that.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-14-2020, 05:13 AM
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^What's the book title?? I didn't think I posted one! As for 'playscapes for horses' I forget the name of the place(sure someone here would know) but there's a rehab farm in UK somewhere that has a bit of an obstacle course as part of their track - you could incorporate that too, for fun - thru the water, over the bridge...
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-14-2020, 10:38 AM
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The OP mentioned a book Keeping Horses on Small Acreage so perhaps that is where the book title came from. The actual title I think though is Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage
It is part of Cherry Hill's series.



I'd suggest maximizing the amount of land used for the horse. If you are close to others with horses and there is a common fence line then it may be that that will suffice for now.



A sacrifice area is good to have. I'd put the shed in a place that you can have at least a 1/4 acre fenced off along with that. Then your horse can choose under cover or out and you aren't having a horse left in a stall when there is no reason for it. The more your horse can move around the better. Considering the layout you drew, if the open area and three sided (4 for enclosed stall) had a fence straight out from the roof pitch then you could put the sacrifice with one or the other and have a gate . I'll add my suggestion in a pic as well. That 8x8 for hay storage you need to think about space and how you will lay your courses. You could get either 8 or 10 bales on a first course. If 10 then you need two posts that laid on their side are pallet height to give you the ventilation under that space. A pallet holds two bales per course. They should be placed on pallets to allow ventilation. You want a cross hatch pattern when stacking for stability and safety. Whether dirt floor or concrete you have to consider moisture. You'll need a ladder to stack and retrieve bales anything over 3 or 4 courses high depending on your height. If you want room to store anything else you'll need a bigger space so suggest that 4th "square" be enclosed as a tack and feed room.



Setting up a paddock paradise between the barn and pastures could give you a space that the sacrifice can be opened up into so if the ground drains well you could have a track for the horse to move along that can be a closed loop - from sacrifice back to sacrifice or opens into either pasture. It can be set up so you also have direct access to at least one pasture from the stall, possibly both. The sacrifice area could be fenced to make it a small riding pen. A standard dressage arena is 20 meters by 60 meters (or about 66 feet by 197 feet) so increasing the size by a little over 400 square feet would make it basically a third of an acre. A short dressage arena is 20 meters by 40 meters (or about 66 feet by 132 feet) and would fit in a quarter acre area. Your interest would dictate size and shape. I'll attach what is laid out for mine so you can see a totally different approach. My space is grass except for the area at the gates and water trough. It is a multipurpose space and is utilized many different ways.



Where are the house and drive? Driving access to the barn? Storage for equipment? Trailer? Do you want a fenced yard for kids or dogs? Other animals like poultry? A garden to feed a family of what size? An acre is 43,500+ square feet. So it may well be possible to utilize more than that 1 and 3/4 acres you plan to use for pasture. A site map could give an idea if you want more input.
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Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.

Last edited by QtrBel; 08-14-2020 at 10:49 AM.
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