Thinking about owning horse on my property - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-19-2015, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thinking about owning horse on my property

Hey Everyone! So before I get in to the topic as the title states, I just want to describe a little bit about myself. I have been riding horses for 11 years now. 7 of those years were spent riding western and the last 4, I switched over to english, I have decided to stick with english...I have leased multiple horses for years and have entered shows. I am not "inexperienced" or a "beginner" I have learned a lot about the basics of horsemanship and how to properly care for a horses as if it was your own. I know believe that I am ready to own a horse.

I have 11 acres of property and live on a dead end road with a total of only 3 houses, including mine, on the road. Lately I have been doing research on boarding a horse or owning a horse on my own land. The barn that I am currently riding at is not reaching my boarding expectations nor my riding expectations. While researching, I have found that in the short run, owning my horse on my land is more expensive, yet in the long run boarding a horse is more expensive...I am still researching everything I need to know...but so far I'm leaning towards keeping the horse on my property.

Do any of you boarders or owners of horses on your property have any recommandations on things I should keep researching? Or do you have an feedback on expirences you have had directly? Any suggestions and tips would be extremely helpful, thank you!

-noellequine
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-19-2015, 11:10 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2015
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I have much smaller acreage than that and I have found that the upkeep is on it is very time consuming and can be expensive... but then we rehabbed our pasture from nasty brush and it hadn't been used for horses for a long time.

Things I have discovered:

-While it's true that if there is plenty of grass your horse probably won't eat a poisonous plant it's not a guarantee. I'd get a good idea of what kind of problem plants you have out there and decide now how big of a risk the plants pose and come up with a plan.

-You should also have a plan for dealing with weeds and/or long grass. One horse probably won't keep 11 acres very short. Some people here like to keep their horses in knee deep grass but we mow in quadrants. There is like a sweet spot for grass length that will maximize its healthiness and palatability to the horse. If you want to keep your pasture nice and trim it's helpful if you can divide it into smaller sections so that your horse doesn't have access to the entire thing 100% of the time.

-If the pasture hasn't been used for horses for a long time you will have to check the grounds often. We worked on ours for a whole year before we got a horse and things are still emerging from the ground after a good rain. Along the way we have found bed springs, beer bottles, you name it. Metal detectors are good, but they won't find all the sharps so plan to walk your property often.
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post #3 of 19 Old 06-19-2015, 11:24 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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As a former general contractor, I would like to add, keep the horses off of the septic tank and leach field areas. It is amazing how much a single horse can compact the ground around him, and how much damage it can cause to a septic system.
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post #4 of 19 Old 06-19-2015, 11:41 AM
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Posts above are good. You will need to cross fence, but will have to mow. Acess to a tractor is a must have. It goes with fence, shelter and water. And your horse will like a buddy. You may find two are no more work that one and gives your the ability to ride with someone.
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post #5 of 19 Old 06-19-2015, 12:03 PM
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A big question is, What do you have on your property and what would you like to have? (barn, run-in, arena, shed etc.)

What kind of fencing do you have?

You'll need at the very least an easily accessible run-in, a hay shed, and possibly a tack shed. Don't forget horse safe fencing if it's not already installed.

Arenas and barns are 'luxury' items and can wait. The fencing and run-in would be priorities, with the hay shed a close second, the tack shed would be third unless you get a pre-fab barn with tack/ feed already in place.

Don't forget about manure management, you need to keep it a specific distance or more away from water sources.
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"They see me rollin, They hatin, Patrolling they tryin to catch me ridin dirty"
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post #6 of 19 Old 06-19-2015, 03:43 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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My horse-keeping situation is very fortuitous. I live on 14 acres, of which about 6 are farm fields. One of the fields is fenced. The fenced area is my winter pasture. On the end closest to the house I have a shelter and water trough. I keep the trough filled via a 75' Flexzilla hose and a frost proof faucet on the outside of the house. The corner post of the fence holds a GFCI outlet with power from its own breaker inside the house. The outlet serves the electric fence energizer and the 1500 watt trough heater that keeps the water available when it is -40 degrees.

In winter I feed round bales, which I stage at the corner of the fence at the end of my driveway. Every morning and night I walk down and throw two piles of hay over the fence. I usually transport the hay one bale at a time in the back of my pickup. The farmer drops it in there with a tractor or skid steer, and when I get it home I take the tailgate off the pickup and roll the bale out on the ground.

When it's time to feed I take all the strings off the first bale, tear the hay loose along the (slightly) downhill side, and throw over the appropriate amount. Next time I roll the bale a few feet, unrolling the hay like a ribbon, and use the hay left lying on the ground for that meal. By the time I've rolled a new bale to the bottom of the incline it's usually light enough to start rolling it back the other way. I don't do anything to protect the bales from the weather. By the time I start feeding in November it is unusual to get much rain anyway.

Having the food at one end of the field and the shelter and water at the other keeps the horses moving, as does whatever corn or soybeans are left from the last harvest. That way the manure is spread fairly evenly across the field. In spring the field is plowed under and the manure is gone. I only clean up around the shelter and water trough area.

The worst job in winter is keeping the trough full. I connect the hose, fill the trough, drain the hose, blow it out, and coil it on the porch. That's an every 3-4 day ritual. The Fexzilla hose stays flexible in subzero weather. It would be much more convenient if I had a hydrant next to the trough, and an automatic watering device like a Ritchie Ecofount https://ritchiefount.com/product/ecofount-1/ would probably pay for itself in electricity savings.

My two horses spend the summer on a ten-acre pasture next door. My neighbor fenced it and invited me to bring my horses over because the grass was getting too tall to find his golf balls. The summer pasture is rough and hilly and dotted with hundreds of trees, so it would be a major effort to use it for anything other than pasture. It has adequate grass to maintain the horses' weight, but the constant movement across the length and width of the rough ten acres keeps them in some kind of condition.

I keep my tack in one of those 8x10 garden sheds you buy as a kit from a building supply store. Mine came from a garage sale, free for the price of moving it. I did an estimate for someone else about the cost of setting up facilities for a horse and came up with $5,000 + for fencing ten acres, $2,500+ for getting pasture established, and maybe $1,500 for a shelter.

I use a DR brush mower for rough mowing around the edges of the field and along the driveway. A tractor would be nice. I would like to be able to move the round bales into the pasture all wrapped in hay net so the horses could nibble 24 hours a day. But I'm getting by, and the farming is all done by someone who rents the land for the summer. My main time consuming task in summer is mowing, and a zero turn would speed that up a lot cheaper than a tractor.
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post #7 of 19 Old 06-19-2015, 05:20 PM
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You save a lot of money keeping horses on your property. You never waste money on stuff like vacations.
sunset878 and clwhizy like this.
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post #8 of 19 Old 06-19-2015, 05:33 PM
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^^^ very true
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post #9 of 19 Old 06-19-2015, 06:16 PM
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less expensive in the long run.
Depending on the are you live, you will need a shade/rain cover or a barn with stalls.
Do you require irrigation ? if so, you need to cross fence, look at various sprinkler irrigation systems, if they require a pump or just gravity feed/water pressure.
You should have some sort of tack shed and flood light in case the Vet is needed out and it is dark. also a place to tie a horse for the farrier or vet, where there is shade in the summer and cover for winter. Also you would need a hay shed.
You my need to supplement with hay, and then be there every day to feed. You could consider a friend to keep a horse and share chores so you have some time off, BUT .. do not expect to keep a friendship , this is usually a good way to end one.
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-20-2015, 04:13 PM
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I have two full height ponies on just under 3 acres and it's very time consuming. I have three paddocks through summer then split them in half again during winter. I pick up poo almost everyday, lay lime down to bring that paddocks back after winter and feed out hay/hard feed. Both of my horses are very good doers but i guess the less land you have the more careful and time consuming it is going to be. Also it helps when you're handy with fixing fences :) i also have one paddock that grows this horrid vine that takes over the grass so i have to keep ripping it out/ spraying. General upkeep is not too difficult though!
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