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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never married, no kids- except the 4 legged kind with hair and/or fur. Just curious how many single ladies out there taking care of their own place and what that has been like for you.

Prior to buying my place 16+ years ago, I had always boarded my horses. I was so tired of dealing with barn drama and just wanted my own place. I grew up on a small farm. It was considered a hobby farm since my dad was a school teacher and my mom worked in an office. The farm was more to appease my mother's love of horses, albeit she did not get to grow up with them. I "inherited" the horse genes I guess and had always yearned for my own place.

When I moved here, it was just a house and a small shed. I immediately had a 40x60 barn built, had to put up fencing so I could move the horses. From there, it was building an arena, getting water lines and electricity run back there. Over time, I have added another 38' x 52' building onto the original barn to have an area for the horses to hang out during the day, a shavings bin and 4 more stalls. I had several people caution me that if I built more stalls, I would get more horses- but so far I have proved them wrong. I knew if I was going to add onto the barn, I wanted to do this in a way that would make the investment help increase my property value. The extra stalls are more or less empty.

Being single and taking care of the farm has it's own trade offs from boarding. Going out of town is extremely difficult, trying to find good help. Even then, it can be stressful as it always seems an animal may come up sick or signs of being off that leave you wondering if you should still leave. I'm pretty handy at most things, but do not attempt electrical or plumbing projects. I'm pretty handy with power tools and can do a lot of my own maintenance, but it can get overwhelming at times.

All in all though, I love being able to walk out the back of my house and watch my horses and nature- knowing its all mine. I've thought about boarding a horse or two in exchange for help around the farm, but decided it was likely going to be more hassle than benefit. And, even charging for board wouldn't be profitable enough to make the intrusion on my farm to be worth it in the end.

I hope to stay here for many more years to come. Any other single ladies out there? Guys can respond too, but typically you men are much more handy with the projects us ladies need a man's skill/ strength for the barn. :)
 

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I did for 8 years and then got married. It was a miniature farmette, only 2 acres and I had 2 horses. I got very good at keeping an old junk lawnmower that was beyond needing replaced up and running and I'm no mechanic. Would just tinker with stuff until it worked. One weekend I was digging post holes for a new fence and a male customer from where I worked drove by and saw me out there so stopped and volunteered his muscle. He dug one hole before he came up with an excuse to leave. He did admit he didn't know how I'd already gotten so many done.

I've got admit though having a handyman husband has been, well, handy because I for sure couldn't take care of this farm by myself (50 acres, 9 horses). Maybe when I was younger like I was back then but now I can't move fast enough to get a lot accomplished in a days time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did for 8 years and then got married. It was a miniature farmette, only 2 acres and I had 2 horses. I got very good at keeping an old junk lawnmower that was beyond needing replaced up and running and I'm no mechanic. Would just tinker with stuff until it worked. One weekend I was digging post holes for a new fence and a male customer from where I worked drove by and saw me out there so stopped and volunteered his muscle. He dug one hole before he came up with an excuse to leave. He did admit he didn't know how I'd already gotten so many done.

I've got admit though having a handyman husband has been, well, handy because I for sure couldn't take care of this farm by myself (50 acres, 9 horses). Maybe when I was younger like I was back then but now I can't move fast enough to get a lot accomplished in a days time.
I had to chuckle when you mentioned the customer/ friend who stopped to help you with your post hole digging. I have traditionally worked in the city and whenever I would meet men in the city and they didn't really have a clue about rural / farm life, they always thought it was "cute" that I had my own place. But, similar to your story, once they started figuring out that their weekends wouldn't involved planting their butts in front of the tv watching football every weekend, I would hear things like, "I have grass allergies", "I have this old injury in my back...", you name it. NEXT!!! Until I just have pretty much given up. It doesn't really bother me, but having a "handy" guy around would be nice. I do have an older friend who has been a great help. He will be 81 this June but still runs a bobcat, backhoe, climbs ladders and all sorts of stuff men half his age struggle with the work he does. Once I don't have his help anymore, it will be an even bigger challenge as it's just not realistic to hire everything that needs to be done. I am pretty self-sufficient and can do a lot of DIY stuff but I'm not getting any younger and sometimes I lack the tools and knowledge to do stuff the way it should be done.

Thanks for sharing!
 

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I was always of the opinion that who cares what it looks like as long as it works. LOL I'm sure my fence posts weren't even but I had no more escapes so I was happy. I lived and worked in the city back then too (Indianapolis, IN) but there were still places in the outskirts of the county where you could have a farm. There is hardly any left now. Hubby was a city boy who had grandparents that lived on a farm down in Kentucky and he spent some time with them every summer. He still has some city boy ways and thinking that drives me crazy but I have traits that get on his nerves too so we're even. LOL
 

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I am single and run my own farmette, small 5 acre.... but I do like to travel(well not so much this year) so I have an awesome house sitter that doesn't charge an arm and a leg, just wants good food in the fridge and loves to use my air fryer for wings and fries. I honestly don't care how he leaves the house just as long as the animals are cared for. He loves my dog.... his family has horses and I'm confident they would know more what to do if something happened then I would.

To me it's a lot of work and I'm alway behind because I do like to play and sometimes I have to work late hours. Even though it's at home it's hard sometimes to get away.

I have 3 horses, wish it was only 2. Someone talked me into staying in horses once the ones I had retired. But it's so much work I love my horses but there's always something to do.

I used to LOVE camping but this year it just seemed so much work only to do the same thing there(clean stalls, feed and water) as I could do here in the comfort of my house...

I do like going out and seeing the horses but right now it's cold and their round bale is down and it rained so it will be hard to get another round balel out there.. and I'm worried they are too cold.

Whew this turned into a rant! lol
 

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In my twenties I had a few acres, wooden buildings and a stone stable block. They were a mix of my own, rented and free to use.

I remember bringing in a 'professional' to tidy and fix a boundary fence and he did an awful job. I was not happy at the end result and told him extactly what i thought about the quality of his work and sent him packing. I spent the next few days hammering-in posts and tighting and replacing wire. I got really good at swinging a sledghammer and the fence was fixed to my satisfaction.

Another time, we had a really bad winter storm and the wind brought down many mature trees, some of which landed across the boundary fence. I had to saw limbs and drag branches out of the way to patch the wire. It was exhausting and I was soaked to the skin, my hair was plastered to my face and I was freezing, but I was determined that it was not going to beat me.

Throughout the battle, I was entertained by my neighbour appearing every so often to watch or drive by; far too often to be a coincidence. The next time I saw him, he admitted that he wanted to ask if I needed help but didn't know how to approach the subject, he thought that I looked like I might not appreciate him interfering. Honestly, I would have been happy for the help but I did not need it. I realised that I had to be self-sufficient as I was on my own and had to learn how to do as much DIY as I could manage. It included fixing buildings and their roofs, managing the land and patching paths and roads around the buildings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I am single and run my own farmette, small 5 acre.... but I do like to travel(well not so much this year) so I have an awesome house sitter that doesn't charge an arm and a leg, just wants good food in the fridge and loves to use my air fryer for wings and fries. I honestly don't care how he leaves the house just as long as the animals are cared for. He loves my dog.... his family has horses and I'm confident they would know more what to do if something happened then I would.

To me it's a lot of work and I'm alway behind because I do like to play and sometimes I have to work late hours. Even though it's at home it's hard sometimes to get away.

I have 3 horses, wish it was only 2. Someone talked me into staying in horses once the ones I had retired. But it's so much work I love my horses but there's always something to do.

I used to LOVE camping but this year it just seemed so much work only to do the same thing there(clean stalls, feed and water) as I could do here in the comfort of my house...

I do like going out and seeing the horses but right now it's cold and their round bale is down and it rained so it will be hard to get another round balel out there.. and I'm worried they are too cold.

Whew this turned into a rant! lol
That's so awesome you have a reliable house sitter!!! And, for so reasonable! I like to travel also, but that is just so difficult due to finding people I can trust. Several years ago I went to Europe for 3 weeks. I bet I spent at least 2 months getting ready, I was stressed about being gone but excited to travel.

When I moved here, I was certain I needed a tractor with a loader. This was to be able to keep my pastures mowed and move my manure pile from the stalls. I bought an 85 Massey Fergeson and absolutely loved having the tractor. But, over time it got frustrating as it was hard to find someone who knew how to work on such an old tractor and it seemed like whenever I needed it, there was something needing to be fixed that was outside my own DIY skills. So, I finally sold it. I thought I would be sad, but I was relieved not to have another maintenance issue around. I now use a big zero turn mower to mow the pastures and I pay someone to come take away my manure pile periodically.

I do love camping also, but share the same sentiments about the work that follows. I have tried to do as much as I can to simplify keeping up the place. Some of the things I did within the first year getting this place and getting the barn built was I had crush n run put in my 3 turn out lots and all around the barn so there would be no mud. I have since replaced (overlaid really) the crush n run with millings. I did this because I was having to replace the crush n run every few years due to run off. The millings don't go anywhere and it works just the same. I have 5 acres also and have my pasture divided up into 5 sections so I can rotate. I am fortunate that I also have the use of 5 acres next door from my older neighbor. Years ago, we worked out a deal where I would pay to have her land fenced, minus the area around her house in exchange for using the land. It's worked out great. There is just a gate between our property. I do worry though cuz she is 74 or 75 and while she plans to stay there until she dies, I worry about the next owner and what they might put in that pasture given that the fences are right on our property lines.

I seem to have internal conversations with myself on a pretty frequent basis about how I get tired of always having projects needing to be done, whether it's fixing the electric fencing that has shorted "somewhere", painting projects, the list goes on. But, when I think about the alternative of living in town, it just makes me shudder. For the ladies that have handy DH's, they are very fortunate but I also know nothing is ever a perfect situation.

Sometimes its just nice to share the struggles with others who understand, so vent away! LOL
 

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I've managed a ranch. Been on the cowboy crew of a couple. Do day work. And have my own lease.

Some day I hope to be handy at it.

I found the loader/backhoe to be my best friend. Mine is a '66 JD that one outfit didn't like and I rebuilt all the hydraulic lines on. Not changed. The equipment dealer said that thing was going to put my boss in the poor house if I bought all new hoses, so he made me learn to do the fittings myself. The ranch gave it to me when I left and it's been a back and life saver.

I never turn down advice or help. Even if I don't take all of it. I also make sure I help everyone I can. I read about pasture management. Utilize the county extension office. And hang around successful farmers and ranchers to listen.

YouTube is awesome for plumbing, parts changing, and general maintenance. I learned fencing from my husband, who was so good at it, there is a type of fence corner people here credit him with inventing. He hated fencing and said it was only to avoid doing it twice.

It's a good lifestyle. Protect your back. Be safe to the point of being a scaredy cat. And you might make it to old age in one piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I found the loader/backhoe to be my best friend. Mine is a '66 JD that one outfit didn't like and I rebuilt all the hydraulic lines on. Not changed. The equipment dealer said that thing was going to put my boss in the poor house if I bought all new hoses, so he made me learn to do the fittings myself. The ranch gave it to me when I left and it's been a back and life saver.
That's quite impressive!

I think one of my big hang ups is I am a perfectionist. And, while I have had to learn how to accept things won't turn out perfect like I want a lot of the time, but it is my natural tendency.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
About men being able to do work---- Thoroughbreds are fast enough to hurt themselves. Men are strong enough to hurt themselves. This occured to me watching my cowboy husband pull a fence post out of the ground.
A couple of weeks ago, the older guy that helps me from time to time and even lets me borrow his bobcat as needed- this time he was helping me replace fencing on one side of the property. We needed to replace several t-posts, as the fence had already been re-stretched and just needed to be re-attached. Rather than breaking our backs using the heavy fence pounder, he was up in the bobcat using the bucket to push the t-posts in. I was on the ground holding the t-post in place. This was along a tree line and so sometimes where a t-post needed to go was in the way of tree roots- so it was sometimes trial and error. Well, this t-post did start going in, but I needed to keep hold for just a bit longer until it got in the ground. Well, little did I realize the t-post had hit a root, the bucket was still pushing down, the t-post slid side ways and I got a good BONK on the head from the bucket of the bobcat. That one really smarted for awhile.
 

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About men being able to do work---- Thoroughbreds are fast enough to hurt themselves. Men are strong enough to hurt themselves. This occured to me watching my cowboy husband pull a fence post out of the ground.
Yes, and less likely to admit that they've been hurt, in my experinece; usually when a small injury needs more treatment.
 

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In my experience as a nurse most men will not go to a doctor unless at the point of a gun (held by a woman).
 
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