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Hey y'all! So I am not necessarily a beginner to horses. I have been taking lessons on and off for about 4ish years. I know some basic aspects of riding and care. My passion is helping horses with behavioral issues and I am starting school soon to become certified. However, before practicing, I want to learn all I can.
My mom and I plan on moving in the next 2-3 years to a small farm where I can begin. We will start small by just owning horses. Perhaps rescuing a horse or two. I have spent many hours volunteering at rescues and that is something I will always have a heart for.
During this next 2-3 years and on, I plan on learning, and also getting more hands on experience with horses through volunteering and lessons so I am prepared for ownership and eventually, assisting others with their horses.
I am wondering if there is any books or places I can look to for help in regards to running a horse business? I have also never owned a horse before so any first owner advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated!
Additionally, as a first time owner and land owner, what are some of your suggestions for what I will need in regards to property? My full on business will eventually be moved to a larger farm once I can manage it, but for now I would imagine we would only be on 5 acres or so. We are considering moving somewhere snowy and I have never lived in a snowy place so that is something I am factoring in as well.
I feel like I have lots of dreams and a very basic and wide path in my mind, but just need a bit assistance and information to make it more clear.
 

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5 acres, would have to zoned appropriately, buildings, out buildings and drive would take up a significant amount then add snow so shorter season for grasses. 2 would likely be your limit if you plan on grazing. You could keep more but the more you keep, the more you feed, the more intensive manure management becomes not to mention pen and stall cleaning.


I know someone that has kept up to 20, mostly 15 to 18, on 5. Lived in a mobile home and had a small shed/feed/tackroom. Added on to the trailer, built an indoor full size arena with a row of stalls on one side and loafing area plus equipment storage on the other. Ate up much of the little she had. Not a speck of grass on that place. Some of the horses are hers, some boarders. Some are for lessons, most just stand in tiny pens.

For contrast another near has close to same numbers. Does keep a few over 20 at times. 20 acres, 2 houses and barn that has 20 stalls, tack room, feed room. Has out building for equipment and hay storage. A few run ins. Divided into zones. A couple of rings, full sized outdoor arena, jump areas and course. Lives next to someone else with more acreage and very horses. She leases 40 more. Grass pretty much year round. Hays only a small part of the year. Enough feed to get supplements in.


I have kept the same but mixed woods and pasture, lease more from a horse neighbor and because of the woods fewer acres for grass. Have family property for hay and other animals.

It becomes an issue of intensity of management styles and willingness or ability to put in the time especially if you have to work another job to pay for what you have.

The rescue here has a small property but also leases acreage. The place is kept up beautifully by volunteers and a very small staff that comes in to do specific tasks. Many things she would hire to do donations of service and materials cover. She has an excellent reputation in this area and widely supported by the community. It has taken a long time to build what she has.
 

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Ag Extension office in the areas you look at purchasing property. Visit different feed stores and equine related businesses including the local vets. Go to a few barns whether they be breeders, rescues or lesson barns.
 

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If I were in your position I would try to find a job -- a paying job -- at a barn where you can learn the business end and not just shovel poop and lead horses to pasture and back. Meanwhile I would take business classes at my local community college, learn how to balance books, manage business loans, how to use capital effectively, etc. I would also keep taking lessons. I'd also consider leasing a horse and keeping it at a place with rough board so you can really experience some of the sheer dailiness of horse care.

You are attempting to acquire several quite separate sets of skills.

1. Growing and managing a business
2. Acquiring, developing and managing a country property including managing structures, fences, pastures, manure, water, everything. Believe me, this is a huge set of skills, requiring either enormously deep pockets or a phenomenal ability to work hard and learn fast. If you were not raised to country life it's a steep learning curve.
3. The whole array of horse skills -- riding; selecting, buying, storing, and feeding hay and supplements, veterinary care, farrier care, training, and on and on and on.

Of all the above skills, a hard head for practical business decisions is the one you must start with. There are thousands of soft-hearted horse lovers out there trying to do rescue and/or equine therapy and many are financially underwater, and are desperately overextended and out of their depth. They end up mistreating the horses, the land, and their volunteers.
 

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Hey y'all! So I am not necessarily a beginner to horses. I have been taking lessons on and off for about 4ish years. I know some basic aspects of riding and care. My passion is helping horses with behavioral issues and I am starting school soon to become certified. However, before practicing, I want to learn all I can.
My mom and I plan on moving in the next 2-3 years to a small farm where I can begin. We will start small by just owning horses. Perhaps rescuing a horse or two. I have spent many hours volunteering at rescues and that is something I will always have a heart for.
During this next 2-3 years and on, I plan on learning, and also getting more hands on experience with horses through volunteering and lessons so I am prepared for ownership and eventually, assisting others with their horses.
I am wondering if there is any books or places I can look to for help in regards to running a horse business? I have also never owned a horse before so any first owner advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated!
Additionally, as a first time owner and land owner, what are some of your suggestions for what I will need in regards to property? My full on business will eventually be moved to a larger farm once I can manage it, but for now I would imagine we would only be on 5 acres or so. We are considering moving somewhere snowy and I have never lived in a snowy place so that is something I am factoring in as well.
I feel like I have lots of dreams and a very basic and wide path in my mind, but just need a bit assistance and information to make it more clear.
I would first, on a piece of paper, write down exactly what you want to do (business plan). It's a little unclear to me the direction of your business plan...do you want to board or rehabilitate horses? There's no reason you can't do both but a clear cut plan is in order. Getting an arrow and following that direction will help you achieve success.

Owning a farm that is located in a place that snows will definitely add challenges to horse keeping. You'll have to store hay (usually 150-200 bales per horse, depending on size of bale). Remove snow from driveways, walkways to paddocks, and the manure area. Plus, frozen water buckets is a daily occurrence. Also contending with the sun not rising until 7:30 in the morning and setting at 4:00pm--makes you feel more like you are just surviving and not thriving. Some horses will consume more feed during these physically demanding months. Some may need special care like blanketing. Turnout time can be limited due to ice and other inclement weather conditions like wind chill factor and blizzards. Once the snow begins to melt, you have a new season to contend with--the mud season.

There's a lot you can do to help combat these problems. Heated automatic waterers, a 4-wheeler or side by side to help plow snow and carry hay to outdoor paddocks. These can also pull a small manure spreader to take the manure away from the barn and help improve your soil. An indoor arena so the horses can at least stretch their legs and move around when it's too dangerous for them to be outside (and also a place for you to ride--if you have time!). But these things cost money and sometimes they're not in the budget.

I would look into books that focus on equine first aid and medical care. If you live in a rural area, veterinarians can sometimes be a ways out and you may need to assess and give your horse medical care until the vet arrives. Have a browse on Amazon, I'm sure you can find some books on small scale horse management. You'll definitely want to have some experience under your belt in regards to horse management if you plan on boarding. People are going to need to trust your judgement and want to know you will be able to recognize for example the signs of colic and be able to act appropriately.

This can be a very hard but rewarding lifestyle. You won't get many (if any) vacations, you will work holidays and weekends but if it's your heart's desire you'll love every minute of it!

I wish you luck going forward!
 
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