The Horse Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm going to be a brand new horse owner!!! ever since I was little I've wanted my own horse. I collected models, read every book and watched every movie, I even trotted around the playground at school, imagining i was galloping a beautiful bay mare. When I got older I was able to snag a few riding opportunities. Like paying for trail rides or cantering my old neighbors gelding and mare around his pasture and i rode 4 years at a rodeo camp in the horsemanship classes. But I finally have the opportunity to buy my own horse, we have a little 1 acre paddock with pretty good grass but I'm going to be riding them a lot. The problem I have is what to do about WHERE I have to ride them. I live in a rocky area and we also have a lot of woods so walking around the mountain on hiking trails seems like itd be more difficult than fun. I don't want to tear up what little pasture we have by riding them in the paddock and the only other place I could ride them is in my yard, which is small and rocky. I could also ride them on the road but I'm keeping them barefoot for money reasons and I'm paranoid they'll hurt their feet or get stone bruises... what do I do? I don't live near any barns or stables and if I brought my horse to trails wouldn't they be just as rocky as the ones at home? I'd have to travel out of my state to get a decent gallop in. Please help with ideas of where to ride... thanks
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,968 Posts
Please remember that it is unlikely for a horse to be happy and sane living without other horses or at least a goat. There are some out there who would be fine with it but they aren’t very common.

Regarding your question, there are pull-on boots for trails. I haven’t used them so someone might come along who had experience with them to elaborate.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
"Domestic horses do not reason that they do not need to worry about predators. Their instincts tell them that there are predators lurking around every corner and therefore they still feel much safer in a herd than alone. Horses that live alone do not get to benefit from the shared responsibilities of herd life and all the benefits of social behaviour."
It's best to get a companion to live with the rest of your pets.Mine always have a good time with my dogs.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,014 Posts
WRT riding on the road -- it's my understanding that you don't actually want shoes to ride on the road. Apparently they increase concussive force and can be slippery. You'd be better off with boots for that.

With even just one horse one it, your one acre isn't going to be grass for long.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TrainedByMares

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,491 Posts
Welcome to the Forum....

So....people mean well, have the best intentions in comment given, but....
For financial reasons you've already said no shoes probably also means no second animal, no second mouth to feed and no second vet bills.....
So, cross that, "second animal" when and if it becomes a issue cause I personally have had the horse who hated company of another horse, donkey and he did not like goats {would chase them to kill them!}

As for your "pasture" and keeping of grass.....
I will give you 10 days and not much is going to be left by the time a mouth is eating it 20 out of 24 hour and walking around in it and pooping/urinating is also going to make it non-palatable for the horse.
You must plan to feed hay year-round unless you can find dedicated pasture of about 2-acres you can rotate when, how often and for how long your horse is permitted to graze.
2-acres is a minimum amount where you can let the horse loose to graze and not manage very carefully, I actually prefer 3 acres per horse to go out and just graze...
Because it is green does not make it palatable to our horses who are picky eaters!
For me, till I was able to get more land my horses, we have 2 currently, have a 1 acre paddock they call home.
Our backyard is fully fenced and as a treat we bring the horses into the yard to graze for a hour or so then back to their paddock.
I have dogs so....my horses do not like my dogs and will try to kick them if they get near their feet/legs so beware of that too.
I now rent a adjoining pasture of 5 acres for our horses to have, but even that is not endless grazing, it isn't.

What I would do is ride in your paddock area as you need to since you wrote ground seems best in footing and level.
I would invest in hoof boots and use them when going out on the trails....but before spending that kind of money, see if the horse needs them cause some horses don't truthfully.
I'm going to call @bsms here, another member who has a very difficult terrain of desert, cactus and rocks and he rides his horses for hours at a time and never a bad step and you might be blessed with a horse who has a similar hoof material and needs nothing but farrier trims at scheduled intervals...
bsms might be able to offer a different perspective than many have with what he lives and rides in, called home...
Your farrier is also a great resource for which manufacturer, what model boot they see your horse needing if they need at all.
Some things are trial and error, honest.

WELCOME to horse ownership and enjoy the new journey... ;)
🐴.... jmo...
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
8,172 Posts
Congratulations!!

I second the idea of hoof boots. Roads are treacherous with regular shoes; they are like riding on ice. Sure, it’s fine at a walk, but if anything goes wrong you’d better look out.

As far as hiking trails go, it will depend on the horse and the trails. If the horse is a gentle plug who’s good in the mountains you might really enjoy it.

Whatever you do, congratulations. I’m sure you’re super excited.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,421 Posts
Just FYI…when I had my mare Angelina, her pasture was approximately one acre and she had plenty of grass (however we live in an area with good rainfall.)
And she loved being the only horse after being the low horse on the totem pole at her former home.
Try your new horse on the road and see how he fares. Angelina was always barefoot and she did fine riding the roads.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
51,769 Posts
I hate to be the Debbie Downer, but you 'have the opportunity' to get a horse, but the other things from your post make me wonder if this is the best choice. You are saying that you could not do shoes due to financial reasons. If that is so, it sounds like you would also be very stressed, financially, to provide for emergency medical needs, and I guarantee they will happen. Even no real 'emergency ' needs come up. I would never council anyone to buy a horse that does not have a decent financial 'cushion'.

If you get a horse, can it live alone? really consider this. If so, you will need to fence off the pasture to make a dry paddock, and lleave some of the pasture for MANAGED grazing times. Will you be around to feed twice a day, turn out, take in. ?

You will soon be very bored riding only in the one acre pasture. You will want someone to ride with, hopefully someone with a trailer so you all can get out and ride decent trails. Is that a possibility? You sound like a pretty 'green' horseperson with regards to horse care and training (if there are behavior issues). Do you know someone experienced who can help you?

When I was young I thought for sure I could keep a horse in my suburban backyard. How little I really knew! But, it had been my dream since forever, since I galloped in fields pretending to be a horse, since I held jumprope reins, since I saved all year to spend one week a year at 'horse camp', since I begged rides on my neighbor's horse. That love, that dream, it's painfully real. But, if things just aren't right as they are, then I recommend waiting.
Ok, my job as party pooper is done. I just can't help the 'reality' based views I have.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
Let's not be uncharitable. Perhaps OP does have the money and just doesn't want to use shoes because they've drafted a budget. Lots of people choose not to shoe because it's more economical and a place where they can cut costs. We all budget and try to make keeping our horses as affordable as possible.

However, OP, perhaps it's more realistic to board or find a lease arrangement. With your limited space on your own property keeping a horse there might be next to impossible in all honesty. They're large animals that require a large amount of space. Leasing also is a great option because veterinary bills won't be your responsibility, usually. So as far as budgeting goes that's a great relief. This would also put you in direct contact with people who can help you in person whenever you need. In addition you may want or need space to ride other than just navigating rocky trails. A boarding facility would allow for this.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
You might ask around and join a local riding club. You would then have access to an arena, make new friends with which to meet up and ride, go to trail rides and play days, and ask them where they get good hay, who they use for a vet and why, etc. You'll find there are lots of horses that go barefoot and lots that never do, some get lots of turnout and some are stalled up most of the time with very controlled turnout. Some are relaxed around dogs, and some are not. If your horse is alone at home, he will likely enjoy getting to be around the other horses at these get-togethers. Get someone to show you how to paste worm your own horse, safely pick up his feet to pick them out and/or trim and file them, mix your own fly spray, order and administer your own spring vaccines. Forums like this provide a good place to search for problems and advice. YouTube wasn't around when I first started riding about 35 years ago, but I had married into a horse show/rodeo family. Keep an open mind and try not to get your feelings hurt -- most of all, love your horse and enjoy the ride!!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Please remember that it is unlikely for a horse to be happy and sane living without other horses or at least a goat. There are some out there who would be fine with it but they aren’t very common.

Regarding your question, there are pull-on boots for trails. I haven’t used them so someone might come along who had experience with them to elaborate.
Thanks for your concern but ill be keeping them with my cousins horse so they won't be lonely. As for the hiking boots ill check them out! Thank you!!!
Please remember that it is unlikely for a horse to be happy and sane living without other horses or at least a goat. There are some out there who would be fine with it but they aren’t very common.

Regarding your question, there are pull-on boots for trails. I haven’t used them so someone might come along who had experience with them to elaborate.
Thank for your concern but I'm keeping them with my cousins horse so they won't be lonely :) as for boots I'll check them out!!! Thanks
 

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
"Domestic horses do not reason that they do not need to worry about predators. Their instincts tell them that there are predators lurking around every corner and therefore they still feel much safer in a herd than alone. Horses that live alone do not get to benefit from the shared responsibilities of herd life and all the benefits of social behaviour."
It's best to get a companion to live with the rest of your pets.Mine always have a good time with my dogs.
Thank you for your concern :) I'm keeping my horse with my cousin's so they won't be lonely
 

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
WRT riding on the road -- it's my understanding that you don't actually want shoes to ride on the road. Apparently they increase concussive force and can be slippery. You'd be better off with boots for that.

With even just one horse one it, your one acre isn't going to be grass for long.
Yes I've heard about the extra concussion force on their legs when they wear shoes on hard surfaces. That's another reason I'd prefer not to shoe. Also I have another area the horses can graze while their main pasture grows out. Thanks :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Welcome to the Forum....

So....people mean well, have the best intentions in comment given, but....
For financial reasons you've already said no shoes probably also means no second animal, no second mouth to feed and no second vet bills.....
So, cross that, "second animal" when and if it becomes a issue cause I personally have had the horse who hated company of another horse, donkey and he did not like goats {would chase them to kill them!}

As for your "pasture" and keeping of grass.....
I will give you 10 days and not much is going to be left by the time a mouth is eating it 20 out of 24 hour and walking around in it and pooping/urinating is also going to make it non-palatable for the horse.
You must plan to feed hay year-round unless you can find dedicated pasture of about 2-acres you can rotate when, how often and for how long your horse is permitted to graze.
2-acres is a minimum amount where you can let the horse loose to graze and not manage very carefully, I actually prefer 3 acres per horse to go out and just graze...
Because it is green does not make it palatable to our horses who are picky eaters!
For me, till I was able to get more land my horses, we have 2 currently, have a 1 acre paddock they call home.
Our backyard is fully fenced and as a treat we bring the horses into the yard to graze for a hour or so then back to their paddock.
I have dogs so....my horses do not like my dogs and will try to kick them if they get near their feet/legs so beware of that too.
I now rent a adjoining pasture of 5 acres for our horses to have, but even that is not endless grazing, it isn't.

What I would do is ride in your paddock area as you need to since you wrote ground seems best in footing and level.
I would invest in hoof boots and use them when going out on the trails....but before spending that kind of money, see if the horse needs them cause some horses don't truthfully.
I'm going to call @bsms here, another member who has a very difficult terrain of desert, cactus and rocks and he rides his horses for hours at a time and never a bad step and you might be blessed with a horse who has a similar hoof material and needs nothing but farrier trims at scheduled intervals...
bsms might be able to offer a different perspective than many have with what he lives and rides in, called home...
Your farrier is also a great resource for which manufacturer, what model boot they see your horse needing if they need at all.
Some things are trial and error, honest.

WELCOME to horse ownership and enjoy the new journey... ;)
🐴.... jmo...
I could've phrased it better but by "financial reasons" I mean I'd rather not because horses don't really need them and it's an easy way to save money. In reality I have 7.5 acres of land but most of it is wooded, rocky mountain. I do have several small cleared areas with grass that I'm planning on switching my horses between but to make sure they stay fat and happy I am planning on feeding hay year round. Thank you so much for your concern and I'll look more into hoof boots in case my horse isn't blessed with good hooves. Thanks!! :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Congratulations!!

I second the idea of hoof boots. Roads are treacherous with regular shoes; they are like riding on ice. Sure, it’s fine at a walk, but if anything goes wrong you’d better look out.

As far as hiking trails go, it will depend on the horse and the trails. If the horse is a gentle plug who’s good in the mountains you might really enjoy it.

Whatever you do, congratulations. I’m sure you’re super excited.
Thank you so much I am in fact super excited. And I'll look into horse boots too! Thanks :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just FYI…when I had my mare Angelina, her pasture was approximately one acre and she had plenty of grass (however we live in an area with good rainfall.)
And she loved being the only horse after being the low horse on the totem pole at her former home.
Try your new horse on the road and see how he fares. Angelina was always barefoot and she did fine riding the roads.
I am planning on keeping my horse with a second one so even if my pasture is like yours and can survive the constant gnawing at by one horse I doubt it would survive two... however i have another small area I'm planning on switching the horses too to let the main pasture grow out again. Also thank you for the supportive comment your very kind :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I hate to be the Debbie Downer, but you 'have the opportunity' to get a horse, but the other things from your post make me wonder if this is the best choice. You are saying that you could not do shoes due to financial reasons. If that is so, it sounds like you would also be very stressed, financially, to provide for emergency medical needs, and I guarantee they will happen. Even no real 'emergency ' needs come up. I would never council anyone to buy a horse that does not have a decent financial 'cushion'.

If you get a horse, can it live alone? really consider this. If so, you will need to fence off the pasture to make a dry paddock, and lleave some of the pasture for MANAGED grazing times. Will you be around to feed twice a day, turn out, take in. ?

You will soon be very bored riding only in the one acre pasture. You will want someone to ride with, hopefully someone with a trailer so you all can get out and ride decent trails. Is that a possibility? You sound like a pretty 'green' horseperson with regards to horse care and training (if there are behavior issues). Do you know someone experienced who can help you?

When I was young I thought for sure I could keep a horse in my suburban backyard. How little I really knew! But, it had been my dream since forever, since I galloped in fields pretending to be a horse, since I held jumprope reins, since I saved all year to spend one week a year at 'horse camp', since I begged rides on my neighbor's horse. That love, that dream, it's painfully real. But, if things just aren't right as they are, then I recommend waiting.
Ok, my job as party pooper is done. I just can't help the 'reality' based views I have.
Thanks for the concern but I'm planning on keeping my horse with my cousin's, I have another area I'll be switching then to periodically, I could've said it better but I'm not shoeing to cut corners and save money, I have a savings account for emergency vet bills and I have PLENTY of spare time for my future baby :) I've been doing more research and have come up with a few solutions to my problem so I feel like I am ready. Your concern is very appreciated thank you so much!!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Let's not be uncharitable. Perhaps OP does have the money and just doesn't want to use shoes because they've drafted a budget. Lots of people choose not to shoe because it's more economical and a place where they can cut costs. We all budget and try to make keeping our horses as affordable as possible.

However, OP, perhaps it's more realistic to board or find a lease arrangement. With your limited space on your own property keeping a horse there might be next to impossible in all honesty. They're large animals that require a large amount of space. Leasing also is a great option because veterinary bills won't be your responsibility, usually. So as far as budgeting goes that's a great relief. This would also put you in direct contact with people who can help you in person whenever you need. In addition you may want or need space to ride other than just navigating rocky trails. A boarding facility would allow for this.
Thank you for the supportive comment and your concern. I actually have 7.5 acres of land but the majority of it is woods, rocks and mountain. I do, however, have a few extra areas I can move my horse between to let the grass grow and keep it from being over-eaten. Thanks so much!! :D
 

· Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You might ask around and join a local riding club. You would then have access to an arena, make new friends with which to meet up and ride, go to trail rides and play days, and ask them where they get good hay, who they use for a vet and why, etc. You'll find there are lots of horses that go barefoot and lots that never do, some get lots of turnout and some are stalled up most of the time with very controlled turnout. Some are relaxed around dogs, and some are not. If your horse is alone at home, he will likely enjoy getting to be around the other horses at these get-togethers. Get someone to show you how to paste worm your own horse, safely pick up his feet to pick them out and/or trim and file them, mix your own fly spray, order and administer your own spring vaccines. Forums like this provide a good place to search for problems and advice. YouTube wasn't around when I first started riding about 35 years ago, but I had married into a horse show/rodeo family. Keep an open mind and try not to get your feelings hurt -- most of all, love your horse and enjoy the ride!!
Thank you so so much all of your ideas sound fantastic!!! I'll be sure to take your advice and most definitely I will love them and enjoy the ride more than anything!!! :) :)
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top