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Discussion on Cost of keeping a horse at home

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cp
Member
Username: Cpacer

Post Number: 144
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 1:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My husband and I have recently started looking at property where I could keep my horse at home. I board right now and only have one horse, but understand I would also need to get him some friends if we are to live with him.

This is a huge step for us ex-Los Angelenos, and we both work full-time about 30-miles from where we’re looking for property. Not only is it a big step to own some acreage, but also taking on more horses. I think for companions I’d look at finding some rescue horses that don’t necessarily need to be rideable, and possibly a mini-donkey (just cause they’re cute). I’d also consider a boarder or two to help offset cost of owning all my own, but worry about the ties that can come with that too.

Anyway, of course my husband wants to know REALLY, how much does it cost to keep a horse at home. I know about the usual costs outside of boarding fees like training, vet visits, farrier, dentist, etc., but I don’t really know about buying my own feed, how much to buy/when, and what kind of money goes into maintaining a pasture, etc.. We’re looking in the 5-10 acre range for the sake estimates (probably closer to 5 acres seeing as we have to go to regular jobs everyday).

Anyone have advice on what to expect cost-wise? I’m sure there’s a ton of stuff to think about that only someone who’s been there before could know. The cost of having just one horse turned out to be double what I expected, will this be the same? Is there a dollar amount that can be applied monthly per horse?
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joj
Member
Username: Jojo15

Post Number: 666
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 2:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

THE peace of mind is worth all the costs in the world.

I have done both. Stabled for 10 years. and now have my own property. first thing is you DONT need to take on more animals if you don't want to. A barn cat can keep your horse happy. even chickens, or a goat will prove good friends for your horse. I do keep all mine in separate paddocks though.

A barn is imperative. So keep that in mind. While you are away in the beginning you will probably want to keep the horse put up. As you get more comfy in the new surroundings that might not be a factor any longer. but a pen of some sort for vet visits, illness monitoring, dentist, farrier, is important.

Feeding is only an issue based on how much you can buy at one time. The barn comes in handy for this too. where you might have paid for full board, feed included, you will now pay a premium because you can only buy 20- or so bales at a time. where the barn you were at might have bought for a whole season.I rather buy in smaller amounts, this to keep everything fresher. Feed too isn't an issue, everything comes in manageable bags. and you can buy 1 or two at a time. I started out going and getting a few bales and a few bags of feed every week. Now i order all animal feeds, well supplies, home supplies, farm supplies from the local feed store. they deliver and its economical.

Fencing and paddocks were my biggest expense. And adding a shed for all the feed stuff. Learn to do it yourself and the cost is minimal. Hire someone to put up fencing or fix it, and its triple the cost.

I'm losing my acre to weeds. i had two horses on it. and its just not enough. plus goats and pigs...One horse per acre is what they recommend. if you have five acres and one horse than you can rotate without any problems. let one sit while horse is on another.

life becomes more lax with a horse with you. you don't have to listen to others. You can make it up as you go along. And you will only spend more money than before because now you want to... not because you have to.

One expense was the tractor i bought. make sure you get an extended warranty. came in handy. Figure out the well system, and how to fix it yourself. and keep your car in good shape. I would hate to get stuck on a desolate road in the middle of nowhere. Not like a city. and i found i drive longer distances. And do outings in batches... can't just run to the store for milk when its 10 miles...

Now that i think about it. The horse part of the transistion was so easy. It was the house and well, and septic and all that goes with living in a rural area that i wasn't prepared for. Try to buy a newer house, this way your life isn't spent on fixing up the property. and you can enjoy your horse more. I do say though i ride less having her here, than when i stabled... but i don't care. i just love every minute of it. Nothing better than waking up to a horse in your window... going hey whats for breakfast...

For the horse the only thing that i found i bought more of... was carrots...grin.
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Liliana Velasco Ariza
Member
Username: Liliana5

Post Number: 66
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 2:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Exelent advice Joj,

Only I really feel that a horse by itself is never truly happy they are gregarious, so at least an old chap or something or even DIY livery?! That way he has company and you don't have the extra work plus the other person could lend a hand may be some times...

Especially if you have the acres...
It may work
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Chris Stevens
Member
Username: Stevens

Post Number: 14
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 2:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Good points, but let me put a more pragmatic spin on it. If you have unlimited funds and time, then yes, having your horses at home is always the best choice.

My husband has repeatedly tried to get me to agree to horse property, in Los Angeles county, since it has to be cheaper than boarding 3 horses. Like you, we both work full time.

Here's the rub: Feeding and cleaning would clearly be my responsibility. With a full-time job already, this would leave little time for actually riding/exercise. Note also that I mostly ride in the evenings due to my work schedule, so I would want/need both an arena and adequate lighting. Oh yeah, and I'm real picky about footing.

Social interaction and safety are other concerns. It's really nice to have other "horse people" around to bounce ideas off of and get to "take a look" at things. I like to have someone at least on the property when I'm riding to call the ambulance if necessary.

Now, let's talk about ever going on a vacation or out of town for a family emergency. If you can find someone competent that you can trust with your horses, you'll be one of the lucky ones.

In my dream world, yes,I'd definitely want my horses at home with all the amenities of a first class boarding stable. While the financial cost to keep a horse may not be substantially different from boarding, I find that the additional investment in time is more than I can provide given my current work status.

Good Luck!
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: Hwood

Post Number: 1065
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 2:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Good questions, cp. I'm sure someone in the NC area can give you more cost specifics.

One thing I have found is that no matter how much money I have, I can always spend it . . . There are less expensive ways and more expensive ways of caring for horses . . . When you are keeping them for yourself, you have to figure on the quality of materials you want to use for fencing and housing, and realize that the cost of hay and grain is variable from year to year. I have been told that boarding doesn't really MAKE money . . . just helps cover the cost of the boarded horse . . . but by the time you buy feed, repair damage to pastures and fences and buildings, take time off for sick horses and vet calls . . . buy liability insurance and care/custody/control insurance . . . there really isn't much profit in boarding, and there is an increased responsibility . . . unless, of course, your boarder offers to help with the care, cleaning, repair, etc.

I wouldn't trade having my horses on my own property for anything, but in order to keep your costs down, consider moving to an area where there are other people with horses. Then, maybe your horse can have next-door neighbors that aren't your responsibility . . . or maybe you can share pasture space and rotate pastures with a neighbor. Mini's, goats, needy horses, all may make good companions for your horse, but you have to figure in the different size equipment, gates, fences, different types of feed, vaccinations, hoof trimming, etc. that you will need for the smaller animals. Needy animals from rescues sometimes come with health issues that need special care and/or feeding. Also, if the National Animal ID system becomes mandatory across the nation, you will be paying for microchips and registration for each animal and have to give account of the movement off the property of each animal . . . At least, that is how it stands at present. In order to make LESS stress for you, especially with your work schedules and the fact that you won't be on the premises to watch the animals, you may want to consider buying into an area where you have some horsey neighbors.

After saying all that, I have to say that I have had up to 9 horses at a time . . . on two different properties, in one of the hardest places there is to do chores in the winters, with no tractor, no help, and no money . . . LOL . . . and some of those horses were needy ones . . . and it was all worthwhile. The way my horses paid for themselves was by giving lessons, being leased to 4-H members, and being used as summer horsemanship camp mounts. I rarely had to take out of my meager salary to pay for the horses . . . but it was a lot of work, and sometimes, a lot of worry . . . and I'd do it all again.

I know you'll get different responses from different members. What it boils down to is "what do you want for yourselves, your life together, and for your horse?"
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Erika L
Member
Username: Erika

Post Number: 124
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 3:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Good idea Liliana, I find that it is good to have another person 'rough board' because you can cover for each other. You know they will be there if their horse gets hungry, too. And it is company for your horse that you won't have trouble getting rid of if things don't work out.
As for expenses, it is so variable that I doubt anyone can tell you what you will spend. Pasture acreage is a big factor. I didn't even have to feed my horses at all for several months a year--until got one more! For some reason, going from three, to four horses put my pastures over the top. I spend way more now in pasture maintenance (fertilizer, lime, seeding, everything!). Not to mention fence wear and tear. some horses are definitely harder on them than others.
My best advice would be to take the cost of board in your area as your estimate. Certainly no one gets rich on boarding horses, and the actual costs usually have a very slim profit margin.
One last thing, considering all the other horse work you will put in, you may find, like I do, that you actually ride less. You'll get your "horsey fix" mucking and feeding, and just hanging around the barn! It is great to look out your window and see them right there, though.
Best of luck!
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Erika L
Member
Username: Erika

Post Number: 125
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 3:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wow, we all jumped in there at the same time with pretty much the same answer, huh? Holly, I completely forgot about winter! Frozen barn pipes mean hauling water buckets from the house occasionally, yuck, brrr.
Hey CP, why don't you just shop for a house NEXT DOOR to a boarding stable?
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Sue G
Member
Username: Warwick

Post Number: 311
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 3:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

CP - be warned! Once you get your own place, you will inexplicably acquire more horses! Some sort of other-worldly force will take over you and any form of resistance is futile.

'Nuff said.
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Liliana Velasco Ariza
Member
Username: Liliana5

Post Number: 67
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 3:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Too true Sue, I started with a mare and a stallion that were abandoned tied to a tree. Four years down the line I now have 10, how? resistance is indeed futile. I guess is a bit like having a big tool shed, before you know it you have more stuff that you'll ever need!
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Angie
Member
Username: Ajudson1

Post Number: 399
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 3:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think with owning horses you just keep spending more and more every year. You can start with a shelter and basic hot wire fencing. Grass hay, and oats, if needed. But pretty soon you have more horses and you start wanting things better! I see no end in sight for barn expenses, fence (still want more of the Horse Guard fencing) more posts, and now I am thinking bedding for the first time in my life cuz we have stalls! Horses are "high maintenance hobbies". But I for one hope to have at least one til I die, so that's the trade off.

In dollar amounts I figure my 4 horses average $200.00 a month/$2400.00 a year. That's hay, grain, hoof care, vaccinations, wormers. And a little extra for pasture seedings every other year, and fertilizer. I don't include fencing, barn, or other similar expenses because I figure that is adding value to our property. That is kinda cheating to make it sound better, but my husband gets upset enough over my "hobby expenses".

My advice is buy the best "horse friendly" place you can afford, and the cheapest horse!! A cheap horse eats as much as an expensive one. And make sure the horse is a known "easy keeper", lol!! And no young horse, they eat so much more.

I don't know what hay costs in your area, or how big the bales are, but here I pay around $2 a bale, for 45-50 pound bales. I feed figure 2 a day for 9 months outa the year. A little extra some days in winter. I am buying 4 bags of Safe Choice feed at $34 every 3 weeks. I don't really need to grain 2 of the horses, but the 2 coming 4 yr olds look better with it. I buy 700 bales every summer, off the field when it's cheaper.

Find out what costs are in the area you are moving to. Ask around as prices will vary, and what you need will vary from what I need. (or think I need)

Hope the dollar amounts help. I really just try not to think about what my horses cost or I don't enjoy them!!

And yup, I don't ride as much as I'd like either. Always something to do that is horse related. Anyone want to help with putting more fence posts in???????
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Leilani Clark
Member
Username: Leilani

Post Number: 116
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 4:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Angie,

$2 a bale? Wow!!!! I spent $30 for a full size bale of Timothy last week. Leilani
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Dawson
Member
Username: Dawson

Post Number: 6
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 5:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

yes, after years of boarding and caring for others horses, I got married and started searching for a home with barn, as it is truly VERY expensive to have to build your own barn and fencing, It's difficult enough to repair one or keep up with repairs.

The real estate person got a chuckle when she took us to look at one property. She said, I assume you want to see the house first? My husband answered, No, my wife doesn't care if the house is a hovel, it's the barn she wants to see first.

The barn was excellent! The fencing needed repairs, and the house was a tiny ranch in need with 5+ acres, YOU BET WE BOUGHT IT!!

What type of fencing should we go to?
What do we do when the barn pipes freeze?
Who's gonna paint the stalls with "No bite"
What do we do about the fly's? Mosquetos? Green heads? Ticks?

Are we ever going to be able to go on vacation again?

Yes, you will always be fixing something. Get a big tractor! When you get any money back from your taxes or a bonus from a raise-put it into a separate checking account for "the animals."
Buy in bulk-but make sure not so much that it spoils or the dating expires. The nice thing when a bad thunderstorm or snowstorm hits, you can walk to the barn and see all is well or pass out a round of treats. The bad news there will be no one but you to get up at dawn to feed-clean stalls-fill water buckets, and groom and that's before you go to work. At the other end when you return home from work and have the energy you can groom again, ride, cool-out, then feed the horses before you eat dinner or before bed. Now you may think you will find someone to take over so you can have a holiday alone with the hubby, take this thought out of your mind, because it's rare you will find someone capable of taking care or "the kids/horses" to your standards. And if you do you will worry the whole time of what might possibly occur while your away. We are fortunate to have a large hayloft above our barn and we can store a few tons of hay over the winter, of course to get the best price we rent an 18 wheeler and drive two states away. When we reached home it's up to us to unload the hay into the loft. (highly recommend having a BBQ invite friends or relatives over to participate) Yes, there are the farrier bills every six weeks, teeth need floating,spring shots, fall shots, every six weeks worming, and the need for you to repair various bumps and dings, because they will happen. Do you have ice packs in your freezer that you can wrap around a leg? You will!

Yes, there is a lot to think about. We have had our little farm with eight horses for almost nine years now..... and it's heaven I wouldn't give up mucking out my own stalls for anything. :-)
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Liliana Velasco Ariza
Member
Username: Liliana5

Post Number: 68
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 5:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

ha ha it reminds me when I lived in England and my ex husband got the number plate NO35UKY people said it was the perfect plate for horsy couples no nooky, don't know if you have that expression in US but I'm sure you can guess what it means btw no it wasn't the horses that broke us up it was a different species a b..ch
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 15252
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 6:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am often asked what does it cost to keep a horse and I live in piedmont NC. I find that 90 to 150 dollars a month per horse is a pretty fair range for the the things the individual requires. The reason for the large range is the variation in professional fees and amounts/type of concentrate required by a typical horse. Property, buildings, fences, equipment, and pastures are on top of that.

Those above who say they have a lot less time to ride than before they cared for their horses ain't kidding.
DrO
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joj
Member
Username: Jojo15

Post Number: 667
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006 - 8:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I remember when i used to ride....grin.

and it ultimately is cheaper i believe to have your horse at home. But whoever said it above, it is soooo true, if i kept it to my one horse, i would be in the clear. But now 2 parrots, 4 turtles, 3 goats, one pig, 3 dogs, 1 cat and 10 finches later, i'm in the red again. and the cutest little mini filly was born last month i was thinking about.... hmmmm....shoot me now!

And oooh so true, an easy keeper, and a laid back horse make all the difference in the world. My TB tore the fencing, ate everything, tore up the grass and manured everywhere. At least my bran is very light footed. Doesn't wreak havoc on the property. Respects the fencing, etc.

My feed bill is around 300/month and includes shavings for two stalls/salt for well, and then dog food/ and all animal feeds (its the dog food thats a killer 26$/bag). But overall, this amount is way cheaper than any board rent (full or partial) i have ever found. I was paying $265 for pasture board per horse.

It was also cheaper to find a bigger house, and more property than where i was in Miami. Less vet bills too living at home. not sure if that is a fluke. The only thing that i factored in costing more was gas. But luckily, i started working from home.

And you find the time. Because you are at home. I hated driving to the stables after work. I would have rather been able to come home, relax for a bit. Then go out and do chores. Even if that is at 10pm. And ride. Cause no one is going to tell you otherwise.

Also, there will be two of you. The barn chores really are only a small portion of living rural. I'd say that its 20% of my time. You get it down to a science. I can feed and water 9 large animals in under a half hour. I don't need to muck a paddock every day. They stay out of the stalls unless its nasty out. BUT, where the house stuff is more like 40% of my time. I never had a "house" before. Mowing the lawn, cleaning gutters, fixing fencing, calling this repair guy to fix this that or the other thing. Cleaning the house. ick. All that stuff is new. But its still all that stuff you would have to do if your horses were being stabled somewhere else.... right? so why not do it from a place you can have it all?
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Angie
Member
Username: Ajudson1

Post Number: 401
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 5, 2006 - 8:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I can so relate to looking for a place to buy and wanting the barn to be the best feature, along with lots of pasture. I didn't get either when we bought this place, in fact the house wasn't much either hence we're still remodeling and built a barn a few years ago.

It never ends, but geez, whatever would we do if we had spare time?? Ride more maybe?? Dream on!!

$30 a bale????????????? You have got to be kidding!!!!!! I can buy a round bale for that and that is probably the equivelant of 20 square bales. At least that's what I've been told, I have no experience with round bales.

Glad I live where I do if there is that much difference in hay prices.

I am still shaking my head in amazement........
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cp
Member
Username: Cpacer

Post Number: 145
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 5, 2006 - 2:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

All great advice everyone! I promised to share all the responses with my husband, even the negative (I’ll find a way to justify).

I appreciate the numbers provided and for everyone sharing their experiences! It seems the cost may be about what I’ve been guessing, but I know it will vary. My current board is around $500 a month, so if we average a cost of $125 per horse I can have at least 4 horses for the cost of boarding one, yes? (of course the higher mortgage is somehow a different kind of expense).

We've thought about the lifestyle changes that go with this and while significant it's what we love (well my husband just wants the land to play with his toys on). I've been trying to build my network of horse people in the area, which is one reason I'm set on an area already becoming hard to buy in. True, I probably won’t be able to relax as much on vacations, it will be hard enough wondering what they're doing all day while I'm at work—-I know they find trouble easily, but at some point I guess you just have to do all you can and hope for the best--?

The other feeling of no return is that I plan to keep all the animals I have until I'm dead, and even then I'll do what I can to make sure they're taken care of. It was frightening enough to think I'd have my first horse 30 years from now when I'm in my sixties--I imagine 2 scrawny figures hobbling along the horizon--a stinky old horse and a grumpy old lady (not that 60's old of course, just hard to imagine now).

I think one of the scarier parts for me is thinking about the well and septic system that comes with country living. I'm a water freak so I guess I'll need to research how to keep a well healthy.

The not being able to ride as often doesn't bother me so much, I just love the company of my horse. I figure I’ll be saving around 10-hours a week of driving time by having him at home too (we won’t count the longer work commute). And I don't think I'll miss the local expertise since the more I learn the more I realize everyone out there is full of bull-oney. All I need is a digi-cam and my HA membership!

I'll be sure to let you all know how things progress--hopefully they will!
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Shelley
Member
Username: Sswiley

Post Number: 140
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 5, 2006 - 2:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have to ask CP, where are you looking to settle down. Will you have year around pasture or is is seasonal. If the hay prices fluctuate you might be able to justify a larger hay storage so you can stock up when the prices are down.
I have had my horses at home since 87. They are very low maintenance, out in all but the nastiest weather, mostly barefoot, several shelters in the various pastures and two stalls for injuries, foaling, etc. The horses love this arrangement by the way. Not sure why people feel obligated to stick thier horses in little 12x12 stalls.
Hot wire greatly increases the life of your fencing and flashing on the stall corners will prevent the chewing.
I would say the big difference between boarding is the maintenance costs and vacation freedom. But like I said there are ways to mitigate this. I like the idea of buying in a horsey neighborhood. The odds of finding horse care and even trading responsibilities is much better. I lucked out with that one, found a great person to care for my horses, we are even fast friends now. The only problem with that is we have started vacationing together!
The upside for me is freedom to go out there any old time and ride or just mess with the animals. Also if you have kids you dont have to drag them along every time you go to the barn.
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Holly Wood
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Username: Hwood

Post Number: 1068
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 5, 2006 - 2:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Where are you planning to be in NC? From past experience, I would MUCH rather have well water than city water, and septic rather than city sewage. Never had any problems and never had to do anything to the well. If you are in the mountains of NC, I would think that any aquifers into which you drill will be clean and cold . . . and so much better than turning on "cold" tap water in the summer and getting "lukewarm" water. Our VT well was 232' deep and was so cold all year, that it would make my hands cramp up . . . and it has a good supply of calcium in it, so that VT kids on well water are not supposed to need any kind of calcium supplements. I'm having a very hard time getting used to the chlorine smell of city water and not having cold water from the tap.
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Erika L
Member
Username: Erika

Post Number: 126
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 5, 2006 - 2:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

So, CP, you've got the next thirty years taken care of...hate to tell you this but I recently read that we are only beginning to find out the true life expectancy of horses. The oldest known horse lived to be in his sixties (gasp!), and from what I read, fifty years will not be uncommon if parasites and disease are well managed.
I have a guy already well into his thirties who, now that I've figured out how to properly feed a toothless horse, will probably outlive me!
I've already gotten my teenage son to promise that his future grandchildren will take my two fillies !
Sorry, I got off topic but I couldn't resist. I wonder if Dr. O has any comments on the numbers I've thrown out about horse life expectancy? I can't remember where I read it, maybe Equus Magazine?
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cp
Member
Username: Cpacer

Post Number: 146
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 5, 2006 - 3:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well Shelley you bring up the next scary part of the move...everyone wants to know when we're having kids and we've been saying "after the ranch"...gulp.

We are looking in the Waxhaw area, about 30 miles south of Uptown Charlotte. It does get in the teens sometimes and snows only once in a while. I probably would only want stall type of shelter for injuries and really bad weather (I say this now) and would hope any horses I acquire will be good barefoot candidates too. My horse is living quite the pampered life compared to where he came from, so I know he can "rough it" a little.

Holly, you don't have to do anything to your well? I'm sure there are many benefits to the well water, especially if there's ever a terrorist attack on the public water supply. I guess it's all about the location and depth if there will be livestock waste sinking into the ground-?? Anyway not having city water will be one less bill!

Erika, so now not only do I have to save enough for my retirement, but I have to save more for their longevity? I hope I have some really smart and successful kids!
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Leilani Clark
Member
Username: Leilani

Post Number: 119
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 5, 2006 - 4:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Angie,

I don't buy hay that much but this bale looked and smelled so sweet... I live in Hawai'i and our prices are higher because of shipping costs. Leilani
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Liliana Velasco Ariza
Member
Username: Liliana5

Post Number: 71
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 5, 2006 - 4:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yep Erika I also read in the Guinness Book of Records I believe he was a Shire who lived 64 years!
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Sara Wolff
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Username: Mrose

Post Number: 1260
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 5, 2006 - 9:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The "down" side of your own well is that if the electric goes off you have no water. I always keep the water tanks full "just in case." I think it would take a fairly large generator to run our pump.

It is work to keep horses at home, but imo the positives out weigh the negatives by far. I love going out at night doing my "horse check." Then barn is quiet and the horses are dozing, it all smells so good; it's very calming and almost "holy" in a sense. In the summer I drink my coffee on the back porch watching the horses waking up in the early morning sun. And, if one of the horses is injured or sick, I know for a fact that they are getting their meds and any treatment they need.

We live near a university, and have been lucky finding horse loving students who are willing to help with the horses in exchange for board of their horse, lessons, or a small wage. This have given us a lot more freedom than we would have other wise. Also, our farrier lives across the road from us (how lucky can you get!?) and we often swap horse sitting with him.
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joj
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Username: Jojo15

Post Number: 668
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 5, 2006 - 9:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

well systems are a "you get what you put into them" kind of thing. treat them crappy (no pun intended) and you get the same right back. I had a werid fungus/pathogen/bacteria growing in my aerator (something florida wells need for the sulpher smell). and when i figured it out, all of a sudden my water was "sharper" hair cleaner, laundry whiter, animals healthier... very hard to understand unless you realize if you dont keep it up. you can cause alot of stress and damage because of it.

Same thing with septic. Keep it up and you won't have problems.

Us city folk didn't/don't care where it comes from or where it goes. Until we live rural. Well i do at least. And growing up in the city never taught me these things... Its a learning curve...woohoo...

wanna talk manure management? thats fun too!
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Angie
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Username: Ajudson1

Post Number: 404
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 7:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Be sure and have your well water tested before you buy your place, and test it annually. We had an awful experience a few years ago.

I was doing laundry and kept smelling "horse"...I thought it was because it was damp out, and there were damp barn clothes in the mudroom. Went in to fill a pot of water for spaghetti, and the water was coffee colored!! We had manure coming out of the faucets!!! Turned out the well was pumping water from a surface fed water source. Our horses were spending most of their time in a small area up hill from the well. It is not FUN having to find someone willing to dig a new well the while the ground is frozen yet! This was like March or April. Even less fun hauling all your water from neighbors and buying bottled water for a week the while the well is being drilled. Of course new wells are not cheap either.

And I hate to think about the possible health hazards we subjected ourselves to while drinking that water. We all did some herbal "deworming" for people twice after that.

So for the few bucks it takes to check your water......

And pumping your septic yearly isn't very expensive either. Better than having your basement flooded with sewage if it backs up during the winter months.

These things sound scary, but they are all preventable and most people don't suffer through these hardships.

I wouldn't trade my good tasting well water for anything. But we do run our water through a water filtration system just in case!!
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Terri
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Username: Terrilyn

Post Number: 339
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 9:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I've been on well water in the last two places I've lived. The main difference was that the home I recently sold was in a marshy, low-lying area close to the river and I had a shallow well. I could definitely taste and see a difference in the water quality when the weather was very dry, or very wet...it affected the clarity, smell, etc...the water was also very hard and would turn your clothes (and hair!) orange if you didn't use a water softener, which is an appliance that interfaces between the well and your faucets in the house, running it through rock salt and producing better-tasting, feeling water...and this is something you'll definitely want to check into. There are some areas in our county where you just wouldn't think of NOT using a water softener. A good one will run several thousand dollars. In the house we now own, we have a deep well. Our water is sweet, clear, always cold, and we do not need a softener. I cannot tell you what a difference this made...it is something I appreciate every day. But do check on the water softener question...if it is an area that will require one, check around on price and installers. Some maintenance is required...you will have to add salt on a regular basis. (Not a big deal). On the whole, well water is great and I would NOT trade it for city water. But Sara makes an excellent point....if you have weather coming, be sure to fill a few large tanks or garbage cans full of water you can dip into for your horses. AND to ensure that you aren't carting water from house to barn when it's freezing, just be sure your hydrant is installed so that the cutoff for water underground is below the freeze line...you should never have to worry about not having running water outside if that's done properly. (Of course, I'm used to VA winters which are relatively mild in the southeast part of the state...)

One thing that you will never regret is building a shelter that accommodates plentiful hay storage with ease of access...I'm sure everyone will agree that it's great to be able to store enough hay for the winter!
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Julie
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Username: Julieh

Post Number: 66
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 10:08 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have been unable to escape to my daily reading of HA for the past several days and I missed this thread totally until this morning. I live in NC and I went from boarding one horse about 2 years ago, to now, leasing a riding facility fully equipped with everything I need. I agree it is expensive and all my friends do not understand why I put so much money and time into this hobby. My days of clothes shopping have now gone to vet bills and tack shops, but I couldn't be happier! When we were paying $1500 for boarding three horses, we decided something had to give. We have had our own barn, even though it is leased, it is pretty much our responsibility, for the past year and a half. We went from one horse to three horses boarded, to now 8 horses in our barn. We have two others that are not ours but we keep there. We have the luxury of help from one of the boarders, which in my book is much more valuable than the board fee! A helping hand goes a long way at a barn. The only thing I would say I miss is the companionship of other riders and someone to ride with me. My husband doesn't ride, so I am pretty much on my own. He loves barn work and he mucks stalls, feeds and normal barn work and I have the fun part of riding. Our feed bill is about $250 per month for 8 horses, $120 shavings, and I am not really sure about hay. We buy about 400 bales at a time at about $3.00 to $4.00 a bale, depending upon what we find and I am really not sure how long that much hay will last. Right now, since the grass is coming in, they are eating a lot less hay. Our farrier bill is about $200 every 8 weeks or so. CP, I am about an hour from you I would guess. I live in the Piedmont Triad of NC. There are a lot of costs that go with your own barn and quite honestly, we haven't saved any money because our herd has gradually grown, and grown, and grown. I would do it again in a minute and don't regret it a bit. My horses are a huge part of my life and I wouldn't trade having them under our care for boarding again for anything!
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cp
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Username: Cpacer

Post Number: 147
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 11:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Who knew I'd get well and septic advice here too? (Guess I should have known). I'm making a list of questions to carry with me--I'm going to check-out 2 places this weekend.

Angie, you are lucky you didn't get seriously sick!

joj, I'm sure I'll be asking all about manure management if/when this thing goes through!
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Angie
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Username: Ajudson1

Post Number: 405
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 12:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

cp,

I don't know if this applies where you are house shopping, but if I ever buy another place here in Upper MI, 2 questions I will ask are 1) Do you have cluster flies and 2) are there bats living in the attic? Both about drove me to the nut house!!!

O yea, I'd get it in writing with some kind of warrenty too about water in the basement!!

Now you have more questions!!!

Maybe snakes in the house too? Hope not.
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sandmstables
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Username: Sschoen

Post Number: 11
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 1:27 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Can't help but add my two cents here. We have 3 horses of our own and we boarded for 3 1/2 years. When the couple who owned the boarding stable decided to divorce, my husband and I knew it was time for us to realize our life-long dream of having our horses on our own property (we both had horses as teenagers that we boarded, we leased horses off and on over the years, then got back heavily into horses again when our children were older).

We found a property with 5 acres on a cul-de-sac (all the neighboring houses had 5-7 acre lots and 1 had horses as well). So, while it was zoned agricultural, it is fairly residential so we have neighbors that are fascinated with the horses but also keep an eye out for each other. We were fortunate that the house was only 14 years old (no major repairs there)and the barn was only 3 years old. We did add on to the barn to accommodate 5 stalls (remember we only had 3 horses of our own) but when leaving the boarding situation, a good friend of ours had asked if we would have room to take her 2 horses. Even though the addition on the barn could fit 6 stalls, we only built 5 and left the 6th space as a wash stall. That has helped alot when we've been approached by people asking if we have room to take their horses too. We didn't want to be in a true boarding situation (only our 1 close friend) so we purposely set it up to be difficult to accommodate anyone else...that way, no one's feelings got hurt.

We had to install fencing for a dry lot and then pasture. Our pasture is limited due to the small acreage of our lot, but we rotate the horses between 3 small pastures and figure that grass is a treat, not a mainstay of their diet. That does mean then that we purchase hay on a regular basis.

Initial costs were for the expansion of the barn (we doubled it in size by adding a 30 x 36 addition) and then fencing the dry lot and pastures. We had a contractor build the shell, then we finished the inside ourselves, using stall components from Ramm fencing (looks great!). It was a large expense but well worth it, as our horses have nice stalls, complete with mats, windows, overhead fans for those hot nights etc. Even though the barn had a loft, we chose to build a 10 x 16 storage shed separate from the barn to store hay (insurance is cheaper that way and I have less concern about a barn fire).

Our monthly cost for our horses is a couple hundred dollars LESS per horse than when we were boarding! Our expenses include hay, grain, shavings for bedding, water and electricity. Haven't had pasture expenses except for overseeding late last summer. They've held up extremely well due to the careful rotation we do. (there are of course, the additional farrier, vet bills etc that you would incur no matter what).

One expense that you might not have thought of is manure management. If you have plenty of acreage, then of course, you can spread it or create a pile somewhere. For us, being so residential, it was a priority of ours to be good horsey neighbors, so have a 6 cubic yard dumpster with a lid that gets picked up every other week. We have found that it will accommodate all the manure the horses produce, keeps that flies down considerably (and the smell). We are meticulous about keeping manure picked up and have not had a problem with flies or odor (which I'm sure our neighbors appreciate as much as we do!) It is an added expense, though, but if we didn't have that, we would have had to have a tractor and manure spreader and that would have been expensive.

I can't say enough how much I enjoy having the horses on our own property. We have total control over feeding and caring for them and it is wonderful! They are well fed, happy and healthy. They are out most days for 12-15 hours a day (weather depending). Yes, those 5 am morning feedings are tougher in the dead of winter, but well worth it. We have had less vet bills here than when we boarded. We can spend time with our horses anytime we want; that late evening check before bedtime lets us sleep easier (once you get used to tuning out the "routine" noises that come through the barn intercom!) It's convenient to hop on and ride when you feel like it without commuting to the barn. Do I have less time to ride now? Sometimes, especially since we gave up having an indoor arena (that was hard, although we have access to one if we want to trailer over).

The barn owner where we boarded before has remained best friends with us (we're geographically within 5 miles of each other)and we often cover for each other in horse care. Plus my friend who brought her 2 horses helps out and will cover if I want to get away. However, since our horses are our passion, most of our "getaways" involve taking our horses with us, so the other owner just steps in and stays at our house and takes care of her two while we're gone.

There are so many things to think of before taking the big step of having your horses on your own property. A non-horsey friend of ours said "I have co-workers who have done it and almost every one of them told me it's NOT worth it".

Yes, it's hard work, so be sure you like to work hard. But the rewards are great.

When my husband was diagnosed with cancer a year ago, we knew we had a rough road ahead. With all his treatments etc., he would have hardly been able to make it to the boarding barn to see the horses. But having them in our backyard gave him constant exposure. Even if he didn't feel up to riding, he could walk down and say hello and feed treats. He could putter around in the barn and feel that he'd spent some time near his horse. Or if he didn't even feel up to that, he could sit on the deck and watch them graze. You can't trade that kind of peace!

I'll have to see if I can post a picture of our cozy setup for you to see.
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cp
Member
Username: Cpacer

Post Number: 149
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 1:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you for your 2 cents! I hope your husband is recovering well--horses are probably the best prescription to be found.

You did make me think of another question - does hay really spontaneously self combust, or is there a trigger that can be avoided?
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sandmstables
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Username: Sschoen

Post Number: 12
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 2:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hay can spontaneously combust. Supposedly if it's plenty dry when it's stored, it won't. There's something in the curing process generates heat and you can end up with a fire.

That's why our insurance company had lower rates for our barn if we were willing to store our hay in a separate building. So, we just bring in a few bales at a time into the main barn.

Of course, if your supplier is baling it too wet, that's a whole 'nother issue (then you get mold).

My husband is doing better. After 10 months of treatments that included radiation, chemo, surgery and more chemo he appears to be in remission. We'll know more in June after his next CT. Right now he is off all treatments and we are hoping a recurrence is many years off (if ever).

It was heartwarming to see him taking his horse for a walk (when he was recovering from surgery and couldn't ride for 10 weeks). He would take him for a couple mile walk just to spend time with him while he was building up his own strength.

And the support of our horse friends during this ordeal was wonderful. They were so helpful during his illness and then when he could finally ride again, a group got together to ride with us and celebrate the milestone!

Horse people are one in a million!
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Holly Wood
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Username: Hwood

Post Number: 1077
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 2:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

So glad to hear that your husband is recovering. What a scare . . . that can happen to any one of us . . . and what a reminder that life is to be cherished each day . . . being thankful for the blessings and learning to build character during the hard, confusing times. So glad you have friends nearby to support you.

If hay is baled wet, it has the potential to mold, yes, and combust. Haylofts can be especially hot when packed with hay, and especially if the roof is metal . . . Always leave doors/windows in haylofts open when the hay is put up . . . The heating up of the hay bales, especially any that are damp, will cause them to combust. If the hay is put up bone dry, and if it is stacked correctly, there is less chance of fire (unless there is a wiring problem). Being from the eastern U.S., I'd much rather have hay in the loft for ease of feeding . . . but my husband who is from the west coast says he doesn't want hay in the barn when we move to KS . . . so, I guess we'll have a separate shed for hay, and will stack it on pallets. We had a discussion a while back on the best way to store hay in a shed . . . You don't want it stacked flat on cement or on the ground. The cement sweats and the bottom bales will mold, and the same with stacking on the ground . . . the moisture from the earth will seep up.
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Liliana Velasco Ariza
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Username: Liliana5

Post Number: 73
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 2:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi SsChoen, side tracking a little bit but I was reading that stroking horses, dogs etc., is a great therapy so hopefully it will help your hobbie
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sandmstables
Member
Username: Sschoen

Post Number: 13
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 3:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

When we built our hay storage shed, it was built on a base of paver blocks to keep it high and dry and the bottom of the hay shed is plywood.

Then we placed wood pallets on the floor and stacked the hay on that. When we bring in a load, especially in the spring when it's fresh off the field, the bales are stacked loosely, cut stem side up, to allow them to continue to dry.

Since we bring in a load of hay once a month, every so often when our supply is getting low, I will remove the pallets and sweep out all the loose hay that has fallen through the slats of the pallets so that we always have good air flow underneath.

I know what you mean, Hollywood, about not wanting to have to haul hay from a different shed rather than dropping it from the loft when you live in a location with inclement weather! We live in Western NY, near Lake Ontario where we get plenty of wind and lake effect snow...yuck!
But since my biggest phobia is a barn fire, I feel so much better having the hay stored away from the main barn.

Saw a barn fire once (not mine) and never want to witness it again.

So, what is everyone else doing for manure management?
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cp
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Username: Cpacer

Post Number: 150
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 4:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often, but yesterday as I was getting ready for a ride a farmer from down the road pulled up to the barn with an empty trailer asking for a load of the stuff!

That bin sounds like a good idea as an alternative. Is there a company that provides that service nationwide? I'm hoping to put mine back into the earth, or find a way for it to fuel my house--but I'll start asking those questions when the time comes. There's probably a section here on HA all about it.
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Terri
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Username: Terrilyn

Post Number: 340
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 4:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a huge hayloft above the barn. It is very convenient...BUT the hay particles and dust make the biggest mess...and I think from what I've read in recent years, putting hay up in a loft above the stalls is no longer recommended because the dust and particles that fall down below aggravate or can cause respiratory problems. I can believe it. Our guys are out almost all the time so it isn't a huge problem, and I don't have any with respiratory issues either...but if I did....it would be a real consideration.
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Muffi Delaney
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Username: Muffi

Post Number: 13
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 6:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh MY CP Your question sure generated a lot of churn. I'm going to give you my two cents -.
Hay $2 or $30 a bale? where do you guys live?
I live in Rio Verde - Horse Country by Scottsdale Arizona. We don't need no Steenkin Barns here. they are nice to have but all you need are Mare Motels or at least a 12 x 12 cover for each horse - I have two horses in the back with a 12 X 28 foot shaded cover. that is like a 3 sided structure but not 3 sided to the ground for air flow. I have 50 x 60 foot enclosed day arena and a 50 foot round pen - I free feed Bermuda grass hay at $13 a 100 pound bale and some Lakin Lite Grass pelets wiht some additives of choice. About $40 a month for Pellets(rice bran, vitimans and psylium as needed) Farriers cost $90 a horse here every 6 weeks - our ground is crushed granite - tough on shoes and it's hot in the summer so you really need the insulation of shoes. Even though this is horse country - Vets charge a house trip fee of $40 -$60 per visit. Depending on who you call. I live on 1 1/2 acres and keep the horses in the 'back 40' so my whole yard is not HORSE like some horse properties. I share an arena with the guy down the block and pay to keep my trailer there, it keeps the yard more neighborly looking. Yea I work full time, so I get up early every day feed, clean poo and brush off the boys, get home by 4:30 and take one of them out in the 22,000 acre park behind my house and ride till the problems of work melt away. NICE Boarding is good,I've done it, but you know - now that they are back there - I don't believe I could ever board them again. I just love their company!!! Tell your husband - BACK YARD!!!
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Muffi Delaney
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Username: Muffi

Post Number: 14
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Thursday, Apr 6, 2006 - 6:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh and I bag my poo - two 50 pounders twice a day.
all the wet shavings go in there too. We have a big 3 cubic yard dumpster - the fee for that is $130 a month.
(some buddy asked above about poo)
I also have a friend that takes it and the shavings - now he has 10 acres and more room - and lines a bridle path with it around his property. When I move to more acres - I am gonna do the same thing. nice quiet riding trail... keeps that Arizona dust down too.
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sandmstables
Member
Username: Sschoen

Post Number: 14
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, Apr 7, 2006 - 8:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Terri brings up another good point about storing hay in the barn...the dust and risk of respiratory problems.

In fact, one of the horses that my friend keeps with me does have allergies and respiratory problems, thus another factor why we wanted no hay storage in the barn. With one less factor to contribute to his woes, he is doing great...no cough, no wheezing, no acute respiratory attacks.

As far as the manure dumpster goes, I had checked with our local trash companies and found one who was willing to provide the service.

Would be great if I had a farmer who wanted to come and take it all away for me, but that's not the case. All the farmers in this area have their own manure generating machines!
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Ann Schrichte
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Username: Annes

Post Number: 142
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, Apr 7, 2006 - 10:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

We use manure/straw/hay mix to fill in a large gully on our farm. We also put it in ruts in a dirt road which helps keep the road from washing out - no cars use this road, just horses and farm equipment. Our tractor has a bucket and my husband just moves it to where we need it and packs it down. Sometimes he drives over it with the 4 wheeler to pack it. After our new 4 board fence was installed the rains caused ruts in the fresh dirt downhill from the posts. I took wheelbarrows of manure/straw and packed it in the ruts. That was 3 years ago and it has held. I have 4 horses and it is good to find a use for the manure.
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Holly Wood
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Username: Hwood

Post Number: 1083
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Friday, Apr 7, 2006 - 3:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ann S., I think that's a great way to use old bedding, and on my own land, I would think that it would be okay, but beware that many towns have regulations about manure disposal and run-off . . . especially if you are near any wetlands . . . and if run-off from your manure pile goes into any streams that feed into ponds, etc. The regulations are, in my opinion, sometimes (often) unreasonable, and the fines are immense. You may want to check (anonymously) to see what your town's regulations may be.
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Imogen Bertin
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Username: Imogen

Post Number: 758
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Saturday, Apr 8, 2006 - 4:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It all depends on whether you value your free time...

I know it would actually be "cheaper" to board my horses at about 85 euros a week each for two horses at a neighbouring yard. But then they'd be standing in mud every early spring, and I'd have to put up with the yard owner's bad moods. But I'd have company at the yard (and teenagers nicking my stuff when my back was turned...)

So instead I spend my incredibly limited free time tearing my hair out sorting out people to fertilise and roll fields, doing the fencing myself, dealing with injuries on other horses I don't own whose owners will never call the vet, getting up at 5.15 in the winter to muck out before work etc. etc. but at least I get to do it in beautiful Co. Cork and it helps me get the exercise/physiotherapy that I need.

So cj you actually need to think about what you get paid an hour to work and how you value your free time and what you do with it and how much doing what you do costs when you are spending your money.

Costs for me: about 350 euros on fertiliser and spreading, 300 on hay (we bale our own, that's another task that takes about a day getting it into the loft...), 80 on straw, 200 on fence batteries and tape, probably 80-100 on herbicides and spraying, then of course there is feed about 15 euros a week for 6 months of the year... (2 bags what you guys call sweet mix, we call it coarse mix a week)

That's not forgetting we had to renovate falling down old sheds for stables and haylofts cost about 3500 euros in total. And at the moment I'm dithering about getting an old tractor or an ATV to do the topping/spraying/bale work with... that'll be another 5-6000. Horse trailer cost 5000 and that needs a new floor this year...

So open that wallet and do like the yachting people, stand under the shower and watch the bills going down the drain, cj .... and then think about the pleasure of watching horses graze from your house, and of being able to grab the good weather and nip out and catch them and get up and go off when you feel like it! (by the way what is the riding like in your area? Why do people spend all the money just so they can ride in their own awful dirt arena, I do not understand that, you have to have good hacking (trail riding) to make it worth while I think...)

My several euro-cents worth!

Imogen
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Sara Wolff
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Username: Mrose

Post Number: 1266
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Saturday, Apr 8, 2006 - 11:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

We love well water. Where we live in So. Utah, we have to have fairly deep well, about 350'. We have the well tested annually by our local university lab, but have never had any problems with it. By the time ground water gets into the underground water pool, it has been throughly filtered.

I figure on about $150/mo. per horse, but this doesn't include allowing for major medical expenses or the farrier's bills. Nor does it include fence/barn repairs, etc. I rationalize that anything related to the property and buildings adds to the property value and is building equity for us.

Check with your local CPA, but if you own your land and keep your horse at home, a lot of your expenses can be taken as a tax deduction. For the horses to be, they need to be purebreds, and either mares or stallions. But, even if you have geldings, a lot of expenses can be written off...and, at least mentally, that helps.
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Muffi Delaney
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Username: Muffi

Post Number: 16
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Saturday, Apr 8, 2006 - 10:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Imogen - County Cork sounds so - what can I say
GREEN! I live in Arizona and recently we had a little snow in the Scottsdale Hills - I am going to try and load in a picture.
I like arena (dirt as you say it) riding - but the best is in the desert behind the house. WHen ever I feel like it.
snow ride in Scottsdale Arizona
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Sara Wolff
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Username: Mrose

Post Number: 1274
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Sunday, Apr 9, 2006 - 11:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Imogen, the picture looks like modern art - but what a cute face the filly has. (I can't tell much about your face.) I look forward to seeing a repost!
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Muffi Delaney
Member
Username: Muffi

Post Number: 20
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Sunday, Apr 9, 2006 - 9:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yea, I agree that picture is awesome I would print it off and frame it.
but Sara's right you really can't see much
But there is a lot of GREEN!!!
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cp
Member
Username: Cpacer

Post Number: 152
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, Apr 14, 2006 - 10:23 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well I think we’ve found a place we’re going to make an offer on! I looked at many properties varying in size, and while the acreage on this one is less than all the others at only 4.4 acres, it was the only one that had a nice enough house. None of the places had equestrian facilities already present, seems that requirement upped the price significantly, and this way I can lay it out exactly like I want.

So I guess the number of horses I can bring home will now be somewhat limited, but that could be good. We’re going to have to clear the land for pastures and build a barn. I’m thinking of having about 3 acres cleared for pastures. Do you think that would be enough for 3 horses? Anyone know how much it costs to clear land in the Carolinas? I’m wondering if there are any lumber companies that may want the wood and would take it for free, and how could I hook something like that up?

How long after the land is cleared would it take to get pasture growing? I’ll want to bring my horse and his friends home ASAP if this works out.

I was looking at some BarnMaster plans for the “shedrow” 3-horse layout. Does anyone out there have a BarnMaster set-up? I’m wondering if I were to get blueprints or design exactly what I want if I could get a contractor to build something for less than the pre-fab??? I saw a book on amazon on how to work with small acreage and some books on barn plans I may purchase. Any words of wisdom much appreciated!!!

This is so exciting.
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Ann
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Username: Dres

Post Number: 749
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Friday, Apr 14, 2006 - 11:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

CP, CONGRATULATIONS on your find... NOW the work shall begin.. First off, go visit as many barns as you can, get a feel for what your needs will be keeping the horses at home... If you can go look at both types of barns, prefab and stick built, which do YOU prefer.. ?? We bought land with a nice house then had to do all the cross fencing / barn building / and arena makings... its a project , its costly , and once up, hard to change, so do your homework first... Welcome to world of joy / frustration in having your friends live with you.. Like the others said, plan on not leaving often and for extended vacations.. those are in your past.. plan on not riding near as much as you did when you boarded, too many chores that have to be done first.. BUT the joy of looking out any window to see your friends is all worth it...

On the first day God created horses , on the second day he painted them with spots..
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joj
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Username: Jojo15

Post Number: 671
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, Apr 14, 2006 - 1:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hey congratulations.....

to start, i would just fence in the 4.4 acres first. and live on it for awhile. for temporary stalling i bought the aluminum panels and bought enough in the end to make a round pen. but two horses, each in their own 24x12 stalled area. I put up the awnings you get at home depot and we lived like that for over a year. Till i could be sure what i wanted and where i should put the cross fencing. i only have an acre and half... not brain surgery but still had to get the most of the land. I put up a barn by hiring a local carpenter, not necessariliy a contractor. He was cheaper, i was the contractor and well, i 'll let you know after the next hurricane if we did well. ( i have pictures on another thread when i finally built it ). The cost of fencing and labor was the most interesting. If you call a company that specialized in it expect to pay 50% more than if you hired a worker to do it for you. Personally, just the no climb doesn't cut it. I put up three rail but i only have just a little bit. perimeter fence is no climb and well things can and do climb it. my horse has kicked it just enough to make areas wider than where it started.

Clearing land in florida is expensive. and more expensive if you pick and choose which trees stay and what goes. and you should keep a few for shade and such. or even privacy around the perimeter.
keep in mind the further things are from the main house the more expensive it can get. for lighting and for water, too.

Also by living on the property without doing anything you can get a feel for the rain runoff, wind directions, sun coming up and setting all important things for me, on where i put things.

The best advice i guess is live on the property for awhile and get a feel for where you want things. i can't tell you how many bottles of wine i went thru on dark nights thinking this should go here, that will go there, and then changing it all around the next time i played that game... it really was fun though. cause its yours all yours....grin...
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Angie
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Username: Ajudson1

Post Number: 418
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Friday, Apr 14, 2006 - 2:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

cp,

I know nothing about the area you are in, so what I would do is find out what kind of wood do you have on your land? Years back, we paid someone to clear 3 acres of our land. Found out later that the guy only cleared about 1 acre, and we PAID him, whereas our wood should of made money for us, or at least broke even!! But we have great hardwoods, and I don't know what you have.

So ask, and ask again. Ask private loggers, paper mills or whoever who have around in your area. Then ask who does the clearing work?

Again, concerning how many horses? Depends. How many days of grazing in your area? 6 months? What kind of soil? what kind of grasses does it support?

Most areas here figure 2 acres per horse. We have 2.5 maybe. But, I can run 4-6 horses, with proper pasture management, and intensive grazing, along with knowing I will need hay year round. (I need to have hay for 9 months outa the year, and some summers need to feed a bale at least at night)

So, the key is ASK MANY PEOPLE, MANY QUESTIONS. You local feed mills, the old timers in the area that graze cattle, the county ag guy. Now, our county ag guy reads me info over the phone off a website, but he does have the latest info. And he was helpful to have come out, walk around, and tell us what weeds we had, and give suggestions.

Take your time as you gather info and keep a record of who gives what advice and quotes. You are thinking long term here, so don't rush into anything.

And like suggested above, fence some in, start getting your horses and then work on the rest. Hey, we are still working on ours, and we have changed fencing plans/pasture layouts many times our maybe 2.5 acres of pastures.

Congrads, good luck, and enjoy!!!
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Terri
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Username: Terrilyn

Post Number: 344
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Friday, Apr 14, 2006 - 2:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Is 3 acres enough for three horses? Yes...and perhaps you can fence two separate areas so that you can rotate. It will be a stretch to support three horses on three acres without having to supplement with hay.

Do you have nice, mature timber on the land you want to clear? If so, negotiate the best price for it. Look for a company that will be respectful of your land and not leave a huge mess. Be very sure about what they will take with them and what they will leave behind.

It takes a while to establish pasture. Especially on an area that has been recently cleared. You'll have to get your soil tested, have it graded, etc. None of this is inexpensive.

Fencing is a significant expense. A barn is too. You may find that when you compare the cost of the time it will take to clear, grade, and grow vs. buying acreage with established pasture, fencing, and buildings, you'll come out ahead with buying the ready-made horse farm. There is a lot to it!!

Best of luck with whatever you decide to do. It's a very exciting time!
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Terri
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Username: Terrilyn

Post Number: 345
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Friday, Apr 14, 2006 - 4:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi CP--I did a quick search for some material I remembered reading on establishing pastures, published by the Virginia Cooperative Extension office. (I looked for info specific to NC on the NC Extension site but didn't see anything this detailed.) Regardless, this is apropros to your area too as the climate is similar; I'm sure many of the grasses in this article will work there as well. This should give you a pretty detailed idea of what is required to establish a healthy pasture.

http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/cses/418-103/418-103.html
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Sue Blair
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Username: 444444

Post Number: 14
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Friday, Apr 14, 2006 - 8:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi CP, I'm in western NC and have worked a lot with my county ag agent to determine any poisonous plants or trees on my property. I have worked with the Dept of Natural Resources they have a wide variety of programs especially if you have water on the property. They paid 75% of one section of my fencing in order to keep the horses out of the stream. They did a tree program where we claimed another 25' of the bank of the stream and planted native trees. (Again they paid 75%, brought in the trees and the person to plant them.
Most of the cattle farmers take advantage of the ag programs in our area --- only because they seem to know what is available. The agencies are equally as happy to work with horse owners. There was even a program for frost free automatic waterers in the fields if I would have the water lines run to the equipment!
MWPS (Midwest Plan Services at Iowa State University) offers a wide variety of barn plans. You can call 800/562-3618 and order a catalog. Farm Building Plan Service at Purdue Univ 317/494-1173. You'll be really surprised at the working plans they offer for a few dollars.
I am presently working with a company, RAM Development out of Mooresville, NC (north of Charlotte). Ryan Sparks is my guy. They build Lester Buildings which is a division of Butler Barns. I have been working on an interior riding arena for more than two years and now that I have found these guys it will be built by the end of May...they are can-do folks and it didn't matter that I was 4 hours away. They will send a crew to stay at our farm for three weeks to get the job done!
Congratulations and may your purchase go smoothly! Everyone's really giving you some great advise!
Sue
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cp
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Username: Cpacer

Post Number: 153
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, Apr 17, 2006 - 10:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes they are, and I’m so grateful for it! I think I need to slow down a little and remind myself I’m not going to have everything done the first month we’re there. A little wine on the patio overlooking the land and planning will definitely be required.

Thank you for the link Terri, I will read up. And Sue for the barn plan info.

Right now I’m on pins and needles waiting to see if our offer will beat out the other one received over the weekend. I can’t stand the suspense!
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cp
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Username: Cpacer

Post Number: 154
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, Apr 17, 2006 - 3:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We got it!!! They had a 3rd offer come in today too, so I feel pretty good about the purchase.

Write to ya'll in 90-days when we close. Now, anyone want to buy a 50's ranch house in the city of Charlotte?
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Corinne Meadows
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Username: Corinne

Post Number: 285
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Monday, Apr 17, 2006 - 4:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Congratulations CP. Please send pics ASAP.
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Lee
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Username: Paul303

Post Number: 617
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 - 1:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

How exciting cp! I moved from N. New Jersey just outside of NYC to 25 acres in S central New Jersey just 2 years ago! I'm living out my childhood dream now - in my retirement - Better late than never! Best of luck for a smooth closing and relocation! You're going to love it!
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Corinne Meadows
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Username: Corinne

Post Number: 288
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Friday, Apr 21, 2006 - 12:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lee I was born in Dover NJ, and raised in Mine Hill about five minutes outside of Rockaway in north central NJ about 44 miles from the city. I started riding at Seaton Hackney in Morristown as a nine year old but it was so expensive my mother persuaded me to take up skiing instead (which wasn't a whole lot cheaper). Fast forward 20 years I took up riding again in Montana and we got Demetrius a year later.
I have lived away from NJ for ten years but when my husband retires from the AF in six or seven years we plan on settling down there at home.
From what I can tell South Jersey is probably the most affordable place to keep horses as it sure isn't in northern Jersey.
Where is Southern Jersey did you settle?
We will keep in touch and perhaps when we head back (if we are lucky our last assignment will be at McGuire AFB in three our four years) you can give us some pointers on where the decent horsey spots are in NJ.

Bonafide Jersey Girl
(Corinne)
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Lee
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Username: Paul303

Post Number: 620
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 - 8:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yo! Jersey Girl!

We're just about midway between Philadelphia Pa. and Atlantic City. We're about 1/2 hr. from Fort Dix and just a little south. There's lots of state forest land around here. The back of our acreage is on Wharton State Forest - 120,000 acres of pine forest and flat sandy trails. It's exceedingly horse friendly here, and every discipline is covered. My "other" life was spent in Paramus, and compared to that, South Jersey is another country! Who knew!?!
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Erika L
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Username: Erika

Post Number: 136
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 - 8:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

From another Jersey girl: WE LIVE IN Sussex From another Jersey Girl: We live in Sussex county,NJ. Northwestern corner. Lots of riding land. Several hunt clubs have huge territories here, plus the "Rails to Trails" program has miles and miles of railroad beds turned into trails with perfect footing.
The boarding stable up the hill from me offers board on 200+ acres for $150/month.
New Jersey is horse country!
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Corinne Meadows
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Username: Corinne

Post Number: 295
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 - 11:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

When I come home horseless for a visit I might just have to come see you guys and perhaps find a horse to go on a trail ride with you.
Sussex is so nice. I miss the county fair.
Lee I know the area is nice down there as we drive though it on the way to Philly to see my husband's family. My grandparents live in Cherry Hill and my parents have a summer home on LBI.
It's good to know we will have a nice horse friendly place to come home to. A huge affordable house...well that's another story!

Do you all have a TSC there? Where do you get your grain?
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Lee
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Username: Paul303

Post Number: 624
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, Apr 24, 2006 - 11:22 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Corinne: You'll be very welcome! There is a TSC, but there are plenty of other places that are closer. Remember, NJ's state animal is the horse! And, a number of years back, it had the most horses per capita!

Erika: My horses were in Ringwood the last 16 years we spent in N. Jersey. From '74 to '87 we rarely missed showing at the fair. Now we're watching the Horse Park of NJ growing by leaps and bounds.
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cp
Member
Username: Cpacer

Post Number: 192
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 11, 2006 - 8:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well we’re in the new house! Hard to believe when I started this post just a few months ago asking about keeping a horse at home the idea was really only a twinkle in my eye! (All of the advice on HA made it possible). We’ve been in for 2 weeks now and already have the first acre cleared in preparation for pasture planting this fall. I decided to have 2 acres cleared for pastures and 1 ½ left wooded for shade, most of the shade being around the perimeter inside the fence line for a natural look. The remaining acre is front lawn where I will make my own riding course around the trees (maybe I can get some aerating attachments for my horses boots).

The fence guy is beginning work today—decided on 48” no climb horse fence by Red Brand with a 5/4 wood top rail.

I’m meeting a barn builder this afternoon to go over ideas. Are there any opinions out there on the best materials to use? He was suggesting metal due to cost and maintenance benefits, but I was thinking wood and also considered cement bricks. I want something very airy, but insulated enough for cold winters and wasn't sure if metal would offer that.

Also started looking into companion horses, but won’t be ready for them probably until next summer when the grass is established and my horse can come home too.

Here’s a picture of what my backyard looks like now
clearing
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KATHLEEN WHEAT
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 228
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 11, 2006 - 10:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

cp,
My only experience with cement barns was a in a barn that had an indoor arena with two rows of stalls (facing each other), on two sides of the arena, with a solid ground to ceiling wall between the stalls and the arena and both ends of the arena were open. It should have been airy enough, but there was no breeze down the aisles with the stalls. We had a problem with mold and mildew in the tack room (much more than normal). My vet mentioned that some of my mare's allergy problems could be related to the mold that built up in the concrete barn all these years. Don't know that for a fact, but when we moved her, some of her allergy problems went away. Maybe just coincidence, don't know. Just my experience for what it's worth. How about a metal barn that's insulated?
Kathleen
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Julie
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Username: Julieh

Post Number: 71
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 11, 2006 - 10:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My trainer has a cement barn and I am not sure if that has anything to do with temperature in the barn, but it is very hot and has very little breeze. We were there last weekend during a very bad hot spell we had for a couple of days. By 10:30 am, it was 90 in her barn. When we got back to our barn and looked at our temperature, it was 78 - we have a wood barn. BUT, in the winter, her barn seems much more comfortable than ours, so I guess you have to weigh the pros and cons.
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cp
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Username: Cpacer

Post Number: 194
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 11, 2006 - 11:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for that feedback. After I posted this morning I found all the articles on barns and pastures--it seems that airflow is the most important factor to consider. I'm looking for a fairly modest barn that the horses can come in and out of as they please, or get closed in when needed--open on one side with an extended roof. If anyone has any pictures of something similar I'd love to see them!!!

Also after reading the article about proper pasture establishment I may have to be more patient and wait until next fall to move them home. Will be hard but worth it I guess. I hope that only a couple months will suffice for putting down the lime before planting seed (article said 6-months)--no way I could wait yet another year!
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KATHLEEN WHEAT
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 229
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 11, 2006 - 3:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here is a pic of our two stall run-in. It is all steel w/3/4" ply 48" high around the bottom of the run-in, pipe stalls with a gate between the stalls so no one can get trapped. Gates are left open so horses can wander in and out and they have hay racks for when the weather is bad (they have only been closed in the stalls a couple of times the first year we were here, now they use it when they want. Note the opening at the top of the shed. That allows for airflow. I believe that the overhang is 6 feet. The horses can stand outside the stalls during rain and stay dry. Overall it is 10' x 24' x 12' high.
Kathleen
Run-in barn
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Judith L Gordon
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Username: Jgordo03

Post Number: 81
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 11, 2006 - 6:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

CP,
Glad to hear you found a place. Just remember to keep ventilation on all four sides. I have a metal barn, three stalls with dutch doors on the south with a twelve foot overhang, windows on the north, doors on the east and west. If I can get the image down to 65kb I'll send you a picture of it. Winters here get pretty cold (Missouri), and I haven't had a complaint yet! Good luck with the new place.
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Muffi Delaney
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Username: Muffi

Post Number: 26
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 11, 2006 - 10:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

CP - WOW - you beat me. We finally sold our house in Arizona and are on the move to New Mexico next week with our horses. There is no barn there yet but we are sold on the MD Barns - they are good barns - Hold up to snow, wind cold and heat. We will be getting all of them in Santa Fe New Mexico. there are local barn people around in each state for the MD Barns look them up on line. There are other similar too, All different prices, Master barns, Castle Brook, etc etc. We are opting for a 4 stall barn with out door sliding doors and inner stall doors with Yokes so the horses can hang their heads in side. Between the stalls is a 2/3 Rail and 1/3 full panel (by the food)- and the lower half is solid panel. the style barn is a breezeway barn - a 12 foot center aisle. with Sliding door at one end and a Human Door at the other. We will have one stall converted to a Tack room that locks, and the other is going to be set up as a stall but used for a feed room... The barn has a raised center aisle roof with windows that open for ventilation and light. and you can let the horses come and go to the attached paddock area or keep them shut in when there is inclement weather. So you see we are sold on that. It will need to be built but once we get there. They say plan on 3 - 6 months start to poop scooping. Cost about $30K plus Concrete, Pluming and Electric work. (about an additional $10K IN the mean time we put up a Temporary round pen - HUGE - In and amongst our pine trees - to keep the boys till their final home is completed..
Isn't moving fun with horses!!! I love my new home - Picture of the new Round Pen Area for you to see - Gee can't seem to load it?
HELP? Nice picture too (I made it small so you could see it)
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Muffi Delaney
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Username: Muffi

Post Number: 27
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 11, 2006 - 10:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Round Pen

Yea - I like the Help hints to the left there they work.... I freed up my Pop Up Windows and here is the picture of the round pen
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Stacy Upshaw
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Username: 36541

Post Number: 130
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 11, 2006 - 11:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have had the well designed 4, 6, and 8 stall enclosed barns over the years, but now I have an 80ft long lean-to with pole stalls inside it. The ventilation is supreme, the horses are relaxed because the can see each other, and the flexibility is the prime feature. In minutes I can make a double stall, or remove a stall entirely if I'm less a horse. Some horses share a middle panel, some have a 4-6 ft separation, depending on the relationships. For a horse on 6wk of stallrest, I was able to make a 12x36 ft stall then break it down later. We will be moving next year, but after 6yrs with this set-up, I know exactly what I want. I have clay floors and the occasional concreted 4x4 or 6x6 where needed. The whole thing can't be beat when it comes to price, and if one of you is non-horsey, you can sell them on the extra space they could have for tractors, toys, etc. Good Luck, Stacy
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Lee
Member
Username: Paul303

Post Number: 680
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Jul 13, 2006 - 2:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

In 2005, I built a 60 x 36 steel pole barn with 12x20 shed "lean-to" additions on either side making the whole barn 60x60. One shed addition has three 10x12 stalls, one 10x12 wash stall ( that is set up to convert easily to a stall if necessary ), and a 20x12 tack room with cement floor, insulation, waterproof walls, sink, h/w heater. The barn roof is also all insulated with three sets of clear panels in the roof for light.
The stalls have sliding doors inside, and Dutch doors outside. That eases my mind somewhat, as far as a barn fire. Indoor sliders open to a small indoor paddock that allow moving around during bad weather. Dutch doors open outside to the barn paddock. Both sets of doors are usually open. Right now, I have a horse with a bad gash. Her indoor slider is open giving her the stall and indoor paddock, and her Dutch door is 1/2 closed. The other two have their sliders closed and Dutch doors open to the outside barn paddock. The barn paddock connects to a woodlot pasture with lots of shade, and that connects to a grass pasture.

Stall floors were dug out and filled with gravel, sand then crushed concrete. The concrete was leveled, wet and rolled, then topped with rubber mats.

The indoor paddock is temp. electric fencing, and the size of it can be changed if the weather is bad and I want to do a little riding inside.

In the front, by the tack room is a large rubber matted tie area with three spotlights. We tack up here, and do the shoeing and vetting here. The farrier and vet can pull their trucks right in the front door and work right from them. There is still room in the other side of the front of the barn for airy hay storage and the lean to addition on the other side of the barn is open and stores our haying equiptment.

Our stalls were also built so that we could break down a wall quickly or convert the wash stall in a pinch. We haven't needed to with the indoor/outdoor paddocks and double doored stalls. Like Stacy, I believe flexibility is most important.

My cousin just built a huge barn/indoor arena with steel, wood, and cinder block. She is experiencing some tough mildew problems even though her tack room is enclosed and insulated like mine. My tack room is bone dry - I can't explain why.
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cp
Member
Username: Cpacer

Post Number: 195
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, Jul 14, 2006 - 9:30 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sounds like a great set-up Lee! Muffi, yes we got lucky--only took 2-days to sell our other house, one less thing to worry about.

Kathleen, your pic makes me want to simplify my plan even more. I think I'm looking at doing a 'shedrow' kind of thing.

Now if I could only get a barn builder to actually show-up for a meeting! The guy I met with yesterday was a home builder who says he's built a few barns. Not sure if I should seek out a true barn builder for their expertise or what. Of course he said he could build it based on my drawings and pictures I've downloaded.

I'll post progress as it takes place...

Any more pictures much appreciated, in particular roofs and how they're connected/ventilated.
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cp
Member
Username: cpacer

Post Number: 332
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 9:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

They're home!!! Guess it was about a year ago that I started this post and I'm now happy to report they're home! Actually I didn't have the youngster when I started this, and I still plan on getting an older third companion once I get a grip on this home horse care. Anyway, I brought them home Saturday only a few weeks behind schedule and despite the barn not being completely built yet. I cleared a small dry lot with trees (got poison ivy 3-times) for them to live temporarily and while they adjust to the grassy pasture. We had a logger take the last of the red maple trees away last week and had more fencing installed to keep them away from the remaining.

They seem pretty calm for being in a new environment (although the young one that used to climb out of his stall at the boarding place did have an incident with the gate). I was worried they might miss having so many other horses around, but now I'm wondering if just having the two of them allows them to let their guard down?

The first morning when I got to go and feed them was a thrill! My husband mumbled in his sleep as I got up "welcome to the rest of your life, it's never going to be the same"—man he wasn't kidding! They are a lot of work! I just hope it will get a little better once I have a barn and they've settled in (I hope!), and my wiener dog has overcome his jealousy!

boys1
boys2
boys3
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LL
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Username: frances

Post Number: 439
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 9:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wow,I'm so envious! It looks just beautiful - lucky horses.
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Ann
Member
Username: dres

Post Number: 1305
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 10:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Good job!

On the first day God created horses, on the second day he painted them with spots..
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Sara Wolff
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Username: mrose

Post Number: 2782
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 10:41 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

They look as happy as a horse can look...heads down eating grass! They're going to love being there. And, I think you're right about them being able to relax and let their guard down. They look very content. I love having my horses around me and miss them if one is sent out for training. It's well worth the work.
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cindy O'DELL
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Username: zarr

Post Number: 570
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 11:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

CP, The contentment of just looking out your window and watching your horses is"priceless"!! Tis lots of work All those scoops of manure , the hay in the hair, going out in heat ,cold, wind, rain can't put a dent in the joy of a soft nicker of hello or the horse hugs just because ...Enjoy they look wonderful! Cindy
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jos
Member
Username: paardex

Post Number: 274
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 1:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Look at the [second] bright side CP, apart from having your horses at home you receive training for free: think about all the muscles which will make you look sooo good!
Jos
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cp
Member
Username: cpacer

Post Number: 334
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 2:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

You got that right, I've been sore everyday for the past few months! And yes, all the hard work is so
worth it when I can hug them before going to work. Now I just think about what they might be doing
all day. I plan on taking the next 2 weeks after this one off of work so I can play with them.
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Judi Gordon
Member
Username: jgordo03

Post Number: 164
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 4:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi CP,
I remember your first post about bringing them home. I've had mine at home almost three years now and wouldn't change a thing except getting hot water to the barn. It's great just to mosey out whenever you want to, nuzzle, and just being able to watch what they are doing is a real gift.
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Mandy
Member
Username: bucky

Post Number: 197
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 5:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Congrats CP! You will get used to them and find taking care of them will be second nature in no time. I actually find it quite therapeutic for our high tech society.
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Gwen Robison
Member
Username: gwen

Post Number: 399
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 6:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

That looks like a great piece of property! It is a lot of work, and although my barn is empty now, there is NOTHING like having them in your backyard. I will get them back someday. ENJOY!
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Lee
Member
Username: paul303

Post Number: 892
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 11:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

A big WELCOME HOME to your whole crew!
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Lilo
Member
Username: lilo

Post Number: 495
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 10:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Enjoy!!! I agree with Mandy - it is a lot of hard work, but so therapeutic. Of course, in the middle of winter when you battle the elements, it is more about being proud that you were able to fight your way to the barn through the snowdrifts ....
Lilo
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Muffi Delaney
Member
Username: muffi

Post Number: 137
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Friday, May 18, 2007 - 1:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh man that looks great - Did you use electric tape in the arena area - I think I see that?
Yea CP - Jos is right - you will develop muscles you never new you had till they start screaming at you. My ever waving arms (you know that piece of your upper arm that waves way after your hand does!) doesn't do that any more. 3 Twine bales of Bermuda Grass Hay, 50 pound poop buckets, Grooming - all that does a great job on you. I work form home so I get it one better, Boys in the back, Rides at lunch, hugs all day long.
and Tell your husband - mine is just like that. He complains that we can never take a vacation anymore cause there are no other horse people here and we have to hire a Live In sitter when we want to go some where - He is "bitchin" about that cost for that $60 a day for a Live in that sleeps at nite does morning feeding , goes off to work then comes back at nite for evening feeding - walk the dog, stay over nite again.
I think it's worth it for peace of mind - you should start looking for one you trust. do word of mouth that is always the best - but TAKE THAT MAN on a vacation - then he will feel better
and Congrats - that looks wonderful!
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 2802
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Friday, May 18, 2007 - 4:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Better yet, let him by a motorcycle! Mine hasn't said one word of complaint since he bought his bike.
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Aileen
Member
Username: sunny66

Post Number: 1765
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, May 19, 2007 - 11:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

They look so very content!! It must be very satisfying to see them so happy! Great job :-) Have fun!!!
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cp
Member
Username: cpacer

Post Number: 336
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2007 - 9:26 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sara, he's got a jeep collection to keep him occupied, but he's put all his hobbies on hold until he's finished building the barn. (He definitely gets husband of the year award)

Muffi, parents of kids in the neighborhood all think summer jobs of mucking stalls are in the bag, but I'm loving doing all this stuff and brought the horses home to hopefully save money, not pay someone to do the chores for me!

My husband laughs at me because even though we have a tractor I'm always out there with my wheel barrow doing things the old fashioned way. Guess we'll see how long that lasts, I'm sure I'll get tired eventually.

You can certainly tell a horse women by her biceps though!
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Muffi Delaney
Member
Username: muffi

Post Number: 139
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2007 - 12:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Gotta love it don't ya? We moved here last Summer - end of july - put the horses in a Temp round pen situation. Got the barn done in October, put the Round Pen panels up for the turnouts. This spring we had some Landscaping done on the Down Hill side of the barn/turnouts to keep the horses and barn from sliding down hill in the big rain, and we are almost done with the Permanant fencing. we created trails on property, groomed with the shavings and poop we pull from the stalls. Now are taking those 17 Panels over to another part of the property to create a big round pen, then I would dare say we have done the horse stuff for a while. but My husband (also a candidate for Hubbie of the year) has been into doing it all with me. I think they really enjoy is. cause I do - and yea isn't there something ZEN and Calming about scooping poop? I am weird or something but I do prefer to do it my self! Enjoy it - every moment of it.
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Judi Gordon
Member
Username: jgordo03

Post Number: 166
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 - 5:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Muffi,
I agree my favorite part of the day is cleaning the cleaning and grooming. I have a very stressful job and it really de-stresses me to scoop poop kiss on my girls. I have wonderful neighbors with about 1,000 acres of trails through their soybean, cornfields and creeks they let me ride on. I find nothing weird about you at all.
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