Building The Ideal Horse Farm
There is no limit to the time and effort a horse individual is prepared to give to improving his farm. It is every horse owner’s dream to have the model farm, a place where visitors drop their jaws at what they hear and see.
Do you think this kind of Utopia is merely a pipe dream? It’s not, and here are some hints to help you prove that to yourself. Make your farm the perfect residence for your family and your horses.
Before you start on that list of tools to buy, think over 1 or 2 factors very thoroughly. These factors are going to be really important to your plans and your accomplishment of them:
Budget: You need to set a maximum and realistic budget for your project.
Actual needs. Do you run a sizeable breeding operation or are you a smaller hunter-jumper affair? Obviously, your needs, priorities and cost levels are going to depend on the scale of your operations. You should ideally make three lists: what you have to have, what you would have if there’s excess cash after the must haves are done with, and what you would like to have if you didn’t have to stress about a budget.
Your intention should be very clear on what you want to upgrade and what you want to install now. You might need to touch up your existing barn, pastures and fencing. You may also want to buy some adjoining land for a new arena. Obviously, unless you really cannot avoid something new, you’ll give priority to upgrading existing facilities.
I am sure there are rather more barns than horse people. What final shape would you like to give your barn? You want to touch up the exterior looks and go into detail on the interior: the ventilation, lighting and drains. You might want to add capacity if you are intending to get new horses soon.
You should have at least as many stalls of 12 x 12 feet as horses. Obviously, if you’re a breeding operation, your stalls have to be much larger to accommodate mares and young. If you are into show horses, your barn should ideally include at least one wash/work area where horses can be washed, groomed and put through other required processes like hoof clipping. If you operate a facility specialized in coaching, you might need a heated and well lit tack room with an area for viewing. If you have staff, you may need an office , as well as living space and bathrooms, and possibly a kitchen and dining area too. Hopefully, you get the idea. You can’t do an effective job with the money you can spare unless you have it planned beforehand in full detail.
While your basic barn structure and facilities will depend on the amount of horses you have got and their use, your barn decor and layout will depend on your own attitudes. If work takes you away most of the day, you may want your stalls to open out to split paddocks. If your operation is large scale, you’ll be much better off with an automatic feeding and watering system. If there are generally plenty of visitors, riding trainees, staff, vets, farriers, trainers, you may need to ensure quick access to your barn, with adequate parking.
What’s your pasture requirement? Obviously, that would rely on how many horses you have, how often you turn your horses out and what quantity and quality of grass grows on your land. You really need to have larger pasture acreages for horses that spend most of their day outside, in comparison to horses that are turned out to a limited extent.
What pasture set up should you plan on? This would obviously depend on what your primary functions are. If you’ve got a predominance of mares and foals, a pasture or 2 would be adequate. The presence of stallions , however , would make a difference: you would devote one pasture to every stallion , as well as special enclosed areas for stallions with mares and foals. Acceptable shelter and fresh water supply ought to be available in your turnout areas.
The 1st rule of fencing is that it has to be safe. With that given factor, your budget and private choices will decide the kind of fencing you go in for. Your decision may also be influenced by the issue of how much upkeep is needed and how much upkeep you can afford. For instance, fencing of electric wire is the cheapest option but also the most ugly, aesthetically speaking. Upkeep requirements are moderate. Wooden fences are good looking but do need regular upkeep. Fencing of PVC can be as pleasing to the eye as fencing of wood; there’s virtually no upkeep needed. Nevertheless PVC fencing is the most expensive of the options.