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twcolabear
Jun. 13, 2010, 08:35 PM
I'm interested in a property but it has a small pond. Is that a problem for horses? Besides Mosquitos what are the other problems can I expect?
edit: I forgot to mention the property is 10acres and the pond is in a far corner

bludejavu
Jun. 13, 2010, 08:59 PM
We have several ponds on our farm that our broodmares and retirees drink from. As long as your pond is supplied by a freshwater spring/springs, you shouldn't have any problems. If it is what is referred to as a wet water pond, which is a pond that is supplied by rain run-off only, that can be a problem as it can become stagnant which provides a mosquito breeding haven.

tveley
Jun. 13, 2010, 09:10 PM
I like having a pond. We are planning to put one in our front pasture. If you stock the pond with fish, the mosquitoes may not be a real problem. Also if the pond is fed by a stream, the moving water will prevent the mosquito larvae from building up. "Mosquito Dunks" work well too, and do not harm horses.

If your horses are like mine, they will want to play in the pond constantly. I have a running creek and they are always rolling in it. Sometimes it is hard to tell them apart because they are all the same muddy brown color!!!

Other than that, there is not much of a down side unless the pond has slippery shoe-sucking mud around it, or dangerous submerged debris in it that you cannot see such as tree limbs or old fencing that a horse can get tangled in. Check it out carefully (yes you may just have to go in it yourself).

Bravestrom
Jun. 13, 2010, 09:20 PM
Mud fever can be a problem with ponds and I don't know what area you are in but there are some situations where a pond can be dangerous - there was a story one time where it got very cold in an area that had never had it before - the horses did not realize the pond was frozen - walked on it, fell in and drown. Also if they run on a frozen pond they can slip and fall.

AKB
Jun. 13, 2010, 09:46 PM
You may want to put fencing around the pond so you can close it off as needed. The night before a show, you may not want the horses playing the shoe losing game in the pond. Also, I would close it off if I thought the horses would walk on the ice in the winter.

Our horses dug their own little pond at the bottom of their pasture. There is room for one horse at a time to immerse himself in the refreshing muddy water.

JanWeber
Jun. 13, 2010, 09:50 PM
Where are you? When we looked for boarding in South Florida, nearly every property had a small pond. Turns out they were where fill was excavated to make the property less swampy - the "pond" had steep limestone sides and we were told to keep horses away from it. The remedy for a horse that "fell in" was to get a lift with a sling since the horse would be unable to climb out by themselves...

twcolabear
Jun. 13, 2010, 10:01 PM
I'm in northern California so I think the chance of frozen pond are low. This year was very wet and I can see that about 5ft from pond is dried mud so I'm thinking that's how far it goes. It looks like there is a spring somewhere because the water is not stagnant except in a far edge where it is covered in greens but it doesn't smell. I wonder if it will need to be cleared out and see what's at the bottom.

AnotherRound
Jun. 14, 2010, 08:52 AM
I'd do that. You may only need to go in once, but then you know what the bottom is. For example, 4 feet of mud? By way of explaination, though, you really only are going to have a silty, deep mucky bottom if there are trees around it and leaves are dropping into it regularly, and then decomposing. If there is clear pasture around it, you might not have that much mud, and might not have much to clear out every few years.

If there are trees around it, or if it is filling in because of water plants which die and decompose, you might have to dig/dredge it out every few years to keep it clear, running and not mucky.

I think its worth it, though. The horses love it, swimm and drink from it. You'd have to describe your pond better for more comments.

katarine
Jun. 14, 2010, 11:15 AM
We have a 2 acre +/- sinkhole pond that's about 50' deep in the middle where I've poked around on it, and is locally known as the Pond That Ain't Got No Bottom. It's spring fed from the bottom and ain't no way to get a horse in it, without a backhoe on hand to drag him back out.

So, it just depends :)

Reiter
Jun. 14, 2010, 11:45 AM
I live in northern CA and have a pond on the property. The horses love it. It is not spring fed, but I have fish and frogs that take care of the mosquitos. Last year, after several years of not enough rain, was the first time I provided an alternate water source for drinking. It might have been fine, but the water level was low and though not smelly it looked brown and dirty. With all the rain we had this year, I don't think I'll have to worry about it for a while. I still have run off and wet spots on the property! :)

RacetrackReject
Jun. 14, 2010, 12:03 PM
I have my pond fenced off from my grazing pastures as I cannot see it from my house and I want to be able to keep the horses away from it at night. If I could see it from the house, I would let the horses out there during the daylight hours so they could play it in if they want. As it is, I have only ever taken them out to drink out of it after the hurricane when I had no power for the well for over a week and then this past year after a hard freeze and it took plumbers/electricians a week to figure why I had no water. The horses wouldn't drink out of the pond, but if I filled buckets with the water, they would drink out of the buckets.

Aggie4Bar
Jun. 14, 2010, 12:07 PM
Overall, having a spring-fed pond is a good thing, even a bit of a novelty for the horses. But it would be good to check how the pond was dug. Does it slope in or drop off? Most that are dug for livestock are easy to climb in and out. However, horses and cattle have drowned from not being able to pull themselves out due to a steep drop off.

Horses I've had always enjoyed midday swims during the summer... even to the extent of rolling and "sunbathing" in the shallow parts. This produces some interesting stains in greys. :D

bludejavu
Jun. 14, 2010, 12:11 PM
Overall, having a spring-fed pond is a good thing, even a bit of a novelty for the horses. But it would be good to check how the pond was dug. Does it slope in or drop off? Most that are dug for livestock are easy to climb in and out. However, horses and cattle have drowned from not being able to pull themselves out due to a steep drop off.

Horses I've had always enjoyed midday swims during the summer... even to the extent of rolling and "sunbathing" in the shallow parts. This produces some interesting stains in greys. :D

Our main pasture pond was specifically dug for livestock. In wet periods, it's about 25 feet deep in the center but it's rare that it's that full.

I laughed at your mention of gray horses. We have a gray broodmare and being in Georgia, we have lots of red clay, particularly on the edges of the pond. No one believes that mare is gray when they see her from a distance. She looks like a dirty palomino :D.

ladyfarrier
Jun. 15, 2010, 06:58 PM
I once leased a farm in Michigan that had a small pond on it (about the size of a couple of dressage courts).

Downsides:

Yes, the mosquitoes (the national bird of Michigan) were horrific

Once, during a "herd chinese fire drill" a foal got shouldered/flipped into the pond. Luckily, foals do seem to be able to swim instinctively

The pond was at the bottom of a slope from the driveway. The furnace repairman forgot to set his brake (or something) and his truck ended up in the pond.

Locations differ, but liability is a problem nearly everywhere....got a pond? Total strangers will come and ask if they can fish/swim/party in your pond.

But the clincher was the first winter when I was away and the farm sitter called and said "say, the horses are in the middle of the pond (on the ice), is that a problem?"

I didn't really see any upside to the pond. If you have one and your horses are going to be in proximity of it, I'd fence it. Horses ruin the footing around the perimeter of the pond, turning it into a large mudhole.

GraceLikeRain
Jun. 15, 2010, 09:36 PM
We have two pastures that include a small pond. The horses usually drink from their troughs but splash and roll in the pond

sunridge1
Jun. 16, 2010, 08:48 PM
Love, love, love my pond. The horses love the pond. The youngsters are a riot with their play. Most winters I keep them out. However last winter it was dry due to the drought and this year it has no water. Everyone has been very sad man and beast alike.