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SmallHerd
Jul. 21, 2011, 11:05 AM
Yes! We got the farm!! We are moving either Labor Day weekend or the weekend after. So excited!! We will move the horses home the week after we move.

Property owner will mow the pastures. I have acquired a riding lawn mower for the 1.5 acres around the house. Hay is lined up too.

Now to pack this place and get 'er done!
___________________________________________

My husband and I are comtemplating moving to a small farm and bringing our 2 horses home. This is something I have wanted all of my life. We are mid-40s with grown kids, live in a very urban area now, and my husband travels most of the time. I would be home with 2 horses, dogs and cats, and possibly the 20+ year old daughter. It sounds so dreamy!

Friends of ours have their horses at home, and are being very encouraging.

I currently have to be home on a schedule to take care of the dogs and they are on a very consistent feed/potty schedule. :)

Other than equipment needed, etc., what type of culture shock am I in for?

LisaB
Jul. 21, 2011, 11:08 AM
You'll spend all your time picking up poo, feeding, and mowing.
No time to ride
Spending all your money on farm stuff and not clothes on your back.
If you're not into competing and just pleasure riding and having the horses at home, then great. I didn't like it because I like to ride not shovel sh-.
I would recommend someone stay at home full time too. The weekend warrior thing was exhausting.

HPFarmette
Jul. 21, 2011, 11:14 AM
It's heaven for me except I miss the cameraderie and riding companions I had in boarding barns. Sometimes I don't have anybody to ride with.

hey101
Jul. 21, 2011, 11:16 AM
Give yourself a full year to adjust as there will be different challenges in every season. The first year will be very hard work (but to me, fulfilling and enjoyable, even as you bust your butt with not enough hours in the day!) as you figure out what works for you, what doesn't, and how to absorb the lessons learned from the mistakes you will inevitably make :). You can also plan on dropping 10+ pounds and being able to eat ANYTHING you want! :lol:

Good luck to you, I absolutely loved having my horses at home and after four years of boarding, hope to have them home again within a year. I can't wait.

AliCat518
Jul. 21, 2011, 11:16 AM
I went from boarding to having 5 horses at home, plus a large fenced in yard, gardens, etc.

I was used to spending my weekends riding, spending time with friends, doing fun things, catching up on stuff. Now I mow the lawn, clean up poop, weed the gardens, clean out troughs, clean up more poop, fill buckets, etc etc etc.

Its GREAT having the horses at home, but it's a LOT of work. I went from living in apartments/townhouses through college and after to farm life. Big culture shock for me.

Also, going out of town is really hard when you have them at home. SO and I go out of town every few weekends and its hard to find someone I trust to take care of the horses, dogs and cats.

tasia
Jul. 21, 2011, 11:33 AM
I went from boarding to having 5 horses at home, plus a large fenced in yard, gardens, etc.

I was used to spending my weekends riding, spending time with friends, doing fun things, catching up on stuff. Now I mow the lawn, clean up poop, weed the gardens, clean out troughs, clean up more poop, fill buckets, etc etc etc.

Its GREAT having the horses at home, but it's a LOT of work. I went from living in apartments/townhouses through college and after to farm life. Big culture shock for me.

Also, going out of town is really hard when you have them at home. .

This:yes: But I love it:D

Nes
Jul. 21, 2011, 11:51 AM
LOVE IT!!!!!

I actually don't find it that much work, especially because I used to work at 20+ horse barn (Ask me that again in the winter though...). Uh, other then cleaning up/prepping/repairing/renoing things because we just moved in.

But we're having a ton of fun, and it is indescribably wonderful to be able to look out my kitchen window and see my beautiful horse out in our fields :yes:


You can also plan on dropping 10+ pounds and being able to eat ANYTHING you want!

VERY true!!! :lol:

Robin@DHH
Jul. 21, 2011, 12:21 PM
With only two horses, you want to choose a location where
other people nearby have horses. Otherwise you will have
a difficult time getting a farrier to come, finding a horse
savvy vet, getting to a tack shop and/or feed store that
carries the kinds of things you need.

You also want plenty of horse owning neighbors so you
can band together and protect your interests if the local
government gets a wild hair and decides to make things
less desirable for horse owners.

King's Ransom
Jul. 21, 2011, 12:21 PM
I've been at it for 5 years -- the first 3 years I was a single, middle-aged lady. Now I am past-middle-aged married lady.

It's a great adventure, and if that is what you are looking for, I highly recommend it. As others have said, it's a lot of work. Did I mention a lot of work? I cannot over-state that it is a lot of work!

However, a few things I have learned that enhance the fun aspect --
1. If you can possibly find a trainer (or depending your needs, just a good, young rider) to help with your horses, they will be a lot more fun for you. Someone who can help keep them in condition physically, and keep their minds on work. It happened to me, and I have seen a LOT of other folks go through this, too -- you bring your horses home, and you start to work a LOT on the farm, and bad weather comes and before you know it, it's been 6 months since you rode your horse. And now he is plenty FRESH and you're a little intimidated about riding him alone -- and there is seldom anyone around -- and one thing leads to another and suddenly your horse is out of condition and at the same time way too fresh for you to ride. So ... a trainer or a good young person to just get in the exercise rides, would be a big help. Now, when you're reading to saddle up for a Sunday ride, you don't have Dobbin-the-Dynamo underneath you!

2. Ride. Don't put it off. Keep up with the barn work as much as you can during the week so your whole weekend is not spent on barn work. Remember, barn work can last all weekend, but your ride will only be a few hours. Do it first! Then, once you've ridden, go ahead and do your barn / farm chores.

3. Line up someone as quickly as you can to farm-sit. You WILL want to take a break. And, while you're at it, try not to establish a routine that is so stringent only YOU can do it. Be flexible. It is not true that horses will colic if not fed at the same time every day. It is not true that they will die if their stall is not picked out twice a day. It is not true that they need exact rations, supplements, and grooming at exact moments every day. Set up a routine that allows for the easiest possible maintenance -- both for you and your farm-sitter. Also, if you can, set things up so a pinch-hitter can feed without having to enter stalls or bring horses in-or-out. It is easier to find someone to come over and throw a scoop of grain into a bucket or throw a few flakes of hay into the run-in shed than to catch and halter your horses, bring them into their stalls, etc., etc., etc.

Just my two-cents.

I love it. Realize I may not be here when I am 90, but they are going to have to drag me kicking-and-screaming away from this paradise.

But did I mention it's a lot of work??

SmallHerd
Jul. 21, 2011, 12:40 PM
THANK YOU everyone! Here are a few more details . .

We have identified the place already. The property is in the middle of small farms with horses - very horse-centric. There are trails connecting everyone's property, including that of one of my dear friends. :)

Farrier and vet service will not be a problem.

I DO already have a farm sitter - actually 2 that I can call, along with my daughter (the pinch-hitter). :)

One of our horses is retired from competition and is used only for the occassional trail ride by my daughter (he is her horse). Our other horse is MY horse. We haul out for lessons to an eventing barn now, so that will not change.

I WANT the work, actually. To me, it will be totally worth it to have my horses outside my window. I can ride a 4 AM if I want, you know?

Wayside
Jul. 21, 2011, 12:43 PM
It's a lot less work if you have a good set up with a run-in shed where you can leave your horses out 24/7 with access to shelter. You still have to pick poo out of the shed once in a while, but it's less time sensitive, and a whole lot less work.

Set-up is everything. The layout of your barn/shed/house/pasture can make chores a walk in the park, or a pain in the ass. And there's no one right way, it's all about what works for you.

Visit lots of barns and find out what they love and hate about their facility and daily routine. Think about how you want your horses kept, what kinds of features are important to you, and how expensive they would be to incorporate into the properties you look at.

ETA: Fence maintenance is my most hated chore :P

carolprudm
Jul. 21, 2011, 02:16 PM
It's heaven for me except I miss the cameraderie and riding companions I had in boarding barns. Sometimes I don't have anybody to ride with.
This, but I wouldn't trade it for a house in the 'burbs and a boarding barn

eponacelt
Jul. 21, 2011, 02:46 PM
I WANT the work, actually. To me, it will be totally worth it to have my horses outside my window. I can ride a 4 AM if I want, you know?

I kind of felt this way, although I do sometimes resent having to do things like fix fence and move poo instead of other stuff. But most of the time it is great.

We made the change about 18 months ago and its been great. I second what someone said about riding first. Also, make sure you have an efficient set-up. It makes things go so much better. We were lucky that our farm was well designed with most things where they needed to be. But we've also made management choices partially on the basis of ease of care.

Good luck and remember that you have horses for fun. If you lose that fun somehow, make sure to change your routine so its fun again!

LisaB
Jul. 21, 2011, 03:19 PM
THANK YOU everyone! Here are a few more details .

Farrier and vet service will not be a problem.

Wanna bet? Lost my farrier
And hay - hay people around here only like to deal in huge quantities that would last you a whole year or more.
And plan on taking time off of work when you do have to get feed/hay/etc because around here, those stores are only open during regular working hours.
I did get my feed delivered and that was very nice!
Hay was a different story - so was anything else I needed like fertilizing/liming pastures or any other type work that needed to be hired out.
And plan wisely for as little mowing as possible. That nice expanse of lawn is a pita when you have to weed whack around fencing AND do that. A little yard and as much gravel and dry areas for winter as possible.

HPFarmette
Jul. 21, 2011, 03:33 PM
I was lucky enough to buy a small farm...silver lining to the divorce I didn't want...ex would never move out of the city. The barn was very neglected. One corner was decaying into the ground because the cedar roof shingles on that weather side were covered in a foot of pine needles...rotting. A fine gentleman, whom I didn't know too well at the time, came out to fix it, jacked it up, put in pressure-treated, etc. (I replaced the roof myself.) This fine gentleman paused in his work at one point, looked around and said, May I speak frankly to you? I (thinking WTF?) said...yes.....He said: This is a helluva project for a broad. Thus my farm name, Helluva Project Farmette.
Have fun picking your farm name.:yes:

hosspuller
Jul. 21, 2011, 03:39 PM
Fix-itis.

There are so many thing to break, wear-out or modify on a farm... You'll want and need some mechanical skills or a lot of money to hire every little thing out. Make sure your partner is up for this aspect. Travel all week to come home to a honey-do list gets old quick.

That said... I sure enjoy the land and space.

katarine
Jul. 21, 2011, 03:50 PM
Been doing it 11 years, only occasionally want to go back to boarding. Like once every 5 years lol.

Went through 4-5 farriers til I settled on one, being in a horsie area you'll be fine in that regard. Went through one vet on my way to the one I love :) and he's not allowed to retire, ever.

The biggest thing for me was not having a trusted BO to look to and ask 'is he off on that hind leg?'- so make sure you not only develop good relationships with good neighbors, but that you are a good neighbor as well: Take care of those good folks around you so you have a person to lean on for a hug, or a shot of Banamine as needed :)

I love having total control over their care, it's a ton of work but we make it work.

King's Ransom
Jul. 21, 2011, 04:21 PM
One more note on the "work" aspect -- it is a lot of work, but if you enjoy it, it's not so bad. I mean, some people garden, some people run marathons, some people decorate -- everybody does SOMEthing on their days off. As for me, I truly enjoy driving the tractor, mucking the stalls, fixing fence, and etc. It sort of becomes a hobby.

And there is great satisfaction in a clean, freshly bedded stall. And a de-cobwebbed barn. And automatic fly sprayers that work. And on and on. I love standing outside and looking around all the work we got done over the weekend, and taking pride in how nice it all looks.

But there is honestly NOTHING better than the way living with horses changes your life. Having them with you at home is like bringing them into the family. I think you get to know them in a way you never could if you board. I just feel like I know every thing about each of them -- right down their unique sense of humor. Having them at home has enriched our lives beyond words.

So ... to each his own, but for me, it is worth it every day!

PS -- I NEVER shop. Never did. If you like to shop, farm living might not be much fun!

carolprudm
Jul. 21, 2011, 04:31 PM
Fix-itis.

There are so many thing to break, wear-out or modify on a farm... You'll want and need some mechanical skills or a lot of money to hire every little thing out. Make sure your partner is up for this aspect. Travel all week to come home to a honey-do list gets old quick.

That said... I sure enjoy the land and space.
LOL, we have 20 acres, 13 horses and 30 goats. There is very little I can't do alone....the "honey do" list is only the "Honey I can't do this alone"
Mr P mows along the bank by the road, I don't like the slope, and alongside the fence, because I don't go close enough. He moves stuff with the loader or fork lift and will hold goats for deworming. He tills the garden with the Troybuilt Pony if my smaller Stiehl isn't strong enough. He usually bush hogs the pastures though I can do that myself. I can't change the implements on the big tractor. Weekends in the winter we put 2 round bales in the pastures, that's a 2 person operation.

We buy about 1200 square bales a year and I stack most of them, plus 50 round bales.

I don't do chain saws, that's strictly his department.

Most weekends he gets in two rounds of golf.

However we have 2 kubotas, one about 50 hp and 1 is 26 or so, plus a heavy duty golf cart, which actually gets the most use.

cowgirljenn
Jul. 21, 2011, 05:11 PM
I think the biggest thing about having them at home is that you really have to re-examine your priorities:

For example, I would love to have a perfectly manicured yard and barn/barnyard. And a clean house. BUT... I like to ride. So my house is a mess, my yard doesn't mowed like it should, I haven't run the weed eater in forever, and somedays I skip stall cleaning to ride (I know, some people are gasping). My horses aren't perfectly groomed either.

You will have a never-ending list of things needing to be done. And you'll have to learn to live with the knowledge that you can't do them all. :)

Bluey
Jul. 21, 2011, 05:37 PM
I would include in the plans you are making an exit strategy, so you both know you can again change if things don't work for you there.

One of you may get sick and need to downsize back to living in a smaller, easier to keep place, the horses back to boarding.

I think you will be more apt to enjoy yourselves if you don't make the move too final, if you have a plan B if not satisfied wherever you go.

I have seen families do both, move and love it, some move and decide after a while to go back.
They loved the idea of living in the country, didn't like the reality and what they were giving up they liked in the suburbs/town as much.

One person alone, they can make it work easier than pleasing two or more.

SmallHerd
Jul. 21, 2011, 06:22 PM
Bluey, we have an even better plan. :) We are going to LEASE the farm with option to buy. That way if it is too much, we can walk away and go back to boarding and smaller housing. However, if we love it, then we will buy it, and THEN will put together an exit strategy.

hey101
Jul. 21, 2011, 06:43 PM
Bluey, we have an even better plan. :) We are going to LEASE the farm with option to buy. That way if it is too much, we can walk away and go back to boarding and smaller housing. However, if we love it, then we will buy it, and THEN will put together an exit strategy.

SmallHerd, can you explain how this works? Do you agree on a sale price now? What if the market goes way up or down in a year (which can happen, as we all know all too well based on recent events). Do you put a deposit down that you would then lose if you do not buy? Do some or all of your lease payments go to the purchase price? What are the advantages/ disadvantages to the seller/ buyer?

thanks!

Rabtfarm
Jul. 21, 2011, 06:44 PM
Dear smallherd,
I hope this works out well for you. It is a lot of work and you have to basically love to care for your horses. I am a bit askance with the lease option as it seems like an almost too easy exit strategy...like if it gets too hard, we can just walk away. I tend to take my commitments a lot more(meaning too much) seriously.
I have a manic friend who was able to buy a six stall boarding barn, clean stalls for 6 weeks then sell out and leave, but I don't recommend it.
But once you get into a routine and the lifestyle agrees, there is really nothing like it. Maybe it's a substitute purpose in life, but these guys seem to enjoy the care we give them.
Have fun, too!!

HoofaSchmigetty
Jul. 21, 2011, 06:48 PM
REMEMBER.......No more vacations...no more holidays...no more sleeping in...no calling out sick....stalls still need to be cleaned and horses still need to be fed. Where are you located? In a cold winter climate? Get used to chipping ice off of water buckets several times a day. And lastly......ENJOY!!!

coloredcowhorse
Jul. 21, 2011, 06:54 PM
SmallHerd, can you explain how this works? Do you agree on a sale price now? What if the market goes way up or down in a year (which can happen, as we all know all too well based on recent events). Do you put a deposit down that you would then lose if you do not buy? Do some or all of your lease payments go to the purchase price? What are the advantages/ disadvantages to the seller/ buyer?

thanks!

I'm not Smallherd but that's how I bought my 40 acres with two homes. The lease was for a year with an agreed upon price for the property. ALL of my lease payments went toward the down payment...can be all or can be part depending on your agreement. At the end of the lease I could have just walked away from it or, as we did, we went through a title company and closed on the purchase contract. Didn't go through a real estate agent and avoided the commissions by doing private contract. Paying more in interest (which I don't really care about as it is deductible) but the homes are both mobiles and not on foundations so financing was not an option for anyone buying this....and since the homes are not on foundations they are not considered to be real estate so my property taxes are much lower than if they were. I have the second home rented out so it is paying most of the mortgage.

Advantages to me.....no big chunk for a down, got to learn a lot about what things would need work and what was in good shape, learned the weather, road conditions in winter, who had hay for what price and could/would deliver. Met some of the neighbors and figured out which ones could be depended upon and which were trouble. Didn't have to qualify for a loan (and with divorce and self-employment that would have been difficult at best).

Advantages to seller (assuming here)...he got it sold after sitting vacant for a couple years, is getting sizable monthly payments, has the property being used and kept up (sort of ..... lots and lots to do!), has taxes on it paid, has option of foreclosure/repo if I don't make payments and he'd still have a property he could sell, maybe at a higher price if the area develops at all (and could with active gold mines in the area).

cowgirljenn
Jul. 21, 2011, 06:56 PM
REMEMBER.......No more vacations...no more holidays...no more sleeping in...no calling out sick....stalls still need to be cleaned and horses still need to be fed. Where are you located? In a cold winter climate? Get used to chipping ice off of water buckets several times a day. And lastly......ENJOY!!!

It doesn't have to be there.

We take vacations, we enjoy holidays and I sleep in. Often.

Again, it depends on how you set things up. My guys are not on a hard and fast schedule, so I can sleep in if I want and they don't have a meltdown. And I can feed earlier in the evening (or late at night) if I want to go out.

We have a fantastic farm sitter, too. That's one thing I recommend that you start looking around for RIGHT AWAY. And make sure the first few trips are short (even day trips) so you can test them out. And if you have people nearby, have them check in on the pet/farm sitter the first few longer trips you take.

Gnalli
Jul. 21, 2011, 07:02 PM
I have only been boarding under someone elses care for a little over a year. Before, we have always either had our "own" place or occassionally at a self care place. There are certain things that I like about a boarding barn-people to ride with, someone to take care of the horses when we want to go out of town, and friends at the barn. The down sides: I am a control freak at times, and want things done a certain way with my horses and my stuff. I want to be able to get more horses and not have to worry about the board bill going up. And I DON"T want drama. Having your own place is kinda needed for that. I like that. I love taking care of my own. That being said, I like my friends there.

Face it, it is an individual choice. Your MMV. My mileage and my dh's mileage vary. You have to LOVE the work for it to be worth it. The land itself gives me a measure of peace, and the horses give me another, so yeah, for me, having my own place again would be good.

Bluey
Jul. 21, 2011, 07:05 PM
Many years ago, a friend bought some land on payments to the owner directly, principal and interest payments and had five years to pay it off, or walk out and leave what had been paid behind, that was a bit more than a lease would have been.

The seller was getting rent income and a bit more and it seemed to work well for all.

The friend was training horses, put up fencing and a portable 12 stall barn and was doing fine, until she got sick and decided to sell the barn, that two different people bought, each one took part of it and let the place go back to the seller, that then sold it outright thru a real estate agent.

I would say there are as many kinds of deals out there as there are buyers and sellers.

I think that leasing with the option to buy, if you are not 100% sure you will want to stay there, is a good way to try this.
Even if your new adventure is short, you decide not to buy, you may not lose as much as buying outright and then having to turn around and sell again, who knows into what market then.

No matter what you do, before you sign anything, get a good real estate specialist attorney to look the contracts over.
That is better than needing one if things don't work out.

Serigraph
Jul. 21, 2011, 07:19 PM
PS -- I NEVER shop. Never did. If you like to shop, farm living might not be much fun!

Surely you shop for horse fun-ables??? :lol:

That is pretty much the only shopping I do these days.

tabula rashah
Jul. 21, 2011, 07:40 PM
REMEMBER.......No more vacations...no more holidays...no more sleeping in...no calling out sick....stalls still need to be cleaned and horses still need to be fed. Where are you located? In a cold winter climate? Get used to chipping ice off of water buckets several times a day. And lastly......ENJOY!!!

Doesn't need to be that way at all. I still go on plenty of vacations (and travel for work). I could sleep in but I'm a morning person- LOL! My horses are out 24/7 so no stalls- if I'm feeling really lazy all I have to do is feed and check twice a day. I do round bales in the fields. I still get plenty of riding in.
Yeah, there's a lot of other work involved but I wouldn't have it any other way.

nappingonthejob
Jul. 21, 2011, 08:05 PM
REMEMBER.......No more vacations...no more holidays...no more sleeping in...no calling out sick....stalls still need to be cleaned and horses still need to be fed. Where are you located? In a cold winter climate? Get used to chipping ice off of water buckets several times a day. And lastly......ENJOY!!!

I'm with the others who say that this is a very grim view and does not reflect everyone's experiences. You can find farm sitters. You can make a routine that fits with your lifestyle. The horses will not perish from starvation if you hit the snooze button. They sell water bucket heaters, insulated buckets, and other nifty devices to MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER. Home horse-keeping does not have to be some exercise in self-sacrifice and deprivation.

katarine
Jul. 21, 2011, 09:10 PM
oh BS on the life is over when the horses come home.

Hot fence to back up the real fence
Hudson valves to keep the tanks full
Good quality hoses, period
Run in sheds
Tank heaters
leave them OUT- I clean stalls approximately 20 times a year. That's how little they are inside. OUT OUT OUT
Motion activated lights so barn sitters don't trip over the cat.
Hang the gates correctly so the horses can't remove them (top pin DOWN, bottom pin, up :) )
Good neighbors and farm sitters.

Signed,

headed outta town tomorrow with three horses, a donkey, three cats and two dogs staying home :)

oldpony66
Jul. 22, 2011, 08:11 AM
Smallherd - oh that sounds really nice! You already know the future horse-friend neighbors and have riding buddies!!! One of the hardest parts of moving to a new place with horses is getting connected to the right farrier, vet, hay supplier, etc. You've already got the connections started.

I went from full board to rough boarding, to having the ponies right next-door/backyard in a co-op kind of deal (that was terrible), to having them home 100% my responsibility, so it was a gradual increase in responsbility. For me, and you're in MO so for you too, one big shock might be dealing with SNOW and freezing water. Not so much blanketing or anything like that, but just removing snow from your driveway, getting to the barn, etc. When you live in town and only have to shovel a porch, four steps, and ten feet of driveway it isn't so bad. When you have 400 yards of driveway and the snow drifts prefer the side of your barn with the doors, it's a bigger deal. So... depending on your property you will want something large to plow with. A shovel or a snow blower isn't going to cut it in most cases.

Nothing is perfect... boarding isn't perfect either. It's what you choose. I like being able to see the horses all the time and have them be "family". I like being in control of situations. If my paddock is muddy, sure it's another job for me to tackle and maybe take away riding time, but it's a job I CAN tackle. When I'm boarding it's usually take-it-or-leave-it. I can buy the hay I want, the food I want, I don't have to worry that fly spray isn't going to be used when I'm not watching (or that my fly spray bottles are going to be "borrowed"), I choose the days for fly masks, blankets, electrolytes in the water, and all that sort of stuff. I trade all of that hassle for different hassles - picking up poop, harrowing, mowing the pasture, dealing with weeds, stacking hay, and other assorted jobs. If that's the trade you want to make you're on the right track!

Make sure you post pictures of your new place when you move in!

kcmel
Jul. 22, 2011, 08:29 AM
This has been said several times before but I think it bears repeating: 24/7 turnout is your friend!

charlo
Jul. 22, 2011, 08:54 AM
REMEMBER.......No more vacations...no more holidays...no more sleeping in...no calling out sick....stalls still need to be cleaned and horses still need to be fed. Where are you located? In a cold winter climate? Get used to chipping ice off of water buckets several times a day. And lastly......ENJOY!!!

Seriously? I echo the other poster that said "BS". I live in the cold snowy north, I deal with ice and snow for 5-6 months of the year, my kids play hockey, we travel for hockey, we travel for vacations. It isn't often we don't take a warm vacation in winter, next year we plan on two...Holidays are apiece of cake, sleeping in, sure you can - i don't but it doesn't mean I can't, I just don't.

Being sick and horses, suck, chores get done, maybe not the best, but how often are you really sick? if the stalls aren't picked out the greatest once in a blue moon it really is ok. Once you have a routine down, feeding shouldn't take all that long. I have 4 horses here I can be in and out of the barn for feeding in 15 mins tops.

Oh and frozen water buckets? buy the heated buckets or tank heaters...no more chipping ice...

The best advice is find a really good farm sitter...they make life so much easier. Also if you can buy a truck and trailer.

Sure having them at home makes it hard to come up with a riding buddy, but now my kids are old enough to ride. We haul out for lessons, but only because my ring isn't built yet. Once that is done I have the option of bring our coaches down, but I think I will still haul out as it gets everyone use to different rings, and other horses.

Sure it is hard work, but for me personally I enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with my own barn, no drama, the rule maker is me...and they do make great excuses if you want to get out of something that you really don't want to do!!:lol:

eponacelt
Jul. 22, 2011, 08:58 AM
And there is great satisfaction in a clean, freshly bedded stall. And a de-cobwebbed barn. And automatic fly sprayers that work. And on and on. I love standing outside and looking around all the work we got done over the weekend, and taking pride in how nice it all looks.



This is so true. Even last night, as the heat index was about 110 at my farm, I took time to sit behind the barn and watch the pony get his muzzle off, watch the horses mozy over to the shady part of the pasture, watch the cats (that I really didn't want but whom I now love) loll around in the grass at my feet, and survey the tremendous amount of fencing, painting, fixing, etc that we've done in the past 18 months. It is an incredible sense of satisfaction that I just never had when I was living in town on a tenth of an acre. Loved my old house, and we did a ton of work to it which gave me a lot of pride, but the farm projects are even more satisfying.

dmalbone
Jul. 22, 2011, 10:44 AM
I would very much like having my 2 horses at home if I were middle aged with grown kids. Having a 3 month old is NOT the best time. We've not enjoyed having them here while I was pg and now that he's here honestly. We're in the planning stages of moving them back to my mom's and selling our property. It truly does take all of your free time. Even with two horses you still have fence maintenance, mowing, etc. It's great if you love doing that, but not great if you have other things you want to get done.

SmallHerd
Jul. 22, 2011, 10:58 AM
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! All good advice! And I love hearing all of the stories - good, bad and otherwise.

I have a 4WD truck and horse trailer, a 4-wheeler with utility cart and a riding lawnmower. The owner of the property will mow the pastures. :)

As for the set-up, the horses have stalls that open to a paddock with an overhang, which opens to the pasture. I can turn out just in the paddick or to the pasture. I think this will work well in bad weather, while still allowing the horses to be outside.

The barn is a 3 stall barn with a tack room and a hay loft. I have 2 horses, and will use the 3rd stall as a hay/feed room. I don't want to deal with a loft.

There are riding trails that connect all of the area properties, and my friend's farm is a 15 minute trail ride away.

As it stands now, I drive countless hours most days going to/from the boarding barn. I am really looking forward to getting home from work and staying home, feeding, riding, or just sitting outside enjoying the view.

hey101
Jul. 22, 2011, 11:03 AM
Advantages to me.....no big chunk for a down...Didn't have to qualify for a loan

Advantages to seller (assuming here)...he got it sold after sitting vacant for a couple years, is getting sizable monthly payments, has the property being used and kept up (sort of ..... lots and lots to do!), has taxes on it paid, has option of foreclosure/repo if I don't make payments and he'd still have a property he could sell

CCH- thanks for this response. So you are making payments directly to the owner, ie it is owner-financed?

Do you know if it is possible to have such an arrangement and then the buyer ~could~ qualify for a loan?

Example with easy numbers: if I were to enter a contract lease-with-option-to-buy, and say paid $10K over a year to the owner on a pre-agreed $100K purchase (and perhaps under a normal lease I'd have only paid $5K for the year), and neither I nor the owner wanted to do an owner-finance, I would then approach the bank at the end of that year with a "purchse price" of $90K and have to meet whatever the bank's requirements are (20% down, etc). And if for whatever reason I could not qualify for that loan, I would lose the property, owner keeps my $10K (which is $5K more than it should have been), and owner can now sell or re-lease property? Perhaps even re-lease to me and I could try again in another year for the loan?

Bluey is totally correct about as many options out there as there are buyers, but what I've outlined above seems to be something I could reasonably offer to a seller. DH is not 100% sure he's ready to take on a farm again, especially as we now have two kids, and the market here in SoCal is terrible for sellers, so this could be a great option for DH and a frustrated seller.

dmalbone
Jul. 22, 2011, 11:14 AM
As for the set-up, the horses have stalls that open to a paddock with an overhang, which opens to the pasture. I can turn out just in the paddick or to the pasture. I think this will work well in bad weather, while still allowing the horses to be outside.

This is the setup I have also and is wonderful. One tip also to think about... we have stalls with dutch doors, paddocks and overhangs. We also divided the pasture in 1/2 with a gate that can be opened most days. They're not "cordial" enough to each other to go in the stalls together, so when there's the threat of bad storms or severe weather (even like the heat warning lately) I leave them in their separate pastures so they can still access their stalls. Normal days I just close the dutch doors behind them and the overhangs are plenty shelter. Sometimes I want to separate them though so that way they can still go out to a larger pasture and aren't stuck in the small paddocks, but still get in their stalls. Like now they can come and go under their fans, but also go out into the bigger pasture. It makes me feel MUCH better when I can't be home to put them up for storms. I've come to believe that they're smarter than me in knowing when to stay outside or get in the barn for storms.

SmallHerd
Jul. 22, 2011, 11:15 AM
Actually you would approach the bank with a $100K property (or whatever the appraised value is - could be higher thank $100k which works in your favor), the $100 selling price, and $10K down. You may or may not need to put more cash down in order to qualify for the loan.

hey101
Jul. 22, 2011, 11:30 AM
Actually you would approach the bank with a $100K property (or whatever the appraised value is - could be higher thank $100k which works in your favor), the $100 selling price, and $10K down. You may or may not need to put more cash down in order to qualify for the loan.

Got it. So the owner would "hold" the $10K accumulated over the year, and then when it's loan time, "return" it to the buyer as part of the money down for the loan. If loan cannot be secured, owner keeps the full $10K (and property of course) and buyer is SOL?

SmallHerd
Jul. 22, 2011, 11:47 AM
They wouldn't even return it. It would just be on paper. If the loan cannot be secured, lease could be renewed or not, depending on what the parties agree to. If you don't think you could qualify for a loan in 12 months, ask for a longer period up front. The owners would still have $$ coming in and someone taking care of the property.

spacytracy
Jul. 22, 2011, 12:20 PM
I love having mine at home. I walk outside and take care of two horses in 20 minutes, versus driving 35 to my boarding place (who is a great friend and I loved being there).

Yes, it has its pitfalls. You don't get to just ride. But once you've gotten your setup "down" and you settle into a routine, its pretty easy, especially if you're not a high-maintanance type.

Sounds like the location and the type of riding you do would be very conducive to having them at home.

Having a trailer helps, so if you somehow DON'T get a farrier to come regularly, you could always band together with horsie friends and have them done at a chosen location. My farrier comes out to me when he's in the area - he doesn't make special trips, but my horses are trims only so its not as dire that he's here on an exact schedule. My vet comes to us, no problem, usually within an hour during an emergency.

You learn what is necessary to buy and what's frivolous stuff. I bought more stuff when I boarded - I was always tempted by the others to buy stuff. Now that no one sees me ride everyday, I wear the same cheapo breeches, and I don't feel the need to have a saddle pad in every new style/color/etc.

Its very peaceful to come out and just watch them graze, or go down and give cookies at night.

Best of luck! :)

2DogsFarm
Jul. 22, 2011, 12:34 PM
REMEMBER.......No more vacations...no more holidays...no more sleeping in...no calling out sick....stalls still need to be cleaned and horses still need to be fed. Where are you located? In a cold winter climate? Get used to chipping ice off of water buckets several times a day. And lastly......ENJOY!!!

^
Pbbbbbfffftttt!!! : P

Yes, some of the above is true.
Horses must be fed (daily), stalls must be cleaned (occasionally) - these are non-negotiable.

But I've been doing this by myself for 7 years & I was not raised on a farm.
Far from it, I lived in a Major city all of my adult life.

The decision to move to a farm was mine & I have yet to regret it.

In the 7 years I have had at least one annual vacation and lots of long weekends.
Trips off the farm included a week in China, another in Tokyo.
So not like I could get back home immediately.

Good farmsitters/good horsy neighbors are a blessing and it sounds like OP has those sewed up.

Sleep in?
Well, I could if my housecat permitted.
Horses do not mind if meals are served late as long as they are served.

I'm in the Midwest so Winter can be a trial.
But I bought heated buckets the first year and they are still working. Add a sinking de-icer for the outside trough & no ice-chipping for me EVER.

My barn is open to the elements year-round as I keep stalls open 24/7/365.
I think I have stalled horses maybe 6 times and then only when icy blizzards blow from the East as that's the direction the stalls open to.

As others have already said:
Plan for your convenience.

and yes: ENJOY!!!!

jherold
Jul. 22, 2011, 12:38 PM
The biggest adjustment most people have is to just how dark it is in the country! Everyone who drives to my house at night comments on just how dark it is! No background lights from the city! That was a big adjustment.

Best advise I was given was to always go out the gate you came in. In other words, always make sure you're gates are latched!

Bluey
Jul. 22, 2011, 01:39 PM
Here, one problem is rattlers.
You have to learn and teach everyone living there and visitors to WATCH WHERE THEY ARE GOING all the time.

A family bought a ranch and they kept forgetting to close the door and one day they had a small rattler in their living room.

With dogs and little kids, it is hard to remember to keep outside doors closed, but they do now.;)

He is going to add a sun room to the outside doors, as I have, to make a kind of airlock, to help keep critters out of the main house.

cowgirljenn
Jul. 22, 2011, 01:40 PM
The biggest adjustment most people have is to just how dark it is in the country! Everyone who drives to my house at night comments on just how dark it is! No background lights from the city! That was a big adjustment.


GOOD Point! My step-mother was appalled that we weren't putting tons of big flood lights outside. I LIKE the dark - it took some getting used to, but now I love seeing the darks, I love full-moon nights, and I love moonless nights.

The coyotes hollering have been an adjustment for me..

Bluey
Jul. 22, 2011, 01:48 PM
Around here, it does get dark and that is when rattlers come out to hunt, when it cools off.

Everyone going outside in the dark uses a flashlight by necessity, which defeats the idea of enjoying the dark.

Now, sitting out there in the yard in the dark, or watching the moon come up when we had water in the lake and the reflection was the prettiest silver you ever saw, that is priceless.

UrbanHennery
Jul. 23, 2011, 02:10 AM
It took me 2 years of having the horses at home to really get into a rhythm, but a big part of that was getting our set-up to the point that it's easy. Keys for us were:

a) getting the cross-fencing up to allow pasture rotation.
b) getting a tractor for moving and turning the compost piles.
c) getting a brush mower so we could mow pastures ourselves.
d) realizing that good enough usually is good enough.
e) lining up farm sitters that we really can trust.

The reality is that there's always something to do around here - the garden is never weed free, there's always grass to mow, the barn is usually messier than I'd prefer, and the house is never clean enough. But, I wouldn't trade it for anything. We still go on vacation, we still have fun, we still enjoy life, we just do it with a farmette.

Go for it. You miss out on 100% of the dreams you never reach for.

Foxtrot's
Jul. 23, 2011, 11:56 AM
I can't imagine not having my horses at home. I can check on them constantly - see if anybody is off colour or not being themselves, injured, etc. Why else would I get up in the morning if not to hear that little whinney from them.

It is a two man job keeping up with the manual work to keep a place adequately tidy.

Lucky you. Enjoy.

danceronice
Jul. 23, 2011, 01:13 PM
It doesn't have to be there.

We take vacations, we enjoy holidays and I sleep in. Often.

Again, it depends on how you set things up. My guys are not on a hard and fast schedule, so I can sleep in if I want and they don't have a meltdown. And I can feed earlier in the evening (or late at night) if I want to go out.

We have a fantastic farm sitter, too. That's one thing I recommend that you start looking around for RIGHT AWAY. And make sure the first few trips are short (even day trips) so you can test them out. And if you have people nearby, have them check in on the pet/farm sitter the first few longer trips you take.

Seriously. If my parents went away when my retiree was at their place (brother and I were in college), the neighbor fed them and the barn cats. If I go away, the dog sitter comes. I have dogs and cats at home, if I sleep in on a weekend, they live with it.

As for ice--my BO (backyard barn setup) says the plug-in buckets were the best investment ever.

ETA: And how is a barn and horses any worse than just a house with a big yard? Mow (actually I gave up, the back can be three feet tall for a ll I care, wildflowers are pretty), something in a house is always needing fixing...if you OWN, no matter what, there's work, unless you're stuck in a condo or something.

IFG
Jul. 24, 2011, 07:40 AM
We have a really small place. Five acres, but 3 of them are swamp, and the paddock is only about a 1/4 acre. I set it up to be easy, and it really is not that much work. Horse goes in/out as he likes. Doesn't take much time to feed and muck. If the weather is good, I ride. Since I am not competing right now, I don't feel the need to ride in heat, but I have kept up my riding. No climb fencing has taken very little maintenance (knock wood).

Trevelyan96
Jul. 25, 2011, 05:06 PM
Sounds like OP will have the perfect setup.

Yes, its nice to board. If you're the type to just show up and ride and are content to leave the rest to your BO, its the perfect life. I had to learn the hard and $$$ way that I am most definitely NOT good boarder material.

Like KR, I LOVE the barn and farm chores. I'll spend hours out in the barn, not because I have so much work to do, but because I enjoy being out there.

I have a very low maintenance setup. Horses have 24x7 turnout with access to their stalls. Heated water buckets in the stalls, and a 70 gallon water trough right under the pump with a de-icer make winter water a piece of cake. Gates on either side of the barn give me a choice between pasture or sacrifice paddock turnout. I do up their next feed at feeding time in 8qt buckets and keep them right in the feed bins, so anyone, including non-horse neighbors can feed in an emergency. All they have to do is dump the blue bucket for Inky and the green one for Rico and close their dutch doors.

The large rubbermaid trash cans will generally hold 3 50# bags of feed, so I make 1 trip/mo to the feed store for 6 bags. Barn cats keep me pest free. I cans store up to 300 bales of hay, so 2 big hay deliveries a year give me peace of mind and also help me budget.

Be sure to put as much as you possibly can every payday into a special savings for hay and emergencies. Even if its only $25/paycheck, it will still help when you get an emergency vet call or a sudden hike in feed/hay prices.

For me, there is no better life. An efficient low maintenance setup and good farm sitters and/or horse friends give you freedom. Good management practices will keep your horses healthy and low maintenance as well.

SmallHerd
Aug. 13, 2011, 01:33 PM
Yep, we got the farm! Move date is still TBD but we are looking at Labor Day weekend or the weekend after. So excited!!

Now to pack this place . . . .

ayrabz
Aug. 13, 2011, 02:08 PM
So excited for you! I'm following the thread and learning a lot, too! Take pix early, and as you go along and make improvements, etc! Can't wait to see it!

CVPeg
Aug. 13, 2011, 03:35 PM
Congrats! I've also just learned alot in this post. I have a large amounnt of acreage - not-set-up-for-horses . I love the views and the setting, but I am putting it on the market, and was thinking of looking for just a small place with a boarding barn nearby.

Now, considering all the work I do just having this land (loads of mowing the couple of acres around the house without a rider - no garage or barn), or have done around here (brush hogging, down tree removal, path clearing and repair, landscaping, pest control - had a woodchuck who burrowed under the house) I'm thinking perhaps my best bet is some vacant land, and put up my own small place and small barn...

This has been really informative!

Enjoy your adventure!

MunchkinsMom
Aug. 13, 2011, 03:56 PM
Congrats and welcome to farm living!


One more note on the "work" aspect -- it is a lot of work, but if you enjoy it, it's not so bad. I mean, some people garden, some people run marathons, some people decorate -- everybody does SOMEthing on their days off. As for me, I truly enjoy driving the tractor, mucking the stalls, fixing fence, and etc. It sort of becomes a hobby.

And there is great satisfaction in a clean, freshly bedded stall. And a de-cobwebbed barn. And automatic fly sprayers that work. And on and on. I love standing outside and looking around all the work we got done over the weekend, and taking pride in how nice it all looks.

But there is honestly NOTHING better than the way living with horses changes your life. Having them with you at home is like bringing them into the family. I think you get to know them in a way you never could if you board. I just feel like I know every thing about each of them -- right down their unique sense of humor. Having them at home has enriched our lives beyond words.

So ... to each his own, but for me, it is worth it every day!

PS -- I NEVER shop. Never did. If you like to shop, farm living might not be much fun!

I agree with all of the above, on the rare occasion that I am away from the farm for more than 8 hours, I am so happy to come home.

SmallHerd
Aug. 13, 2011, 09:31 PM
This has been SUCH an educational thread. THANK YOU everyone for all of your advice and insight!

KR, I never was a big shopper either . . . . only for horse-realted stuff and enough clothes to get by at the office. :) So now I can shop for my barn. THAT will be so much fun.

I have been cleaning out and packing like a fiend for the past 2 weeks and am physically tired. The problem is that my mind keeps going, and going, and going. So much to do, so little time!

Did I mention that we now have a riding lawn mower for the small parcel around the house?

And my new neighbor (dear friend) has shared all of her hay contacts with me too.

Someone all of the pieces are falling together. I am pinching myself!!

Ghazzu
Aug. 13, 2011, 09:51 PM
REMEMBER.......No more vacations...no more holidays...no more sleeping in...no calling out sick....stalls still need to be cleaned and horses still need to be fed. Where are you located? In a cold winter climate? Get used to chipping ice off of water buckets several times a day. And lastly......ENJOY!!!

Bah.
Horses are fine if you sleep in on occasion.
Horses are fine if you skip mucking once in awhile.
I live in a cold climate, and with proper planning, one rarely needs to chip ice.

The upside far outweighs the downside for me.