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New horse boarding facility advice

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  • New horse boarding facility advice

    Hi there! We are looking at buying a property in central Ohio that has an older block barn with 24 stalls, although it needs quite an overhaul. We are looking at beginning a horse boarding operation at this facility once we get it fixed up and operational. There is approximately 5 acres worth of pasture that we are contemplating dividing into 5 different pastures. We need to overhaul the pastures and reseed this fall. Would this amount of space be adequate for 24 (max) horses at one time. I would like to have the horses out about 8 hours per day if the weather is good. Any information will be helpful!
    • Thanks!
    Last edited by Moderator 1; Sep. 12, 2019, 07:59 PM. Reason: removed questionable link

  • #2
    Yikes - 24 horse barn and 5 acres of pasture? Uhm, no. That is not nearly enough space **IF** you plan to provide daily turnout to all horses.

    Now, if you plan for those 5 one acre paddocks to be dirt only (no grass), and rotate the horses in sets of two (so 10 out at a time), then you might provide 4 hours per horse per day. But you'll have no turnout in fall if it is rainy, little winter turnout and none in spring - unless you want mud pits for paddocks.

    On the other hand, if you limit the place to say 5-6 boarders/horses max, I think with pasture rotation of 3 paddocks (instead of 5), you might have a decent go at it.

    But, now that I found an odd link in your post in the word "horses", I'm wondering if this is real. And I'm not clicking on that link to find out where it goes!
    ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

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    • #3
      Not at all. You’d need to create small, mud free paddocks in addition to a few grass paddocks but there’s no way you could pasture 24 horses on 5 acres.
      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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      • #4
        No .... not a sound idea •




        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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        • #5
          well, do the math. You want to put 24 horses in 5 acres, so that's 5 horses per acre.

          1/5 of an acre is 8712 square feet. That means you could give each horse a dirt pen of 80 by 100 feet, but of course you will need to figure in walkways between the pens that will take up some of your room. So yeah you could create the kind of tight squeezed set-up they have in a lot of suburban barns, where the horses get out into a sand paddock for the day without enough room to move around much.

          Does your facility have an arena, indoor or outdoor? If not, you will need to allocate a bunch of space to an arena, or no one will want to board there.

          When you have horses in this tight space, you really have to stay on top of drainage, footing, and cleaning the paddocks because they will destroy the grass in a couple of days, and you will be on mud.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Natalie86 View Post
            Hi there! We are looking at buying a property in central Ohio that has an older block barn with 24 stalls, although it needs quite an overhaul. We are looking at beginning a horse boarding operation at this facility once we get it fixed up and operational. There is approximately 5 acres worth of pasture that we are contemplating dividing into 5 different pastures. We need to overhaul the pastures and reseed this fall. Would this amount of space be adequate for 24 (max) horses at one time. I would like to have the horses out about 8 hours per day if the weather is good. Any information will be helpful!
            Thanks!
            I agree with above posters. 5 acres is not adequate grazing area for 24 horses. It isn't even close.

            We are in the Northeast, so not exactly OH, but probably, not that dissimilar. The rule of thumb in our area is 2 acres per horse for 24/7 grazing. If you are planning on 8 hours of turnout, perhaps you could get by with 2/3 of an acre per horse.

            Apply the above math, 5 acres MIGHT accommodate 7 or 8 horses if you grazed them for 8 hours a day. But even that is likely to be a stretch. You would have to maintain the area impeccably with irrigation, weed control etc. And as an earlier poster mentioned, turnout in the late fall through the early/mid spring is off the table if you are hoping to protect the grass.

            If you have 24 horses and 5 acres, you might be better off dividing up the area into dry lots. You'll need a proper base in each dry lot with thought given to drainage and run off.

            Before you purchase this property, you should consider what other barns in the area offer in the way of turnout. If dry lots and/or limited grass turnout is not the "norm" in your market, you'll need to compete for business based on something else. Perhaps a top trainer or cheaper boarding rates.

            The property you describe would not be my top choice for a boarding facility.
            Last edited by Moderator 1; Sep. 12, 2019, 08:00 PM. Reason: removed hyperlink

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            • #7
              in the 1970s I worked at a saddlebred farm that was a training and show barn.... horses were never turned out but we had 30 head on a place that was about two acres

              It was the old farm house and barns of a farm whose land was sold into subdivision world of houses......Nearly No One knew those horses were there.

              Can OP's project be done, yes. Is it practical, not really.

              OP may be better off converting the barn into a boarding kennel, much greater income/profit potential.... and can always tell clients sorry we are booked up for that time

              ---

              But, now that I found an odd link in your post in the word "horses", I'm wondering if this is real. And I'm not clicking on that link to find out where it goes
              !

              saw that also and also would not click on that
              Last edited by clanter; Sep. 12, 2019, 07:54 AM.
              Not responsible for typographical errors.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 4LeafCloverFarm View Post
                Yikes - 24 horse barn and 5 acres of pasture? Uhm, no. That is not nearly enough space **IF** you plan to provide daily turnout to all horses.

                Now, if you plan for those 5 one acre paddocks to be dirt only (no grass), and rotate the horses in sets of two (so 10 out at a time), then you might provide 4 hours per horse per day. But you'll have no turnout in fall if it is rainy, little winter turnout and none in spring - unless you want mud pits for paddocks.

                On the other hand, if you limit the place to say 5-6 boarders/horses max, I think with pasture rotation of 3 paddocks (instead of 5), you might have a decent go at it.

                But, now that I found an odd link in your post in the word "horses", I'm wondering if this is real. And I'm not clicking on that link to find out where it goes!
                I think you may be right, possible spammer there.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Short Answer:
                  In your dreams.

                  If you have any sort of experience with keeping horses on pasture,this should not have even been entertained as possible.
                  If you are doing this First Time, you really need to do some research.

                  OTOH, if this is Spam, kudos for creating an almost believable clickbaited post.
                  Now, Shoo!
                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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                  • #10
                    This is par for the course in central Ohio, and even the places that have tons of pasture just don't use it. Lack of turnout in Cbus is a huge reason why I left that place to have my own farm. I did board at one barn that had 32 stalls on ~5 acres. There was one dry lot that was around 60'x200' that he'd put 10+ horses in at a time (with a couple round bales, at least), and several grass pastures that were literally never used. BO padlocked them. They were meticulously sprayed for weeds and mowed, and they were beautiful, just how the BO wanted them to look. Because they were.not.used.

                    I guess I didn't read the question as "is this enough pasture to sustain 24 horses" like the rest of you did. "Is this enough space" to me means is it enough space for horses to get adequate movement/worthwhile turnout. Short answer is, yes. 5 horses per 1-acre lot for 8 hours each day is "enough space" for horses to walk/move around. I wouldn't bother reseeding, though, this many horses on that little of acreage will have that newly seeded grass gone in no time. You'd be better off making them all real all-weather dry lots that won't turn into knee deep mud come April.
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