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Who Rides, Competes, And Does they Weedwacking & Mowing on the Farm Themselves?

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    I do (2 competition horses and a companion pony), and work full time. But, DH and I share the yard duties and we now hire a local kid to do the weedwacking (I'm horribly sensitive to poison ivy so I just can't do it). And I liberally use herbicides on my fencelines to keep the weedeating down. Yard and electric fencelines get mowed mostly weekly. Weedeating is less regular, and I don't have fancy landscaping. A huge help has been the zero-turn mower that makes quick work of the yard mowing and some of the pasture mowing for part of the year. I rotate my grazing and don't look to have manicured pastures, so the pastures only get mowed or bushogged every other month or so as the horses come off of them.
    Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.


      Originally posted by Annandale View Post

      Question for you! Since you travel, do you have someone in your household that takes care of the horses/farm? Or have you found a reliable farmsitter? And if it's the latter - any tips?
      The only other being in my household is the cat & he is pretty useless (aside from snuggling). ;-) I have to travel a lot for work, usually my neighbour feeds the horses while I am gone. She is a trainer so she is basically always home & I have also made friends with several of her boarders, who on occasion will throw food for me too. One of the reasons I bought this property was because it has other horse properties on both sides & happily everyone turned out to be friendly. Since I don't have any money, I barter with them for tasks -- I'll help fix things for them or help with their animal care or other trades.

      Retired people are also very handy for this, so I recommend hitting up neighbours even if they aren't horse people (and aren't terrible). I designed & built my place specifically so it was easy to care for -- no stalls to clean & horses can be fed without touching them. A half-trained monkey could cover it for a couple days. I don't have a dog anymore (because of said travel) & cat can take care of himself. I prep & label everything so they just have to walk in, dump food & it takes about 5-10 mins (including a basic eyeball if horses still have all limbs attached & are breathing). Keeping it super simple also means people are more willing to help out because I'm not asking for much time or effort.

      You can also ask around at vet, farrier, hay suppliers, trainers, whoever you have a good relationship with -- they often know folks who are local & trustworthy.
      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
      We Are Flying Solo


        I ride and show. This summer, I hired someone to come in for 6 hours/week to weed whack (my back can do dressage OR weed whacking) and mow. I usually have to do 2 additional hours a week, and I bush hog the fields every 2 weeks. I also use the vinegar/salt/dishwashing liquid mix to control weeds. It works well, so no Roundup on my farm.


          I do! I have one horse boarded at my trainer’s that I ride 5-6days/week and two at home that are just starting their education (so ring work ~3 days/week). We’ve got about 4-5 acres that is on a weekly mowing schedule (I wish this rain would stop!!). I mow probably 3 days/week after work to break it up. Also work full time from home. it’s exhausting but rewarding. And no, I’m not winning any Southern Living Farm Of The Year Awards but it’s presentable to say the least!

          I’ve given up weedwacking except for around the house. I have a great recipe for a non toxic plant really works and works fast!

          1 gallon industrial white vinegar (not the cooking kind. You can find it on amazon)
          2 cups Epsom salts
          1/4 Dawn dish detergent


            160 acres, 2 of us. "Retired" to being full time farmers. 45 acres of hay fields. The rest is house, lawn, hay barn, indoor arena, and paddocks and pasture. No box stalls, a couple of run in shelters usually used in winter only. He does the lawn mowing around the house and is a mountain biker and fishing fiend, I mow around the gardens, plant and weed veggie gardens (2), and mow pastures with tractor and brush hog. (Pastures had to be first cleared and cleaned up of 80 year old logging slash, building burn piles (I still burn 20 big ones ever winter) stumps, logs, beaver damage, deadfall, and general detritus- that took a number of years to accomplish to the state it is currently in- you can't mow it if you can't drive over it). Paddocks are picked twice a day, pastures are harrowed and mowed. Horses consist of a small herd of "retirees and pets" which are on full time turn out, year round, in full retirement. A few in training, ridden when I have time and energy, but I'm not on a regimental program about it. I organize and hold riding clinics here, bringing in a qualified coach, for local riders who do not otherwise have access to quality instruction, and for me, to keep me in some sort of shape with my equitation, techniques and skills in my old age... otherwise, I ride alone, set my own jumps. I take myself to horse shows a few times a year when I feel like it, but it isn't like I can go "on the circuit" for weeks on end, or want to do that anyway. If we want to go somewhere, we usually leave one of us at home, and the other goes, we trust no one to house sit. But we can go away together too for a few days if we want to, just put horses out in our large pastures, with plenty of grass, access to creek for water, and they look after themselves, no problem. "Farming" means never having a shortage of things to do! We are "semi-remote", with all it's perks and problems. One learns to adjust to this reality. The isolation of "covid pandemic" is just regular life for us... you know you are anti social when a global pandemic results in no change in your lifestyle. This project has been going on for 13 years now. Wouldn't trade it for anything.


              Originally posted by Annandale View Post

              Question for you! Since you travel, do you have someone in your household that takes care of the horses/farm? Or have you found a reliable farmsitter? And if it's the latter - any tips?
              I am almost ashamed to post on this topic as I have a mere 5ac - probably near 3 in pastures - & currently 1 horse, 1 pony & a mini.
              I am done showing & compete only rarely. At Fair & local rinkydink shows just to get out.
              I do try to attend drives with my Club & the National Drive every Fall.
              When I worked - 4/D/W - I had 2 horses and did the mowing myself, Pastures got mowed maybe twice a year, lawns every other week.
              I have a high threshold for unkempt acreage
              Horses do me the small favor of keeping a 2' perimeter along the fencelines "mowed".
              2yrs ago I threw in the towel & hired a company to mow the lawns.

              Neighbor bushhogs pasture in the Fall & does the same for the open area on each side of the barn/attached indoor (where, in hindsight, I should have allowed horses access).
              He is also my hayguy & cuts & bales an L-shaped area around my pastures & acreage - giving me a civilized-looking farm & room to ride & drive the mini once it's baled.

              To answer your question Annandale I am alone here, but do travel to see family & have had some Euro & Asian vacays as well over the 16yrs I've been here.
              My current (& for several years now) farmsitter is a guy who works & is part-owner at the local feedstore.
              If he had not volunteered when I lost the last of my local farmsitters - she moved to another city - I would have asked my vet for suggestions.
              My tip: it is difficult to have neighbors fill in unless they are horseowners as well & you can reciprocate.
              Like wildlifer my place is setup so anyone can feed w/o touching horses - except for opening stall doors from inside the barn to dump grain & hay & top off water buckets & outside trough. Horses are out 24/7 with free access to stalls from the sacrifice paddock that surrounds the front of the barn. In the past I did have non-horsy neighbors & friends feed, but that always had me worrying a bit.
              I'd rather pay someone who can spot NQR than have to worry - especially if I am on another continent - about what's going on at home.
              When I will be out of town, I call my vet to let them know who is authorized to call for help if needed. I'd rather pay for an unnecessary farm call than have an injury/illness go unattended.
              *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


                So, it looks like the answer to your question is that VERY few people ride, compete, and do a lot of yard work.


                  Its exhausting but I do it as well. We have about 40acres fenced for horses and another 240 that is crop land. We do all the maintenance on the horse side and hay fields ourselves. We invested in a kickback mower attachment that hits my fence lines and its a SERIOUS game changer. I only have to weed eat the barn area now and I have not been this happy since we got heaters installed in the auto waterers! I do all the horse and general menagerie care myself but my fiance and I both ride and handle the maintenance side. Ive got my 3 at home and hes got 10-15polo ponies at any given time. We also both have real jobs. It makes for some longgggggg days but its worth it in the end!

                  "True love is taking away their pain, and making it your own. "


                    Originally posted by hlra11 View Post
                    Its exhausting but I do it as well. We have about 40acres fenced for horses and another 240 that is crop land. We do all the maintenance on the horse side and hay fields ourselves. We invested in a kickback mower attachment that hits my fence lines and its a SERIOUS game changer. I only have to weed eat the barn area now and I have not been this happy since we got heaters installed in the auto waterers! I do all the horse and general menagerie care myself but my fiance and I both ride and handle the maintenance side. Ive got my 3 at home and hes got 10-15polo ponies at any given time. We also both have real jobs. It makes for some longgggggg days but its worth it in the end!
                    Can I ask what kind of under fence mower you use? I have been looking at various kinds over the years, but was leery of purchasing. And what kind of fence posts and fencing do you have, so mower is successful and not breaking the posts? I have killed a couple push weed trimmers, my present one is trying to die. Might be better to get this kind of mower to keep my fences clean. Thanks.