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Fence layout. Can anyone weigh in???

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  • Fence layout. Can anyone weigh in???

    thanks in advance for any insight!
    Ok, so I am attaching a link to our property.

    We are on about 4 1/2 acres. Right now, we have tape fence and tposts and are set to have board fencing installed soon.

    We had the guy come up with 2 proposals.
    One for the main pasture areas. One for a seperate dry lot that is off to the side, which is currently done in tposts and tape as well.

    However, the main area we are hoping to fence has potential for a dry lot area on it too. You will see from the picture, that the area is sort of a flag shape. Currently, the "proposed dry lot area is neither fenced nor cleared. We are having an excavator clear it in the new few weeks.

    My preference is to do away with the seperate dry lot area (as seen on the picture on the right, with the black dashed line), and make the new flag shaped area be the new dry lot.

    That way, all the fenced areas are in one spot. I think its odd that they are seperated. It messes with the "flow" in my mind. The reason it cannot be moved anywhere but those two options is that the areas NOT fenced are extremely sloped. Like, a 3 to 1 slope. Way too sloped for horses to be on.

    The other issue is that if I keep the seperate area, its going to cost more to fence, obviously.

    For the area in yellow, the price is in the 6K range. For the little seperate drylot (in black) its going to be 1200. I just don't see the point of having the seperate dry lot, if we can make the little flag shaped area the new drylot. Its bigger and I think it "flows" better.

    The problem is that my husband is worried that the new proposed dry lot might be too wet to have the horses on for any extended period of time. I say, for the $1200, put that money towards putting nice footing in (more clean fill, some stone base of some sort).

    Another issue? We have to have the seperate drylot done at the same time they do the bigger pasture fence, or the price will go up significantly, because we'd have to pay for them to bring the equipment out a second time, which is costly. If they are already there, no biggie.

    So, my questions are, if you were able to follow my ramblings...
    1. Does it make more sense to NOT have the little black area fenced in wood, and make the new flag -shaped area the new drylot
    2. If it comes to be that that little flag area is not suitable for the horses to have as a drylot, do you think it will look weird that one horse area is fenced in wood, and then the other area is tposts and black tape???

    thanks again, I know its sort of confusing.

    for reference, the red box is the horses barn area. The building is a 3 story, bank barn type building. top floor, loft. Ground floor, garage, "basement" is 1/2 a horse "barn", and 1/2 a mechanic's shop with a lift and stuff.

    The ground level, which faces towards the road.

    The "basement" level

  • #2
    I'm assuming the blue line is a creek. Have you checked with any environmental regulations concerning buffer zones for that creek? Even if your area doesn't have any regulations, I'd be inclined to keep the dry lot far away from the creek, no matter how small. Besides runoff, I would think that the land would be more prone to being soggy there.
    It's hard to get a good idea of size and convenience, but the proposed dry lot seems... large? Compared to the rest of the pastures anyway. How much of the year will the horses need to be on the drylot? Are you in a sandy area where you won't need to put in footing to avoid mud? There's a lot of variables. You're right, the description is a little confusing... I'm guessing you're saying that little area up in the top is where you think a dry lot would be better? (To me it looked like a riding ring... still not sure) but that's where I would put the drylot, just based on your diagram.
    Another issue is going back and forth to the barn. Personally, I like having my drylot attached to my barn. When you need the drylot is exactly when you don't want to be trudging the horses on a long walk back and forth to the barn. The closer the better.
    And as far as how things look? As long as a fence line doesn't switch from tape to board in the middle of a line it will look fine! Many pastures are perimeter fenced in board with dividers of tape (esp the temporary ones). I think as long as the perimeter is continuous it will be fine.


    • #3
      First: what a gorgeous barn !

      I am also, a bit confused with the areal shot/layout....why? is there not a fenced/connected area to that barn...photo shows? a good deal of room for that, and then all your hopeful fencing off to the far side?

      I'd incorporate a connected 'dry lot' area right to the barn, and then have connected fencing that can 'open' to your pastures from there. That way, when its necessary to keep them off the pastures, you just close a gate. but when ok to allow them on it, you just open one!
      "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
      --Jimmy Buffett


      • #4
        ditto what ayrabz said too. My drylot is connected to the barn, and will open into two of the other pastures. But I can also bypass the drylot to go into two pastures (there are three, it's hard to explain, one pasture opens to both the drylot and the barn) Anyway it's nice to be able to actually skip the drylot sometimes when it needs "work". But if you had a run-in IN the drylot that would be fine too.


        • Original Poster

          Hi - thanks first and foremost!

          The aerial photo is quite deceiving. The slope so steep that fencing right of the barn is not possible. The excavators made it as flat as they could, and then had to slope it pretty steep on all sides. Its kind of odd to describe but imagine a flat-topped hill. If I remember tonight I'll take a picture.

          The other issue is that my husband's shop is on the left, so the fencing can't be too far over, because he has to get cars in and out.

          Third issue is that we actually thought about a small drylot off of the barn, but that would mean that I would have to walk horses through it to get them out, and I didn't want to do that.

          Where the fencing is, is basically where it has to be based on the slope of our land.

          When we were first thinking about the building (3 years ago), the township said we had to put a 12' retaining wall behind the building, if it was to be one floor, to give you an idea of how steep it is.

          As far as the township, they approved the setup, so I should be ok with that. I've been reading into cow carpet and other options to keep the mud at bay.

          Oldpony - the little black fenced area is the CURRENT drylot. If you look closely, you can see my two ponies in there. They measured it and it is 220 linear feet, its like 40x70.


          • #6
            Ouch, that's quite a slope! I don't know where you're at, but personally I'm quite glad that "flat" was a criteria I used when property-shopping. Knowing me, I'd be riding down that slope on my butt in the winter

            Originally posted by spacytracy View Post

            Oldpony - the little black fenced area is the CURRENT drylot. If you look closely, you can see my two ponies in there. They measured it and it is 220 linear feet, its like 40x70.
            Ah! Ok, well they will be quite excited about having a much larger drylot in any case! Can't quite make out your ponies, but while we're playing satellite detective can you please tell me what's in your largest rectangle area near the bottom middle? Are those jumps? cliffs? strangely parallel boulders?


            • Original Poster

              That is the slope in that particular area. The rest is sloped but more gradual, and the "bottom" where the "strangely rectangular area" is (those are jumps, btw, lol) is pretty flat.

              Unfortunately for this area, it was all we could find in our price range. We live on a mountain, so most places have some slope, and real estate is ridiculous, so this has a GREAT location for us, and we deal with the less-desireable things (like the slope)

              Thank you!! Much appreciated!


              • #8
                Where is the shed area? They need relief from the bugs more than the winter weather. Something deep and shadowed with a fan. Also I would fence anywhere that you might be leading a horse so if I didn't fence from the barn all around the property I would fence as much as I could. Horses get loose and they are most likely to get loose when the weather is bad and you are trying to lead them into a stall so you want some kind of fencing in their way at all time. Also I would worry about the creek flooding, that tears out fencing, so I would not want a sacrifice that includes an area by the creek. When I designed my fencing I designed it so someone who knows nothing about horses can safely move and feed the horses without having to lead/touch them so I used gates to direct them where they need to be. Consider where an auto waterer needs to be or where you can run an electric line for a tank heater. Shed placement might determine where a paddock has to be though perhaps you could have a shed cut into that bank.
                Have you a riding area even if just for a safety lunge before getting on on a brisk day. Yard lights are important too. Dry feeding areas, places to hook feeding pans. Trees and horses can be bad partners unless they are tall and you can debranch them higher than a horses eyes. Horses don't look up and bugs are often much worse in wooded areas. Good Luck PatO


                • Original Poster

                  Couple things
                  - No I do not have a shed. They have stalls in the barn for nighttime in the winter, daytime in the summer. They've been out this way for years with no issues, if I had a shed I would have no need for stalls. Plus, with the amount of acreage I have, I NEED to have them off of it sometimes or my entire property would be dirt
                  - No, I will not be doing auto waterers
                  - Horses are fed in stalls, hay outside
                  - I ride in the lower area - its nice and flat in most of the area. My neighbor has a dressage arena
                  - The area is about 40 feet from the creek. My drawing is not accurate - just approximate


                  • #10
                    My suggestion is to get a copy of Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping on a small acreage, and to consult the pros you are hiring to do the excavating and the fencing. You are going to have to put in a stone driveway and parking pad down to the bottom of the bank barn anyway sooner or later.

                    You must have had some reason to put the dry lot over on that far edge in the first place, why exactly have things changed?

                    I'd put more thought into this than just saving a grand in fencing costs. There's a lot to be said for labor saving placement of structures, walkways, vehicle access.

                    Anyway the book is at most libraries.
                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                    Incredible Invisible


                    • Original Poster

                      The reason the dry lot is where it currently is, is because we have an old stone bank barn that the horses used to live in, before we built the big barn. So the dry lot was attached to the old barn in sort of a "run in" situation.

                      No parking pad, no stone. So far, its been working. We don't drive cars in and out of it more than a few times a month, and only when its dry. this is his shop, not our garage part, so cars that go in there typically have some sort of issue and need long-term work.

                      This is not drastically changing the way our fencing has been for the 6 years we've been here. Basically, moving to board fencing, expanding it a bit into a new area we didn't have fence previously, hoping it to be a new drylot, and also hoping that keeping the old one in tape isn't going to detract from the look of the new board fencing.

                      Excavator is coming out soon, so hopefully he can grade it so that its nice and level, and we can look into a stone, or cow carpet or something similar.

                      I do have that book, thank you. I will need to dig it out again. I actually have 2 copies for some reason!


                      • #12
                        How long have you been using the new bank barn for the horses and how have you been dealing with getting them to and from that dry lot in nasty weather, or do they stay put up?
                        One place where I took lessons the w.s. used to complain that getting from the pasture to the lesson barn in the spring was a real bear - the horses were churning a track from the pasture as there had never been a "road' built. This is an issue I have at home as well, if it is mud season.

                        It's always worth it to check out your extension and farm agencies for guidelines in your area. Where I used to live that creek would have been a major player in whether any development was permitted, grading etc.
                        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                        Incredible Invisible


                        • Original Poster

                          What I normally do is not take the same "path" each time, so to not create a track.

                          When the weather is mild, they stay out 24/7, like right now. So no going in and out.

                          When its winter, its no biggie becuase the ground is frozen. You're right, its the rainy weather that's a pain. But if I am careful, with a pony and a mini, it doesn't really do anything. We're not talking about big horses with shoes and such. An 800 lb pony and a 300 lb mini.


                          • #14
                            sorry...its hard to understand the topog just from areal shots...
                            Anyway..to 'me' it would be worth much more to have a 'run' fenced directly from the barn to say, the first top marked off 'field' on the left to be used as a sacrifice, vs.
                            paying the extra for the tree dropping/excavating and STILL have no attached enclosure, and STILL worry about it being too low.
                            I'd put the cash instead into the fencing that can connect somehow your fencing area to your barn, and maybe whatever excavating cash you were going to pay for the lower treed area, just spend that in some leveling of the attached section?
                            "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                            --Jimmy Buffett