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Moving horses home

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  • Moving horses home

    So I'm pretty excited. I bought my property a year ago and finally putting in the fencing for 4 paddocks with shelters so I can bring them home.

    What do I need to think about before they move here? Any equipment that you guys found to be useful?


  • #2
    How much money do you have? Other wise just hay,oats and water


    • #3
      Originally posted by twcolabear View Post
      Any equipment that you guys found to be useful?


      A few indentured servants are nice to have; failing to them find some others in your area that also have stock home and establish a co-op of sorts to help cover when you either are out of town or need to be some where.

      Also comes in handy when you have a sick or injured horse or kid (both goats and humans).


      • #4
        The best tractor you can buy. There is nothing like having the wherewithal to haul the downed tree out of the way, to haul manure from the paddocks to the refuse cart. A front loader will save your back day after day. It can lift hay to the loft, lift down things from the loft, you can park it at the paddocks and dump the wheelbarrows of manure into the front loader, then in one trip dump the stuff in your container.

        If you live in snow country, you can use it to plow paths to the paddocks, plow out the paddocks, the road to the barn.

        Make sure there is a good access road to the barn for the farrier, for trailers, for the vet. They often need to set up near where they are working.

        You need to think about how you will dispsose of manure. Here we tend to contract a carting co. to leave a large container and have it picked up.

        Look at the property and make sure you put in drainage. Renting a trencher for one day and laying down pipe and gravel in the right places (get advice from an engineer) is crucial. You don't want muddy paddocks. Put down rock, gravel and bluestone, if they are dry paddocks.

        If you want grass paddocks, you can keep them that way with watering and rotation. Watering is the key.

        If you have a choice, make sure you have an inside aisle for grooming, shoeing and vet work.

        Put in good lighting in the barn and aisle so you can see on stormy days, and nights, to examine injured or sick horse and so that the vet and farrier can see to do their work.

        Put in hot water - you can't undersetimate being able to clean equipment and horses and injuries without hot water.

        Make sure there is electric in the barn for heated buckets.

        If you have a pond on the property, it is cheap to pump water to each paddock for watering. Put a pump in the pond, rent a trencher for the day, lay in 1 or 2" pvc pipe from pond along between each paddock and lay an outdoor electric 300 foot type cable from pump to barn to a switch where you can turn it on and off from the barn. You can install spigots at each paddock along the way, from which you can put down a garden hose and sprinkler and water the paddock at night when the horses are inside. Its nothing for cost, really.

        Have a separate room for grain and equipment. Have a separeate room for tack and changing clothes.

        Have an electrical outlet at each stall somewhere for box fans. If there is a sick horse, or you have to keep them in on sweltering days, or fly infestations, the fans will save your life.

        If you don't have trees in each pasture for shade, build run in sheds. You can put one shed where two paddocks can use it, divided.

        If you can, plant cedars. Eventually, they make great shade for the horses to stand under and they don't seem to eat them.

        Build a road or track around the perimeter of your property. If you don't have access to trails, you can always condition your horses around the perimeter of the property.

        Fence in the perimeter of your property. If a horse gets out of their padock, you want to know they are safe and can't get into the nearby forest/desert/road etc.

        Have fun!! I'm jealous.
        Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


        • #5

          Buy the tractor before you run out of money. I'M NOT JOKING.
          ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
          Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

          "Life is merrier with a terrier!"


          • #6
            Wheeee!!!! Now the fun begins

            Seriously, great advice in AnotherRound's post.
            I second having electric & a frostfree hydrant inside the barn if you don't already have both.
            They will be worth many times what they cost, an outlay you will never regret.

            Tractor w/FEL & a finish (pull behind) mower is another must-have that I don't
            Making-do with a 17hp lawn tractor is getting old. I say a prayer every time I use it to mow pasture - they really are not built for that kind of abuse.

            And buy a neverkink hose!
            Worth ever extra $1 it costs you

            I LOFF my heated buckets for the stalls, but I know others here worry about fire when using them.
            They are lifesavers in the Winter.
            No.Frozen.Buckets. EVER!
            *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


            • #7
              Weather plans for where you are - what will you do if you live where ice storms happen. Emergency plans for weather - lost power, fence damage, flooding, escapes, injury.

              Plans for mud - we dug out in front of our shelters and put in gravel followed by stone dust

              Get the best tractor you can afford - mowing, snow removal, fence post digging, moving hay and manure around etc.

              Be sure to have info for at least 2 feed stores with your grain choice and 3 hay suppliers

              Place emergency contact info on the outside of your barn &/or house, so if somethings happens when you are not there, they can call you at least - I also put the vet info and hope if if I'm unable to answer and its really bad someone will call for me.

              I recommend getting the equine laiblity signs if they have them for your area & no trespassing signs.
              Epona Farm
              Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

              Join us on Facebook


              • #8
                Totally agree on the tractor - buy the best you can afford.

                I would say buy the biggest you can afford, but that's not necessarily valid There IS such a thing as too big for your property or the jobs.

                At the very least you need something big/powerful enough to use a bush hog or whatever other mower you're going to use to mow. Unless your paddocks are 1/2 acre, you're just not going to want to be mowing with a riding lawnmower. Even if you could, I HATE that, as you can't get the blade high enough to mow as tall as I prefer to leave fescue grass. If your grass requires a lower mowed height for best health, then you may be able to use a riding mower if the areas are small enough.

                Next is a wheelbarrow, I much prefer a 2-wheeled, but people have used 1 wheelers for ages. 2-wheel is more stable, 1 wheel is a bit more easily manuverable. I use 2-wheel for wheeling out hay, 1 wheel for cleaning stalls and taking to the manure pile.

                Water - you don't NEED to invest in hydrants IF you can run a hose easily enough from the house. I run 2 hoses about 250' from the house to the barn and 1 hose from the other side of the house to the upper water rub. One day I'll put a hydrant in the barn.

                Since you have shelters in the pastures, and didn't mention otherwise, I'm assuming there's no barn? You will really want some place that can store equipment like wheelbarrows, pitchforks, muck forks, etc, without getting in the elements, and will be away from horses. I'd make that no less than 12x12. Add another 12x12 or so to store all tack and feed and everything else that needs to be securely locked up.

                You'll eventually want a weed whacker for the fencelines but given the time of year, that can wait until next Spring if necessary.
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #9
                  I would build a place to store hay asap if nothing else.

                  Buy for the year in the summer when the prices are lower and then you never have to scramble in the winter. Just my 2 cents.


                  • #10
                    All great advice. My advice is to TAKE PICTURES. It's a banner day, one to never be forgotten. Good luck.
                    Click here before you buy.


                    • #11
                      That's all good advice but sometime the money isn't there for all of that. I am our tractor and we built our little barn ourselves over the years. We have around six acres fenced (2 inch electric tape) with two paddocks and one large run-in. The lower part of the pasture was left in trees for more shade. I would love to have a tractor and may need one when I get old (only 64 now). We had our horses off site for the first three of our twenty one years here but are so happy to have them home. We would love to have a carriage house but we keep our vehicles next door in our daughter's garage. Shoestring operating budget is good so you can spend all of your money on the horses.
                      The other female in my husband's life has four legs


                      • #12
                        All of the above is excellent advice. Buy good hoses: Sears Craftsman brand no kink hoses are my favorite. If it breaks Sears will replace it. And they will break Congratulations on your farm!


                        • #13
                          All great advice, we made the move about 4 years ago, and just last fall got the barn up, and are currently putting electric in barn, had well/plumbing done w/hot water and heated tack room.

                          If you are putting in electric put in a generator hook up, so you can at least power your pump and a light or 2 if the electric goes out using a portable generator.

                          When putting up barns/shelters know which way the weather comes in so you can put their "backs" to the wind so to speak.

                          However, basic shelter(3 side and big enough for everyone), good quality food, and water, good fencing are all that are really needed to get started. I lugged water jugs for 3.5 years, no electric until we put up the barn, and my guy lived in the run-in. If you need to do it in stages do it that way you don't need everything all at once. Good Luck and enjoy having them at home.
                          "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

                          "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"


                          • #14
                            Drainage. Covered above. Access. Also covered above. Tractor. Love ours.

                            It sounds like you'll be going the simple route with shelters so put some thought into where you are going to tack up, groom and bathe your horses. When I was a teen I really lucked out in that my dad had built a slab floor carport that was about 14x14 and located next to a large pea graveled parking lot. I could move the car out and the farrier could park alongside and shoe, the parking lot side had 4x4 posts for a hang up saddle rack and tying, there was room to put up a set of shelves on the house wall for grooming equipment and easy covered access to the back door and mudroom where the tack lived. The tack had lived out on the walkway until the cats decided a rolled western cantle was the best scratching post they could ask for, then it went indoors but the damage was done.
                            Feed lived in trash cans on the walkway.

                            When we moved them here, because all our fences are electric on t-posts (stony ground, long story) I had to put up cross ties between two trees and later we bought corral panels and set them up in a well drained and sheltered area. I can groom and tack up there but still bathe in the cross ties. I love the electric fences but they do lack some of the utility value of a post and rail.

                            I have to be honest and say that in the dead of winter I wish I had a nice barn, but heated water buckets and a well prepared area can help a lot. Have fun!
                            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                            Incredible Invisible


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JB View Post
                              At the very least you need something big/powerful enough to use a bush hog or whatever other mower you're going to use to mow. Unless your paddocks are 1/2 acre, you're just not going to want to be mowing with a riding lawnmower. Even if you could, I HATE that, as you can't get the blade high enough to mow as tall as I prefer to leave fescue grass. If your grass requires a lower mowed height for best health, then you may be able to use a riding mower if the areas are small enough.

                              Water - you don't NEED to invest in hydrants IF you can run a hose easily enough from the house. I run 2 hoses about 250' from the house to the barn and 1 hose from the other side of the house to the upper water rub. One day I'll put a hydrant in the barn.

                              You'll eventually want a weed whacker for the fencelines but given the time of year, that can wait until next Spring if necessary.
                              Sigh...yup, I am killing my riding mower using it to mow 2 pastures totalling 3ac.
                              Every year I have to replace blades shredded by rocks. If I'm not so lucky the carbuerator is so gunked-up it needs cleaning & this year replacing.
                              But set to High I am able to keep weeds down and grass fit for grazing.
                              Probably around 6" at this setting.

                              IMHO a frostfree hyrdant inside the barn is not optional.
                              It cost me $500 (7 years ago) to have a line trenched from house to barn below the frostline ~500' and it was worth every penny to not have to worry about keeping a hose unfrozen.
                              I unhook the hose when it gets below 40F, wrap the hydrant with heat-tape (another reason to have electric inside the barn) and keep my heated buckets in the stalls full bucket-brigade style all Winter until temps stay over 40F.
                              I can also fill the 50gal trough just outside the barn this way.
                              That stays unfrozen with a sinking de-icer.

                              Since I don't need to electrify my fence - horses are respectful - they are my weedwhackers.
                              A 2' perimeter all along the fenceline is kept as short as if mowed.
                              Tradeoff is both horse & pony are missing a chunk of mane where they limbo underneath the coated wire.

                              if you are doing run-ins only be sure you orient them to prevailing winds in your area.
                              In my case I set the barn facing North-South w/stalls opening to the East as we hardly ever get bad weather coming from Eastwards.
                              *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


                              • #16
                                All good advice. Multiple barriers to any exit/road is always good...the horses will get loose sooner or later, new horses and/or boarder horses more than any others!
                                Any name compact tractor will handle 1-6 horses quite well. You will bless it daily. I use the tractor to:
                                build jumps, dig fence post holes, spread manure, haul hay, snow blow, finish mow paddocks and riding areas, turn the compost heap, drag/rake the arena, split and haul wood and mow the lawn.
                                I also have a 3 yard Cam power dump trailer which is very useful for many haulings such as manure, shavings, hay, sand, stonedust, gravel etc. More than 3 or 4 horses and you will want the larger size trailer.
                                Just finally got a Simple flatbed trailer; great for hauling hay, the old tractor for repair, the tractor off site for odd jobs, getting the kid's stuff out of the house, barn, garage...wood for fencing, posts, etc.
                                I ran hot-cold pvc pipe to each stall bucket..it saves fill time and/or your back if you are lugging water buckets.
                                After all that you will want good, reliable people back up available when you are forced to go somewhere out of town.


                                • #17
                                  Good advice above.

                                  I did not see somebody mention a string trimmer. Get a commercial grade straight shaft one.

                                  After a mower/tractor and a cordless drill it might be the tool you use the most often

                                  Also get a chainsaw if you have trees. You'll probably want to hire out difficult or dangerous lopping or felling, but a decent chainsaw will cost less than paying somebody to clean up one fallen tree through a fenceline.


                                  • #18
                                    A source of light and electricity near the horses is a bonus for winter time chores. It's a pain to rely on the headlights of a car or truck to examine a "not quite right" horse at 6:00 p.m. on a December night.

                                    Gravel. Limestone screenings. Keep a pile on hand for those quick repairs to areas that have become mud pits.

                                    Your face is going to hurt a little bit because of that stinking smile you'll have on your face every morning you peer out to watch your horses graze outside the back door. Not a better vista, anywhere!


                                    • #19
                                      If it is in the budget, automatic waterers in each field. My trainer gave me that advice and it is absolutely right -- I never have to haul water, worry about it freezing, and cleaning just means dumping out the bowl, swishing clean water in it and putting it back. They've saved me hundreds of hours of work over the years!
                                      Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peonyvodka/


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by SLW View Post
                                        Yoevery morning you peer out to watch your horses graze outside the back door. Not a better vista, anywhere!
                                        We are inside the Dallas/Ft Worth area... a few miles from downtown Ft Worth; 3/4 mile from a major regional multi billion dollar shopping mall. Our city a few years ago altered the zoning requirement on our land to keep us from breaking our acreage down into single family housing lots because " the presence of horses in the city" was desired by the citizens as it added to the peace of mind

                                        Since the land is less than what is required for an agricultural zoning as an offset, our multi acre track is taxed as a one single family lot, the same tax rate as a lot for a zero lot line house.