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  • #21
    I have 4 acres... very little of it is not fenced. Have 4 paddocks, building a small ring as soon as the weather is better, 4 paddocks and a 6 stall barn. Currently have 1 horse, 1 pony and 2 goats. I had my horse and pony in muzzles through Dec because I had so much grass. We'll see how we do this year. Horses just came home in July... love the farm. Its just enough to take care of and I have awesome rideout!
    For things to do in Loudoun County, visit: www.365thingstodoloudoun.com

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    • #22
      We've lived on our 5.615 acre mini farm for over 20 years now. We have around 25 pecan trees from which I get my Christmas shopping money most years. We have the property fenced and cross fenced with one large pasture in the back which serves as turn out for the three horses and donkey most days. We can rotate them to two other fields and have three night paddocks with barn access that are used at night. Most years we don't have to buy hay from March to October because the grass is sufficient to support everyone. When the grass goes dormant in October we purchase hay until it comes back in March. We also keep a flock of chickens, a couple of geese, a pot bellied pig, five dogs and a cat.

      When we first purchased the property the back pecan grove was so overgrown we rented a bobcat for a weekend and knocked down about a bazillian little trees and had burn piles for weeks. We chopped and burned and burned and chopped forever until we cleared the space we wanted for our pastures. It was a lot of work initially but very worth the effort.
      "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

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      • #23
        Just about 2 acres. Currently have a horse, 3 ponies and a donkey. And three small goats. Two half acre pastures which double as riding areas, one flat enough for flat work, one hilly for jumping. 5 good sized paddocks, plus three smaller paddocks attached to stalls. Most of the property is fenced for some sort of turnout. The pastures will have grass most of the summer, but we do feed hay year round. We have a trailer for manure which is taken away once a week. Things can get muddy in the small paddocks in the spring, when I have the money I will scrape and put in stone dust.
        blogging at HN: http://www.horsenation.com/
        check out my writing: http://jeseymour.com
        Just out: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/dd-p...ead-poisoning/

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        • #24
          I'm not sure if I count either...we are closing on a house with 10 acres next week. It is flat, irrigated land with only 1 tree. So instead of clearing trees, I hope to plant a few here and there. Not in the horse pasture, but in the front corners at least, at the end where the house is.

          We have 5 horses. The land is planted in a grass/alfalfa mix and a neighbor cuts it. We were just out there this morning with a fencing guy because we need to fence 3 sides and cross-fence too. We want to put the horses on a sacrifice area and hope to grow hay on the rest. I figure we can let the horses out on the big pasture once in a while, when the hay isn't actively growing, (like now, or right after it is cut).

          I doubt that we can grow enough hay for the horses year-round, so will have to buy some. Thank goodness the land is irrigated! We're in Montana now, and I could have gotten a house with more acreage in dry land for the same $, but I think it is better to have the irrigated pasture.

          Whenever I go out there and look at the land, 10 acres doesn't seem like very much. Especially since all the neighbors have much larger farms. The 2 neighbors across the street have huge houses with what looks like at least 40 acres each. Both have horses too; apparently one of them is a respected trainer. There are cows on the other side of the property.

          I hope to have a few chickens and maybe sheep, too, since I'm learning to spin. But sheep may not be in the budget for now. The fencing and loafing sheds for the horses have to come first!

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          • #25
            A hair under 7 acres, but only about half of that is cleared for house & horse use. I unfortunately have a natural gas pipeline easement across the back half, so while I can clear it for pasture, I'm not sure I want to after hearing stories of explosions in the area in the past.

            Two horses now, the third will come home when he's recovered from a significant hoof injury. Horses are mostly stalled in an open-walled barn where the 11'X15' stall walls are only about 4.5' tall. I have a recent thread on neighbor's loose herding dogs potentially chasing my boys, so they get turned out only when I'm around until they ask to come back in, which for my old guys is no longer than 4 hours. The pastures are for "supplemental" grazing and exercise. I maintain weight with hay/soaked hay cubes.

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            • #26
              I moved to our first farm a couple of years ago. We have 2.5 acres with a 3stall barn. It was a 5stall barn with10x10's but since there isn't enough room for 5horses we made 3 stalls (2 10x18 and 1 10x14). Most of the land is taken up by house, barn/garage and back little office building. Then there's the bobcat, horse trailer, bobcat trailer, and a few other things that just take up way to much space. There's only one pasture and it could be two IF the side yard wasn't so water logged half of the time. The backyard is taken up with the swingset, aboveground pool, lawnmower shed.


              I love my house, love my block barn, and I love that I have my horses home. I'm not happy with hardly having any place to ride. As soon as the time is right (within the next year or so )we are moving. Next place I want at least 10acres or more.

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              • #27
                We're a "mini-farm"--by midwest standards anyway. We have 12 acres, mostly fenced, about 9-10 acres in pasture, about 1/2 acre as a sacrifice lot, the rest in trees. Our 5 horses (one in foal, due June) are turned out 24/7. We feed hay usually Dec-Apr and keep them off the pasture for a few weeks in the spring to give the grass a head start. In the past few years, we've actually had only 3 on pasture for most of the summer, due to mares off being bred, recently foaled etc. This has helped conserve grass, especially last summer when it was so dry.

                In dry years we've been lucky because about half the pasture is a low-lying area that borders a creek, so it doesn't dry out as fast. During wet weather though it can get a little boggy. Right now, with the grass short in the pasture, it really looks like I should go out and scoop the poop, but that's a big job with that many acres, especially since the ground isn't frozen enough to get the truck out there (might change in the next few days, it's 20 right now...).

                The pasture could use some reseeding in spots so we may try that this spring. We haven't fertilized it beyond what the horses drop. We try to mow once or twice a year for weed control. Some time in the future I'd love to do some cross-fencing so we could rotate pastures.

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                • #28
                  love reading this thread---as I consider our miniscule 4.5 acres (but HALF in wooded ravine) a TRUE farmette/minifarm. so its always good to read/learn....but dont you guys find it kinda? funny how: WHERE you live determines in people's definition what? a mini farm actually is? I mean: 12 acres? and 5 horses out 24/7? thats a real farm to me! Yes, maybe a small one, but it s not horse management on tiny acreage supporting just a couple of them and making it work! Gotta love our diverse country, and all the wonderful possibilities.
                  ayrabz
                  "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                  --Jimmy Buffett

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                  • #29
                    We have 3 acres, with maybe 2 devoted to the 2 horses. A little over 1/2 ac. is wooded, the other 1/2 is house and yard.

                    Except for the really good growing months from april-june, I feed hay year round. Pasture managment is intensive, but heavy clay soil isn't very cooperative, so the best solution for us is to keep one pasture closed off for a good part of the year to keep the whole place from becoming a mud pit.

                    My biggest regret is a survey error turned the 65' riding ring on the south side of the barn into a 55' sacrifice paddock, so I have no riding ring.

                    We spent the better part of last summer and fall cleaning undergrowth (with the help of 30 rented goats) in the wooded area, but currently no plans to fence it for additional turnout. Its low lying, so prone to getting very wet in the rainy season, but we used it last fall for riding - and the bonus is that it accesses a small shared trail that belongs to our development. The barn opens up to both the sacrifice paddock and small pasture, all I have to do is close a gate on either side of the barn to give them free access to their stalls.

                    There a link to pictures on the blog in my sig line. http://www.flickr.com/photos/7607708...7629577715013/

                    Basically, I think we've got enough space for a lovely 34x36 3 stall barn, the horses have enough turnout space in 2 of the pastures to run/buck as much as they want, and although it takes a little more planning and management to keep it looking really nice, I think it works well, and its set up for us to easily manage with full time jobs, as well as for anyone else to help out if the need arises or if we go on vacation.

                    Basically, I love the place. I wouldn't mind another acre of turnout, but if I really needed it, I could lease my neighbors back acre on the south side - I just don't like him, so I haven't taken the offer.
                    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                    Witherun Farm
                    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

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                    • Original Poster

                      #30
                      Originally posted by Trevelyan96 View Post
                      We have 3 acres, with maybe 2 devoted to the 2 horses. A little over 1/2 ac. is wooded, the other 1/2 is house and yard.

                      Except for the really good growing months from april-june, I feed hay year round. Pasture managment is intensive, but heavy clay soil isn't very cooperative, so the best solution for us is to keep one pasture closed off for a good part of the year to keep the whole place from becoming a mud pit.

                      My biggest regret is a survey error turned the 65' riding ring on the south side of the barn into a 55' sacrifice paddock, so I have no riding ring.

                      We spent the better part of last summer and fall cleaning undergrowth (with the help of 30 rented goats) in the wooded area, but currently no plans to fence it for additional turnout. Its low lying, so prone to getting very wet in the rainy season, but we used it last fall for riding - and the bonus is that it accesses a small shared trail that belongs to our development. The barn opens up to both the sacrifice paddock and small pasture, all I have to do is close a gate on either side of the barn to give them free access to their stalls.

                      There a link to pictures on the blog in my sig line. http://www.flickr.com/photos/7607708...7629577715013/

                      Basically, I think we've got enough space for a lovely 34x36 3 stall barn, the horses have enough turnout space in 2 of the pastures to run/buck as much as they want, and although it takes a little more planning and management to keep it looking really nice, I think it works well, and its set up for us to easily manage with full time jobs, as well as for anyone else to help out if the need arises or if we go on vacation.

                      Basically, I love the place. I wouldn't mind another acre of turnout, but if I really needed it, I could lease my neighbors back acre on the south side - I just don't like him, so I haven't taken the offer.
                      Stupid question but if there was no fencing what did you use to keep the goats in? Temporary fencing?
                      Pro Slaughter
                      Anti Parelli

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                      • #31
                        Thanks for starting this thread OP..I always learn something from other mini-farm dwellers. We have 3 1/2 acres total including the house and a 3 stall barn we created by converting a fugly shed/greenhouse/garage into the tackroom/wash stall, extending the roof and adding 3 12x12 stalls. It's a little eccentric looking but works well, and was a fraction of the cost of tearing down and starting over.

                        We would give ANYTHING to have more acreage but it's just not available, so we make do with our tiny plot on the side of a hill with 1 horse and 1 large pony. The key for us not becoming a fly breeding farm has been manure management with the fly predators, religious devotion to composting technique with all piles covered in black plastic and turned regularly, and picking the pastures daily.

                        The biggest PITA has been managing the relentless rain, which despite our best efforts to lay drainage pipes, add gutters and rain barrels to control run off, and build a dyke of sorts on the high side of the barn, floods the aisle and turns 2 of our 3 paddocks into sucking mud pits that could hide a dead dinosaur. I try to limit their time in the big "grassy" paddock as much as possible but have been coerced by sad faces and heaving sighs lately to let them out there for a few hours.

                        We also feed hay year round exclusively in Nibble Nets hung on the paddock fences. Either I will hang three they share, or re fill 2 so they are constantly walking around and don't waste that precious $$$ hay trampling it or peeing on it. Highly highly recommend Nibble Nets--indestructible and very user friendly.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by aucowwy View Post
                          Stupid question but if there was no fencing what did you use to keep the goats in? Temporary fencing?
                          the goat owners actually brought in temporary fencing, did all the setup, checked on them daily etc. They used cattle panels attached to TPosts and held together with some type of rubber covered ties.

                          The goats were neat, very friendly and lots of fun to watch - until they started running out of their favorite snack, which is when they started getting into trouble. It took them 2 weeks to clear 3/4 ac. down to the ground.
                          Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                          Witherun Farm
                          http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            love reading this thread---as I consider our miniscule 4.5 acres (but HALF in wooded ravine) a TRUE farmette/minifarm. so its always good to read/learn....but dont you guys find it kinda? funny how: WHERE you live determines in people's definition what? a mini farm actually is? I mean: 12 acres? and 5 horses out 24/7? thats a real farm to me! Yes, maybe a small one, but it s not horse management on tiny acreage supporting just a couple of them and making it work! Gotta love our diverse country, and all the wonderful possibilities.
                            I agree! I know someone in Saskatchewan Canada and she had a "starter farm" of 500 acres, LOL! Said all the "real" farms were around 1500 acres. That's the size of a town, LOL!
                            You jump in the saddle,
                            Hold onto the bridle!
                            Jump in the line!
                            ...Belefonte

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