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Help with pasture layout?

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  • Help with pasture layout?

    We just have a pretty crappy setup to our acreage right now, so I've had a hard time coming up with a layout. This is the most logical one I can think of. No, it's not perfect but it seems okay to me. Maybe those with more experience can point something out I might be missing.

    The road is on the right side of the picture. The gray blob is our driveway. The house sits on the opposite side of the part of the driveway that sticks out. Farmland behind the property/barn. Barn faces north, dutch doors face east and west.

    Pros:
    - Can get two fairly equal pastures running the long direction, which I've always thought is nice to let them stretch out down a decent size stretch.

    - The whole barn is fenced in. I've had escaped horses in bizarre circumstances and I like that even if they escaped their stalls they'd still be fenced in.

    - using the barn as part of the fence line saves on posts/fencing

    - This is the closest it can feasibly get to the electric and well to save on costs for running water and electric

    - Can see the barn out our house windows

    - Farthest from the road. I had a friend whose horses were stolen right out of her barn so I guess it just makes me feel a little safer. Not that it would actually stop someone determined... just makes me feel more comfortable than sitting right on a fairly busy road


    Cons

    - No "official" driveway, but it is just our personal barn and whoever will be coming there will only be there when we are or the horses are put up (i.e. vet, farrier, etc.)

    - fairly far off the driveway

    - forgive the ignorance, but I still can't figure out the optimum way to face a barn in regards to winds, etc... So that might be an issue??

    - arena will be on opposite side/behind house so to take horse in farthest pasture there I'll have to take him out behind the barn between the barn and fields. There's a good 20' walkway between, but it just seems a little weird to me.

    Any input is appreciated... keeping in mind we're on a limited budget with limited acreage.
    http://tinyurl.com/klj75q
  • Original Poster

    #2
    also... the front part of the barn will be/can be used as a run-in for at least one of the horses, which is another reason for completely fencing it in.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by dmalbone View Post
      also... the front part of the barn will be/can be used as a run-in for at least one of the horses, which is another reason for completely fencing it in.
      What state do you live in? Is one of your seasons the "mud season"? If so, I would definitely NOT use your barn access as a run-in, and I would have a gravel driveway to the barn. I grew up in Michigan on a farm where the barn was completely fenced in, and the front paddock always had animals in it. The paddock was always a muddy mess right in front of the barn, and I actually had a rubber boot sucked off my foot which I did not recover until mud season was over (I'm not exaggerating). The animals kept the dirt all worked up into mud. You couldn't get a vehicle in their during mud season, either. This was an AWFUL setup. If you are worried about the horses getting out, fence and gate the area, but don't use it as a turnout except on the most beautiful and driest of days. Also, put a gravel driveway through it. You will not regret it.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks... can you suggest a layout that would allow for good use of the space and have it this way?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dmalbone View Post
          - arena will be on opposite side/behind house so to take horse in farthest pasture there I'll have to take him out behind the barn between the barn and fields. There's a good 20' walkway between, but it just seems a little weird to me.
          Is your barn already built? I'm guess I'm graphically challenged, as I'm having a bit of a tough time understanding the layout of your barn. Is it the barn you posted before with 5 stalls clustered around an entry aisle? If so, can you turn your barn 180 degrees so that the aisle faces this 20' walkway between the barn and fields? Gravel that walkway and make it your driveway to the barn. Extend the gravel to connect up with your driveway (the gravel part would be in an L shape. You wouldn't need to change the fencing at all, except that you might want to set your barn back slightly into the pastures so that you could make a small fenced area with a gate at the top of your gravel driveway by the barn. That way, you could close the gate on the way out to make sure there were no escapes, but it wouldn't be an actual pasture area.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by ToiRider View Post
            Is your barn already built? I'm guess I'm graphically challenged, as I'm having a bit of a tough time understanding the layout of your barn. Is it the barn you posted before with 5 stalls clustered around an entry aisle? If so, can you turn your barn 180 degrees so that the aisle faces this 20' walkway between the barn and fields? Gravel that walkway and make it your driveway to the barn. Extend the gravel to connect up with your driveway (the gravel part would be in an L shape. You wouldn't need to change the fencing at all, except that you might want to set your barn back slightly into the pastures so that you could make a small fenced area with a gate at the top of your gravel driveway by the barn. That way, you could close the gate on the way out to make sure there were no escapes, but it wouldn't be an actual pasture area.
            You're not graphically challenged, I'm just a bad explainer! No, the barn isn't built yet. This is the same barn, but for now we're just going to have the 2 back stalls with a tack/feed room in between them. Those are the 3 little rectangles inside the barn on my fancy drawing!

            I like your idea in theory, but I don't think I really feel comfortable with the main opening of the barn facing the cornfield and farmer "stuff". It would be super close for dirt, debris, chemicals, etc. blowing right in and it wouldn't be very convenient, especially in the winters here (Indiana) getting down that extra driveway and around the corner into the barn. I just think it would be even weirder with the back of the barn facing our house and main property. Basically, if you stood and looked at our house from the road, you'd be looking at the back of the barn. I'm all for what works the best, but I don't think that would be the greatest.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              The only other semi-logical layout I came up with was this... but still looks a little funky IMO. The dimensions are screwed up on this one, it was before we did a final measurement, but the pastures would be divided up the shorter way which doesn't seem ideal to me. Maybe I'm just overthinking it though... http://tinyurl.com/krdmgw

              Comment


              • #8
                Off topic, what computer program are you using to draw out all that stuff? It's neat.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dmalbone View Post
                  The only other semi-logical layout I came up with was this... but still looks a little funky IMO. The dimensions are screwed up on this one, it was before we did a final measurement, but the pastures would be divided up the shorter way which doesn't seem ideal to me. Maybe I'm just overthinking it though... http://tinyurl.com/krdmgw
                  I really like this layout. It is close and convenient to the house and to the driveway. At the barn where I board right now, the driveway to the barn is paved right to the barn. It is wonderful. Even if you didn't extend the paving, you could still gravel a driveway to the barn. Plus, if you still want to, you could enclose the small area in front of the barn with fence and a gate, so that your horses couldn't accidently escape. I think this plan is a keeper!
                  Last edited by ToiRider; Jun. 12, 2009, 12:50 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't read the rest of the posts but my two cents worth

                    We have 75 acres and I am the only horse person so I set up the entire area, pastures or not, to open into each other and or lane back to the barn so if somebody gets out or I need to move a part of the herd, like broodies, or young horses or whatever, I can open/close off some areas and not have to move them one by one. Our entire property is enclosed with an antomatic gate at the front which helps if anybody gets out they are still unable to get to the road which was a life saver just this morning when I found a young mare out and up by the gate at the road!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Seven-up View Post
                      Off topic, what computer program are you using to draw out all that stuff? It's neat.
                      Huh... disappearing post, I swear I responded to this last night... Just using good ol' Microsoft Publisher with squares/lines/shapes, etc.! Not very high tech.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        DITTO

                        Originally posted by paintjumper View Post
                        We have 75 acres and I am the only horse person so I set up the entire area, pastures or not, to open into each other and or lane back to the barn so if somebody gets out or I need to move a part of the herd, like broodies, or young horses or whatever, I can open/close off some areas and not have to move them one by one. Our entire property is enclosed with an antomatic gate at the front which helps if anybody gets out they are still unable to get to the road which was a life saver just this morning when I found a young mare out and up by the gate at the road!
                        Me too. Our property is much smaller, but we set it up so there is no requirement to lead an individual horse anywhere. Our sacrifice paddock is in the middle and is quite large. That is where the water and shelter is. It has large gate on one side, that leads to the front pasture (via a lane/channel)....and on the other side is another gate to the rear pasture.

                        Also - the whole property is fully fenced as we have a newly built driveway gate. Helps that we are at the end of a private road, too (not too much danger from traffic/public)

                        Your second plan looks much better but I would add a gate between the two pastures as well.

                        You can easily add a sacrifice paddock to this equation, which can lead to either pasture. The paddock can be rocked, so it's great when wet and when you want to save your pastures and rest them.

                        Can the horses go from that part of the barn to the outside?
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                        www.elainehickman.com
                        **Morgans Do It All**

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dmalbone View Post
                          Maybe I'm just overthinking it though
                          you can't overthink this one

                          my advice would be to make sure your run-in/sacrifice paddock is not one that is adjacent to the house or the house driveway. otherwise that's where your animals will stand to wait for you. it's going to be messy, so give yourself a green barrier between it and the house. (this has been key for my marriage to a non-horsey DH)

                          you can never have too many gates. put in twice what you think you need. out of even my smallest paddocks i have at least 4, and that doesn't include going through the barn. if you can keep them out of corners, you are better off. it's much easier to get a single horse out of a herd if you don't have to deal with a corner gate. toss in a few 4 foot gates for moving single animals and people access, you'll be happy you have them.

                          don't underdo parking and turnaround areas. i have plenty and i wish i had more. make sure the drive to the barn is open and paved or graveled well. i have a good friend with a beautiful barn on a mountainside meadow and for a good part of the year getting a vehicle to it is either impossible or tears up her paddock. the farrier and the vet are not fans of visiting her place.

                          good luck and have fun with your planning!
                          * trying hard to be the person that my horses think i am

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I like your second plan better, but I think you may want to flip the design of the barn; have the stalls and feed room face the house and the run in shed face the paddocks. Also, put in a door going into the feed room. You could also put the fence down the center of the run-in so you could use it for either field.
                            And, agreed with Jacksmom, you can never have too many or too large gates! We don't put in anything less than 12 foot, unless it is just a people walk through gate.
                            april
                            Equine Retirement at
                            www.StonyRidgeFarm.webs.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I didn't see your drawings, but just a few things to consider before placing permanent (barn) or semi-permanent (fencing) items.

                              First check around with local farmers etc on prevaling winds/breezes to take best advantage of them and keep things cool... it will also show you if any changes to the plan may be needed to 'weather' a storm. The barn our guys is in was supposed to be located in a different direction, but it now has a cooling breeze through it most of the hot months and can be shut off enough to prevent a blast chiller coming through in the winter.

                              The down side is it's at the top of a hill above a river and if a storm comes from a certain quarter, one side of the barn 'has' to be closed up or gets soaked. Fortunately not often.

                              Also for fire safety, it's a great idea to have a paddock a bit away from the barn, fenced off from the barn as somewhere the horses could be placed in the event of a fire. In a fire, horses need to be contained and it can't be attached to the barn or you run the risk of them running back where you don't want them. Does every barn have this? No, but if you are planning from scratch its an idea.

                              Comment

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