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Farm planning - 14 acres

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  • Farm planning - 14 acres

    Looking at a potential property that consists of 14 acres.

    Would like to build a barn with an apartment (either beside? above?). Would like an arena and pastures.

    Need a well (obviously), and it has to be more than 100 feet from the barn, says the well guy.

    Does anyone have experiences in starting / planning a small farm that the could share?

    Advice?

    Thoughts on what you did that worked really well? Stuff you wouldn't do again?

    Thanks!

    Edited to add: Land is pretty uniform in topograpy, well drained, higher, with no visible wet spots...
    FREE TACK/APPAREL ADS: BITS AND BARTER BOARD: http://bitsandbarter.proboards.com/i...ay&thread=5450

  • #2
    How many horses do you think you will want to support on that land? I don't mean that they will live solely off the land..just wondering how many horses you are planning for.
    Julie
    www.equusvilla.blogspot.com
    www.ridingaside.blogspot.com
    www.miniaturecheviot.blogspot.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't have any experience with building a barn from scratch, but my first thought would be to leave it designed so a house CAN be built in the future. Whereas you wouldn't mind living in an apartment, one day you may want to add a house and yard or if you have to sell one day most other people will want a house area. This also leaves the opportunity to have live in help over the barn one day in exchange for horse chores.

      If you have septic you will also need to take that into consideration around the barn also... this can't be a highly trafficked area of equipment and horses can't pasture over it.

      Is it financial reasons to build an apartment over/next to the barn? I know I briefly looked at it for a time and it really seemed like a small modular home separate from a pole barn was much simpler and more cost effective, but I didn't have my heart set on living in the barn.

      Comment


      • #4
        HorseKeeping on a Small Acreage.

        Everything you need (seriously I think I should be getting a cut from the publisher or something...)
        "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
        Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
        Need You Now Equine

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        • #5
          I highly recommend this book "Horse Stable and Riding Arena Design by Eileen Fabian Wheeler" (http://www.amazon.com/Horse-Stable-R...8718832&sr=1-1) before you build. It was my bible when I built my barn. It really gets into details of what you should/should not do.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Four horses max on the acreage.

            I have the horsekeeping on small acreage book, love that.

            Our actual house is only 4 miles away from the property, so we don't plan on building a house out there in the near future, but may at some point down the road.

            The desire for the apartment is to have the ability to stay the night if we want (colicky horse, or guests with horses, or live in barn help one day...)

            It makes sense to us to have an apartment connected onto the barn....
            FREE TACK/APPAREL ADS: BITS AND BARTER BOARD: http://bitsandbarter.proboards.com/i...ay&thread=5450

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Gloria View Post
              I highly recommend this book "Horse Stable and Riding Arena Design by Eileen Fabian Wheeler" (http://www.amazon.com/Horse-Stable-R...8718832&sr=1-1) before you build. It was my bible when I built my barn. It really gets into details of what you should/should not do.

              WOW! $127.00
              FREE TACK/APPAREL ADS: BITS AND BARTER BOARD: http://bitsandbarter.proboards.com/i...ay&thread=5450

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                I highly recommend this book "Horse Stable and Riding Arena Design by Eileen Fabian Wheeler" (http://www.amazon.com/Horse-Stable-R...8718832&sr=1-1) before you build. It was my bible when I built my barn. It really gets into details of what you should/should not do.
                ME TO!!! Wonderful book. I borrowed it from inter library loan first (spendy) and then STILL had to buy it. I also have Cherry Hill's, which isn't as in depth, but an enjoyable and valuable book as well.

                My really random advice. Make your driveway big (wide) enough for an emergency crew to drive on. Also plan a circle for the end of the driveway--never heard anyone regret doing that.
                DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by naters View Post
                  WOW! $127.00
                  Yeap. I almost fell off my chair when I first saw the price tag but it is really worth every penny. Cherry Hill's are wonderful books for easy reads but when you get down to serious business, they are simply not enough.

                  This book even tell you how far you should place your saddle racks based on your tacks, where to place your electirc outlets, what kind of lighting requirements based on the purpose of the areas, a table listing pros/cons of each type of flooring options, and much more.

                  Based on this book, I drew a detailed diagram of where to put fans, lights, electric outlets, etc. My electrician was rather impressed My husband laughed at me when I showed him how much lights I have put in the barn. OK. I hate dim and dingy barns. Now we are starting to use it, he is very happy, not to mention how happy my farriers and vets are.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You want to be able to get big trucks in and out easily for deliveries. And turn/park horse trailers.

                    Also, keep efficiency and maintenance in mind. Double fencing is nice, but a major major major PITA as far as mowing and fenceline trimming goes. If you can't run it over with the mower, it will need to be trimmed with the weed whacker, and who's job will that be? This is the most time consuming job on my farm.

                    I've also found that a lot of the fancy stuff just is not necessary. I do love my rubber mats, but I don't have auto waterers or anything like that. Good luck!
                    Man plans. God laughs.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Flash44 View Post
                      You want to be able to get big trucks in and out easily for deliveries. And turn/park horse trailers.

                      Also, keep efficiency and maintenance in mind. Double fencing is nice, but a major major major PITA as far as mowing and fenceline trimming goes. If you can't run it over with the mower, it will need to be trimmed with the weed whacker, and who's job will that be? This is the most time consuming job on my farm.

                      I've also found that a lot of the fancy stuff just is not necessary. I do love my rubber mats, but I don't have auto waterers or anything like that. Good luck!
                      I had a long post going that got eaten, but this sums it up pretty much. Weedwacking and mowing are huge time wasters. You also want to group things near to each other to save walking all over the darn place, and bear in mind that even a slight slope is a PITA after the third trip with a laden wheelbarrow, and you know you can't use the tractor for every single thing you do, there's always going to be sometime you have to use the wheelbarrow.

                      And also I would suggest siting the septic first thing, because they can't be within 100' of the well either, or streams or ponds or a bunch of other things, and if you get the paperwork started and the system approved you beat any changes in the laws at some future time.

                      Good luck - our 15 is a real challenge with the rocks and the ridges and a tight budget - it'll either keep us young or age us prematurely getting it the way we want.(and we're loving every minute of it).
                      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                      Incredible Invisible

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Design everything with the number of steps you have to take to complete your basic chores in mind. So, put your feed room in the middle of the barn, not at the end, so that you take fewer steps when feeding. Have a water spigot near each stall and water trough. (You'll have to decide what "near" means to you. I don't generally want to have to stretch a hose or carry a bucket any farther than about 2 stall lengths. You may have a higher or lower tolerance.)

                        Your manure pile needs to be downwind, slightly downhill, and not too far from the barn.

                        A fenced barnyard is really helpful and provides a safety net if someone forgets to latch a stall door.

                        An electric component to fencing is a really nice thing, as it keeps horses from rubbing or leaning over. I have non-climb mesh with wide electric tape on top. I really love it and will do it the same way next time. Not only does it keep horses off the fence, it keeps stray dogs out. Also, with this setup, the posts can be farther apart (so you need fewer posts) than with traditional post and board. (Post and board = posts 8 feet apart, my setup = posts 10-12 feet apart.)

                        Run in sheds should be large (12 feet deep is a bare minimum, 14-16 is better) and have 5 foot high dividing walls every 12-16 feet lengthwise so that the boss horse can't keep the others out of the entire shed.

                        An apartment on ground level is, in my opinion, a better idea than one above the barn. First, it allows your barn to be open to the rafters, which means better ventilation and cooler stalls. Secondly, it's easier to build. Thirdly, if you get hurt, you don't have to climb stairs to get in and out of your home.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ditto the electric fence...saves on fixing fence boards!!! I have the black tape with a black top board, and that fencing is the only fending not used for butt scratching. And it looks nice.

                          Also, beware that things break! So it's nice to have lots of water spigots, but that also means lots of plumbing to install...and leak......

                          Put light switches by each door, so no matter what door you come in, you can turn on a light and you don't have to walk through the entire barn in the dark! You WILL find the wheelbarrow with your shin.
                          Man plans. God laughs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sounds like you are already into the planning stages, so you may have already looked into this... but just be aware that it can be very hard to get insurance on a house/barn combo. Check with your insurance before you get to deep into the project.

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