A dream that is coming true!

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by livelaughride, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. livelaughride

    livelaughride Full Member

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    Hey guys, just wanted to share some really exciting news with people who can understand why I'm so excited! My husband and I just bought 7 acres of raw land, that will be our forever (for the foreseeable future) acreage home! :D We've wanted to do this for a while, and have spent the last 3 years doing live-in flips on 3 properties, and we're finally at the point where we can afford to make this happen.

    We take possession of the land on Mon Aug 21, so it's coming up fast! First thing we will do is get a well on it so it can then be considered serviced land and we can get a land loan of 75% LTV instead of the current 50%.

    Here's what it looks like from the road (so looking East): (a little smokey because of the fires burning in BC)

    Strathmore land pic.jpg

    Not much on it right now, but I'm hoping that by next year at this time, it'll have house, garage, barn, fencing, and landscaping done.

    Here is the layout I have so far. We want as much pasture space for the horses as we can, and we're also trying to leave enough space to mark out a polocrosse field in if we wanted to. Each of those tiny squares is 1 m2.

    Land layout full.jpg

    The pink semi-circle/oblong shape on the North is a no-build area. The neighbouring property has a wetland area, and there's a 30m setback radius around it. So we can't build, but can use it for pasture or whatever. The house is in pink, with an attached deck (yellow) that comes with it. The green is a possible future extension we are thinking about for the house in the next 5 years. The little red thing is the propane tank, and the blue is the driveway coming in. We won't do the garage/barn until next spring since it's not critical. Penciled lines are where we want fencing. We may also fence a little pasture on the front side of the house, but I want a few goats so that may be the goat area.

    The house is a 1961 1236 ft2 bungalow with 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths that we will be moving onto a new foundation. Here is what it looks like from Google Street View and where it currently sits, about 45 minutes away from the property.

    House to be moved exterior.png


    Garage Barn Layout.jpg

    This is the garage/workshop/barn building. I want it combined as one because then we only have to run power and water to one building. The garage will be for 2 vehicles and my husband wants to keep his carpentry tools/workshop stuff down the right side. If he needs lots of space to work, we can always pull one car out of the garage. I would also like some hay storage in the loft, but I'm having trouble estimating how much storage area I'm going to need. Right now we have 2 horses but I can easily seeing it becoming 3... or 4 ..... I figure the whole left side of the barn could be open for now, and we could either use it as hay storage, add more stalls, or leave some open space for tacking up, or a bit of everything. For the wash rack, I was thinking we could install the floor drain and faucets, and if we never use it or need the space for a stall, it's easy enough to convert to another stall if we put something over the faucets to cover them and put rubber mats down.

    Any ideas/suggestions/input welcome! Since we have the ability to design it how we want, might as well do it the smart way!
     
    Cynical25, Varisha, equinitis and 8 others like this.
  2. bobo and horses

    bobo and horses Senior Member

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    Great for you! Must be very exciting. It will be a great place for you and yours.
     
  3. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Cool~!! Keep us posted of your adventures as you progress with it.
     
  4. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

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    Congrats! I am excited for you.
     
  5. VermilionStrife

    VermilionStrife Senior Member

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    Congrats! What area do you live in that you're also getting smoke from BC? I live in NW Montana and we are getting it from there, as well as a fire that started Monday night/Tuesday morning up by Canadian border. Just out of curiosity. :)
     
  6. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

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    Wow, congrats!!
    Definitely keep us posted!
     
  7. livelaughride

    livelaughride Full Member

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    Thank you, still can't believe it's finally happening! And it will start happening quickly once we get rolling. The company that's doing the excavation, driveway, foundation, grading, and septic, is about 3 weeks from the start to when the house will be plopped on the new foundation!

    I'm in Calgary, AB (and this acreage is actually about 30 mins East of the city). We've been on and off smokey for the last month. Today it's pretty good, but there were some days where you couldn't even make out the buildings downtown from 5 miles away. Places as far as Saskatchewan and Manitoba even got haze and ash!
     
    VermilionStrife likes this.
  8. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Congratulations, you've reasons to be excited-!! ;)
     
  9. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    It's a great feeling, isn't it.

    I wonder if you'd like to keep discussing the challenges you face with that very different sort of climate and horsekeeping there. I visited that area some time back and it was really pretty amazing to me how much of a difference the weather there made. My main concern is ice, wet heavy snow with unfrozen mud underneath, and hot summers, lol. Yours are very different, I think.
     
  10. livelaughride

    livelaughride Full Member

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    Certainly. The last time I had horses at home was at my parents' house, on Vancouver Island. The climate is temperate rainforest so keeping horses in Alberta will have a lot more challenges. However, not everything is bad. In such a wet environment on the West Coast, the horses had to be in a sand paddock for half the year as the pasture would just get too torn up if they were out on it. At least in Alberta, it freezes and snows so it doesn't generally get muddy and wet like BC.

    I'm sure I'll discover many more challenges but I have a few I can think of right now. This last winter 2 friends and I all boarded our horses together and rented a property that had 4 pastures and a little barn. THAT was a learning experience - design as best you can to start with, and not everyone is as responsible and has as much foresight as I do apparently. The biggest things were:

    Water: The property owner was an electrician who was also doing a lot of property/house renovations so he so kindly put in an auto waterer in the biggest pasture, and a hydrant in another. The auto waterer was a God-send as there were 10 horses in that pasture, and it worked right up until March when a horse ripped part of the cover off and it froze and I think burst something. That was about the time it was starting to thaw out and I was leaving the barn anyway so not sure what happened. However the other 6 horses on the property were in 3 places - 4 in one pasture, 1 (mine, the only one that was mine at the time) in an adjacent pasture, and 1 in a round pen in my horse's pasture (stud). We put a metal trough between the fence, inside a wooden box with insulation so that the 5 horses between 2 pastures could all get access. We put a water heater in there, but because we were limited on where we could put it so it wasn't on a hill and they were sharing a fence line, it was a ways from the barn, so we had 2 70' extension cords we had to weave on the fence to get to it. Hint: weave them through the fence so they can be found and not get buried under snow and ice and get frozen in.

    So how does the water get into the trough when it's so far from the barn and hydrant? With hoses. In -30. Every day. It was actually 2 long hoses connected together. After filling the trough, you then had to drain the hoses properly so no water was left in them, then roll them. Second wonderful thing about the property owner? "Oh just put the hoses in the basement bathtub." Thank goodness for that because there were a few times in late fall when it was starting to freeze that all the hoses would be jammed with ice. Now how easy is it to bucket water back and forth from the hydrant to the trough? Darn near impossible with 5 horses drinking out of it. Never again do I want to deal with that.

    The insulated box didn't work as the horses would start chewing it and ripping the insulation boards out, which made a big mess and I don't think it helped at all. The water heater did pretty well, other than having the really long cords. For the stud in the round pen, he was too far to run more extension cords to, and plugging 2 water heaters into the same circuit blew the breaker. So the whole freaking winter we'd bring him a bucket of water, which caused some contention as I wouldn't consider it an adequate solution, but nothing else I could do, not my horse. Interesting thing - when water gets left in a bucket and freezes, it freezes top down, so all the buckets that got left for him that still had water would bow out the bottom when the ice started expanding. I stopped loaning my buckets.

    So have a water solution is probably most important. Also hay is a big consideration, especially if you're doing round bales. Keep them in a place that's easy to just roll them into the pasture, and where the grade isn't working against you, and where you don't have to haul them across the property to get them to the appropriate place and get your truck stuck in the snow. Been there, done that, will do everything possible to avoid doing that again.

    Another interesting consideration that's unique to our area is chinooks - the warm wind that comes from the coast, over the mountains, and makes an atrocious mess. Now I love that probably 40-50% of winter days are really not that bad because a chinook has rolled in and the temp has gone from -20C to +10C in a matter of hours, but logistically it's difficult. If you have horses blanketed for -20, and now it's +10, they're going to be hot. We don't actually get a lot of snow, but whatever's on the ground melts, and then freezes into ice, making any slope or collection of water treacherous.

    Our snow here is very dry and light for the most part. The coasts get wet heavy stuff but we are inland enough that it can snow all day and the most we get is maybe 6" if it's bad. Luckily/unluckily the ground freezes pretty hard here so we don't have issues with unfrozen mud beneath snow typically, unless it's fall or spring. Our summers aren't bad as it's very dry, so even if it's 30C (which 32C is about the max, it's usually in the 20s most summer days) it's hot (for us) but not unbearably humid too. Though the bugs can be bad - swarms of mosquitoes at times.
     

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