Keeping horses on *small* acreage

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by Allkian, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. PyroTekNik333

    PyroTekNik333 Senior Member

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    Mud will depend on your ground mostly.
    I have very sandy soil and had sand brought in to build up a pad for the barn. As long as I keep up with the manure and wasted hay I have very little mud. Even with a year like we've had where its day after day of rain.

    If you have a soil that doesn't drain well you'll have to grade in some swales most likely or do some sort of drain (tiling, french drain etc.) to deal with water.
     
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  2. Allkian

    Allkian Senior Member

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    Here’s a satellite view of the property.
     

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  3. Allkian

    Allkian Senior Member

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    Luckily this area in Texas is quite sandy. Very little clay. I will likely bring in some road base or gravel for high traffic areas. I have yet to experience any real issue with mud. We do get flash flooding but it drains off typically within a few hours.
     
  4. Allkian

    Allkian Senior Member

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    The red is the “yard” for the house. Blue are what I’ve got so far for the pasture areas. I think I’ll hard fence the boundaries then bring in hot tape and section off areas as they graze. But keep a round bale in the sacrifice area 24/7 plus their evening supplements.
     
  5. spec

    spec Full Member

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    Make a nice big, well-drained drylot, and try to grow grass in the rest. In the winter or when your pastures need a rest, put em in the drylot. Not an ideal situation, I’d probably sell a few instead, but a lot of people do this around where I live and their horses are no worse for the wear.
     
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  6. sunrisegurl146

    sunrisegurl146 Senior Member

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    Most places with boarding in my area have smaller paddocks, just more of them so horses are rotated into different paddocks for summer /winter.

    As long as you keep up on the paddocks I think you're be okay. My barn has same size paddocks with about 3-5 horses depending on the paddock. But they go out and pick the paddock every couple of days in the spring- fall. Then the horses are moved to their winter paddock once the ground is frozen .

    In the spring, the horses are switched to their summer paddock, and the winter field is scrapped and allowed to grow up, and the cycle continues :)
     
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  7. Allkian

    Allkian Senior Member

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    I’d considered selling a few but they’ve kind of been my rock through all this so I am not ready quite yet to do that. I’ve definitely kept them on less but it always became this muddy soupy mess come winter. Obviously if they begin to show signs of being in duress because of the space I can always go back to boarding a few. And of course once this all smooths out I will either move to bigger property or look at buying land from surrounding farms.

    I’m just trying to make do with what I’ve got as best I can so the horses are happy and it’s not an eye sore to neighbors. If I pick the paddock regularly and rotate and keep feed 24/7 im pretty confident I can do this at least for a few seasons. At this point I’ve boarded them in much smaller and paid 3x as much for them to be unhappy. So I figure having them home with me, even if it’s still a tight space, will yield better hay, better daily care and of course help financially to not be paying such a cost to keep them in pretty slim circumstances.

    This is kind of my layout design. Dry lot with a track along the tree line then 3 paddocks to rotate and not get burnt up or overgrazed (hopefully).

    I’ll post updates for anyone else in similar circumstances as I go through this journey.
     

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