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little cow

What is your horse's home like?

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It seems like horse people design their barns differently, depending on the part of the country they live in.  I see most horses down here either in pastures 24/7, or in stalls with turnout. There are some in dry lots with shelter, but that is more uncommon.  I don't see much in between stall or pastures.  I grew up out West, where paddocks attached to stalls were common.

How do you have your horse setup, or what are the facilities like where you board?  Is it common for your area, or did you look for something unusual to make your horse happier? 

I put a lot of thought into our new barn and we did the best we could within our budget.  The biggest money saver was doing as much as we could ourselves, such as building the paddocks.  Also, we did a simple barn design that maximizes breezes, instead of closing it all up, like you would need to do in colder climates.  That also saved money, as well as being more practical for our area.  

We had larger paddocks attached to stalls on our old farm, but our new one has less room for the horses.  We did manage to build a bigger barn this time, though.  It has three stalls on one side, with a tack room area (not finished).  There is a run-in shed and hay storage on the other side.  We actually have a central aisle this time, which is a step up from our shedrow barn at the old place.  We just have gates at either end of the aisle and the breeze blows right through the north/south oriented barn, keeping it cool.  We built 24 X 14 paddocks the last few weekends.  Not very big, but a horse can come out and look around to see what's going on.  Their old paddocks are 24 x 36.  The new run-in shed has a 33 x 48 paddock.  That's for the young donkey and her goat friend. 

Move in date is late this month.  I still have stall mats to buy and cut.  Not looking forward to that!

Edited by little cow

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LC,   I have pole barn for horses with box stalls, put them in daily for grain, not that they need it, but that way I see them coming & going & can notice any problems, also they get handled daily that way.  I have 80 x 100 dry lot that I can leave them in with 12 x 18 run in shelter & water available, also have two small pastures, both  about 2-3 acres in size. They are generally out 24/7, with access to shelter. There are a lot of different ideas on horse keeping, but we have to find the system that works best for our lifestyle.  Best Wishes. PD

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Currently mine are in the round pen until the paddock is finished.

Mine are on a dry lot with a run in facing south.  They have plenty of room for running around.  With the minis I really don't want them on pasture & I like having the ability to control the feeding so they don't get overly fat.  There will be a time when we will build a poll building where can have a couple stalls & hay storage with tack room.

I'd love to have indoor stalls for the very wet winter days.  I get very paranoid with the ponies being wet in the bitter cold.

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Mine are in open pasture 24/7.  Unfortunately my life is plagued with fire and our barn burned down on November 29, 2017.  We do not have a barn anymore as since no one lived on the farm, the barn was not insured.  

We are currently on a house hunt, or build.  I am trying to weigh if we want to build at the farm  (it would be an hour drive to work) where my horses are and if I can build a house small enough, I may have enough money to build a barn/kennel.  

I am terrified of fire, and I will not leave horses in a barn in stalls overnight or if anyone is far away.  So my barn would be mostly just shelter and shade with free access to pasture.  I will have just a couple stalls or 4 if anyone is ailing, but I would attach a turn out to that.  Locking any animal up where they are trapped makes me physically sick now.

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QhridinGA, I can't imagine what you went through....I like your sensible approach to rebuilding a place for the animals to be safe.  A barn/kennel combination sounds interesting.  I've seen a few barns converted to kennels that were really neat looking. 

We got our new barns insured, but it seems a bit strange since it's what's inside of them that has the most value.  Down here, all you really need is a run in, unless you are close enough to the coast (or live in Florida) and worry about hurricanes.  In that case, it's flooding, not blowing rain, that is the biggest hazard to animals.  I like our barn, but we will use it for only one horse, plus a pony, two pregnant sheep, a goat, and a donkey.  Guess I can't call it a horse barn.  Animal barn?

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I live near Atlanta, and really we do not need much more than a run in as well.  

Where they live is rolling pasture and they can move about and go where is needed.  They have lived like that for a long time as I did not put them in a barn.  It seems to agree with them as 4 of them are in their late 20s and fat as ticks.

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QH, wish you luck figuring out what you want for a new home.  Are are some great two bd modular & stick built floor plans out there.  Especially if you are not needing a lot of space.

We don't necessarily have to build a "barn" but even a good garage with a addition for hay & ponies.  I would only require 2 stall but my hubby said if you are going to do it then do it right & put in 4 for the future. He is also talking an indoor arena of some sort so can work ponies in the winter when I have more time.  Course this is all a big wish in the sky but it will happen someday.

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Jubal, it's amazing how well sheltered evergreens can be.  I remember walking in a forest of deep snow, but there was almost none between a tight grove of trees.  

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My three have a converted shop building for their shelter.  Half inch belt mats over concrete with a round bale manger.  (door of manger has been cut in half so 3rd horse can feed over it)  There is a 60x90 corral attached to this shelter that is essentially a "dry lot" and this corral attaches to the 2 acre pasture.  Eventually the pasture will be enlarged to about 5 acres and will include some deciduous trees for summer shade, neck-scratching and body-rubbing.  I plan to take all the pines out so I don't have to deal with sap.

I would have liked to have a proper barn with stalls but I have been able to make this work and I find I like the ease of having an open run-in.  When my mare injured her hoof 2 winters ago, I was able to panel off half of the barn into a large stall area for her.  I am debating removing the left side door frame, but I do like having that short upright bit to help shade the water tub.

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Heidi I think that is a great idea for shelter.  It looks very safe and cozy.

We looked at a beautiful house that is much too run down on gorgeous property.  But the house needed 150,000 in repairs.  No joke.  The bank is greedy and will not come down to an appropriate number.  So we walked away from that.

Then another house to see this weekend but most of the property is woods but lots of creek frontage.  I keep saying we do not need much room, like 2000 sq foot is perfect.  But this house we are seeing this weekend is enormous.  And stucco.  Yuck.  But I am willing to look because it appears to be move in ready unless I want to rip out carpet.  But it looks pristine and river frontage talks to me.  I have almost no furniture or belongings.  It will not take us long to move in.  It will take longer to move outside stuff.

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Best of luck in house hunting!  Sounds like a nice place.  Is stucco hard to maintain?  it seems to insulate fairly well, depending on what's behind it.

Edited by little cow

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Well we use stucco at work, but we spray it on hardcoat.  So not the same as a house.  It is hard to repair if birds and water damage.  I also think it is kinda ugly.

The more I think about it, the more sense it makes to build at the farm.  These properties are all about 40-45 minutes from work, and the farm would only be about 55 minutes.  I can in theory work from home a few days a week.  Then I would not have to spend money on property.  

My thought is if I combine a barn and a kennel into a communal building, I think the flies will be too much for the dogs.  The dogs would have AC and heat, but they would only be kenneled when we are not home.  

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QH, just have to figure out the pros & con's.  Then what is best for you & the family.

We are in a situation where fixing our farm house would cost the same as building new or bring in a modular.  Not an easy decision.

 

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Pro: We would finally live with the horses again after many years, property is my husbands inheritance and is a big piece of land, can build house I want of moderate size, kennel and barn with separate hay storage.  House would have warranty.  Could work from home several days a week.  

Con: 55 minute drive to work, the farm is leased to a guy who is very nice but keeps 150 sim angus there, I only want one pasture for my house and not in the middle of the place but his employees would be there as needed.  It would not really bother me too much as I would not have to care for the cattle and they give me hay.  The horses have never been a problem for them.  My husbands job requires him to be on site. 

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Our horses found shelter under the lean to attached to our hay barn until it was destroyed by a hurricane.  Hubby had a barn built for me in 2016. Two 12x12 stalls and same sized feed room. Simple but functional. 

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These barn pictures make me a little envious. Mine are 100% pasture unless I need them penned up for some reason. My pasture, partly owned and partly leased, is 1200 acres so if I need to see one regularly, they have to be penned up. I sometimes don't see them for a week or more is my work schedule is crazy.

There are pros for sure, I have a very healthy herd that gets lots of movement and has very good forage even in bad rain years. They are fat but I have had no trouble with founder, laminitis or IR. They keep themselves in good enough shape, I can catch them up and work cattle or ride in the mountains without a bunch of legging up before hand. Very low incidence of parasites because of the wide open spaces they graze on.

There are cons too. I don't get to see them all of the time. It can be a process to check on them, 1200 acres is a lot of land to go looking. Even my large herd can be hard to spot and it is next to impossible to find them after dark. If one gets injured, it may be several days before we see it. Trespassing is common so we find people's trash as well as their cast off animals all of the time. Everything from folks letting raptors hunt, prairie dog shooters, bird hunters, couples sparking, kids drinking, trash dumpers and thieves. We get them all. :(

 

I would not trade it for anything though.

 

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kdrown, that is exactly how mine are.  I only worm quarterly.  They are in alot of pasture and I only feed hay if that in the winter.  Usually they do well on forage alone.  

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Grimmie, your setup is what I would like to build only bigger to accommodate round bales.  But the stalls with exterior face is what I'd like.  I don't need them to be completely indoor but just to get out of the nasty winter elements if need be.  Then on the backside could have the garage.  An all in one building.

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5 hours ago, RailroadWoman said:

Grimmie, your setup is what I would like to build only bigger to accommodate round bales.  But the stalls with exterior face is what I'd like.  I don't need them to be completely indoor but just to get out of the nasty winter elements if need be.  Then on the backside could have the garage.  An all in one building.

Yep shed rows are my choice especially here in the south where air circulation and breezes are a must. The walkway is 12' wide, we can fit a hay ring on the slab in front of the stalls. Doesn't block the stall doors and there is still room to walk around it, tie, groom and do farrier work. Luckily we don't have to store hay, our supplier is Our neighbor, we call, his guy delivers a Rd. bale or hubby gets itwith our tractor.

My husband way overbuilt in my opinion but that's what he does. Roof pitch matches the house and other buildings on the property. It's guttered all around. This barn with electricity was about $25,000. He should have saved $300 not installing the feed/hay door, it's far too high to feed from but comes in handy as a shelf when I'm in there worming, grooming or treating wounds.

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I LOVE IT!!!  We don't get much for wind/storms from the east v's the other directions, that would be the direction it would face.  Course I'd have to save up enough $$$ to have three buildings removed to make room for where it would go.

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I'm in North Texas, where it is HOT. 

When we moved into my current facility, the plan was to keep the horses in during the heat of the day and turned out at night. However, I *HATE* the way my barn was built by the previous owners and now we just do the lazy way. :lol:

Both sides of my barn open to the interior and exterior, as seen in this photo. My horses are either incredibly lazy or incredibly bored and have managed to learn how to pop the sliding doors off their hinges and remove them. So now they have the option of coming or going 24/7 because I got tired of repairing doors. The stall fronts are tied to the grills with bailing twine. #thingsthatmakemecrazy

I need to hire someone to remove these doors and retrofit SWING doors instead, but until I have the time/money/desire they'll stay on this situation. Luckily, the ones I have at the house are all either my retirees or my young horses so it's probably better that they get to move as much as they want anyway. 

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I like that setup, especially the access to the pasture. My stalls are hot and dark because there are no windows, even though there's a nice breeze in the aisle. I may see about getting windows put in or at least, translucent panels put in the roof.

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My barn is hot with the sun beating on it.  I plan to plant trees on the West side for the corralled horses to stand under, and also to shade that side of the building.  What I'd really like to do is insulate the sheet metal (walls and ceiling) because right now it acts like a baking oven in the summer.  Because of this, I feel the horses *must* have free access outdoors, I cannot in good conscience keep a horse up in that barn in the summer.

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I’m extremely fortunate to be able to keep my mare where she is. When I lived in Montana, Sage had a lean-to shed and pasture. When I moved to Oklahoma she had a big barn, tons of oak trees and pasture. 

 

I moved her from there to a friend’s place. She now has a 16 foot stall with a sand run/paddock. Plus there are two small paddocks I guess you could call them. The automatic water and a hot-walker are located in this area. I call it Sage’s “dry lot” because there isn’t much grass that grows there. So Sage gets locked up during the day in this area with access to her stall because she’s an air fern and will balloon out even more so than she does.

The barn has 4 stalls, wash rack, tack room, feed room and an office with a bathroom. Honestly, I could live in the barn lol There are 2 over head fans, one exhaust fan, and a fan mounted on the wall. It has the ability for heat in the winter. It also has insulation blown in the walls and ceiling. The depth of the concrete that was poured for the stall footings and floor has been a great insulator. The barn is always 10-15 degrees cooler on the summer and 10-5 degrees warmer in the winter. The doors run north and south which allows the ability to make use of the wind that’s never ending in Oklahoma. 

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