Finding grazing...how best to do it?(11 Posts)
I am wracking my brain atm, trying to figure out how you go about finding grazing. I know of one place that offers 24/7 grass livery, at £90 pcm, extra for winter haylage. But it's an hour's drive across heavy traffic, and has barbed wire fencing, which bothers me.
Ideally, I want somewhere closer to home. So on the north side of Belfast, as opposed to driving across the city, which is really hard on petrol costs. Nothing too fancy, in fact here is my list.
Secure field, not too rich grazing but preferably not a total bog, no barbed wire if possible, and of course drinking water.
Shelter of some kind would be a bonus, although I will rug as required. Just a stand of trees would do, or some high hedging to act as a windbreak.
A fairly flat area to tie up and check over, groom, tack up, etc. Does not have to be concrete, a dry patch of grass will do! As long as the vet and farrier can access it when needed.
Storage not essential as can keep my stuff at home and transport it as needed.
Indoor or outdoor school would be great but I can manage without it as long as there are fields to ride in or hacking routes available without needing to box to get to them.
Am I seeking the impossible? And if not, how do I find it? And what would be a fair price to expect to pay for such a set up? I am happy to help with maintaining the field, will of course pay for any damages, and can source my own hay/haylage if needed.
Trying to think of something helpful. You could advertise but do feed merchants and agricultural suppliers rather than tack shops? (or other places farmers might go). Or farmers weekly/Dalton's weekly/local equivalent?
Can you have a drive round local farms and ask? We once found a nice field and a barn just by asking the farmer if he had anything we could rent. If they haven't got anything suitable ask if they have any suggestions about who else you could ask. They might know of neighbours who won't necessarily show on maps as farms (eg we once rented from people living in a barn conversion that came with a pocket of land they didn't use and were glad to rent out).
If it has barbed wire but you have it to yourself you can get some electric fencing to make it safe so don't let that put you off too much/
Ads in local shops/tack shops/supermarkets
Ads in the local papers/equine ads
Ask everyone you can possibly think of, including the postman and local shopkeepers
Phone every farmer in your area
Look at your area on google earth, locate green spaces and go investigate, then drive around the area, and knock on the door of every house you find with land attached.
Stop random horseriders and ask them if they know of anywhere.
I suspect that phoning local farmers/going door to door may be the best idea. Will place a few ads first, then start ringing around. Am happy to put up electric fencing if able to, that would open up more options too.
Now to get up the nerve to do some cold calling! <gleep>
I moved to a new area and put a grazing wanted add on preloved, got a fair few replies! Not to be too nosey, have you been at a v basic place before? Your requirements are pretty much what I had (and have got!) but it has been a struggle at times not having a bit more in the way of facilities!
Have been at a variety of places over the years. Keeping out at grass was by far the simplest, and I frequently pulled mare out of field and did all our bits and bobs on a tiny patch of hardstanding next to one of the gateways. It was safely away from traffic, and there was a post to tie up to, so it worked well. Got very good at changing rugs/tacking up whilst dodging raindrops!
Facilities...well, in an ideal world I would love access to an indoor school, even one that I had to hack to. But that's just the ideal. I am primarily a happy hacker/trekker type person. Well used to weather, lol!
There is a lovely yard that I would be very tempted by, although a bit far away. But I am not sure if they offer grass livery as an option. If they did, they would be worth the journey, as incredible facilities and amazing staff. Plus their grazing is so well kept...and has post and rail with electric tape. I will probably ask there too. No harm enquiring!
Trying to get all this sorted before I go horse hunting again. Had to part company with my previous mare as she was too much horse for me. Actually, most people referred to her as half-mad. She wasn't mad, just fast and sharp and very keen. Great little mare for the right person - in fact she is perfect for the person who now owns her. But way too much horse for me.
Cool, I think I'm Missing the fact we don't really have any hard standing! It's been a long and muddy few months!!! Good luck anyway!
Thanks I am missing the mud, tbh...poor dogs are being walked miles so I can come home properly muddified! Last mare came to me in November, the one before that was mid January -- I am a glutton for punishment -- ...I guess I associate horses with mud now, lol!
<whispers> DH is paying for the new horse as my 10th anniversary present New horse and first year's insurance to boot. Am being spoilt! So will hopefully get to start looking around May this year. Naturally the perfect horse will then appear around mid-winter...
Anyway, got to chat to a friend about it today. May have found a couple of places. Have to e-mail the YOs for details
Ah congrats!! How lovely of him, I have a retired mare who Ive had for nearly 20 years now, had to move to othe side of country a couple of years ago for partners work was v worried about mare coping with the move, so he bought me a new riding horse! (mare bullies him but I think she's happy) Literally the nicest thing anyone has done for me!!
Keep us updated on the horse search, I'm excited for you!!!
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