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Keeping horses at home

15 replies

CrispyBanger · 02/07/2018 20:10

Does anyone do this? Keep horses at home rather than on a livery yard I mean. Off to view a house this week which has a stable block at the end of the garden and a few acres of grazing. It would mean we could get a second horse rather than sharing the one we have but is it a lot to take care of the land?

OP posts:
qu1rky · 03/07/2018 02:22

I do.
I never really wanted them at home as I didn't want the responsibility of sourcing suppliers and sorting the muck heap.
3 years on, I can see I was daft.
Love, love, love having them at home.
I use two people to supply my hay and bedding. That way if one is short, the other is usually fine. Was thankful of this last winter when hay was in short supply. One guy managed to have some.
One of my suppliers also does groundwork, hay baling, fencing etc. He looks after my land. I just tell ask him to do whatever needs doing to keep it healthy. His daughter had horses, so he is well aware of how to treat horses pasture.
When I moved in, I looked for other horses around and knocked on doors asking for recommendations for farriers, suppliers etc.
So glad I have them home now, no livery dramas Smile

teaandtoast · 03/07/2018 02:29

Ooh interesting. How many acres do you need?

qu1rky · 03/07/2018 06:21

I have a 2.5 acre field and a 1 acre bit (can't really call it a field).
But, I have a horse who doesn't tolerate being out for long (sometimes 10 mins, sometimes a couple of hours), so my grass is always plentiful. She has an area in front of her stable that she can wander and is fed hay all year round. She is only in the field when I am around to get her in when she's had enough.
Another reason why being home is a God send. I had a great livery yard who pandered to her panic attacks but it took me a long time to find.
Now she is managed in the best possible way for her without it upsetting anybody else.

CrispyBanger · 03/07/2018 11:21

I actually have 2 to visit but both will be affected by HS2 which could be an issue.

OP posts:
CrispyBanger · 03/07/2018 11:23

How much do you pay for someone to manage the land? That's my biggest fear really as I haven't a clue.

OP posts:
lostplot · 03/07/2018 12:51

I've had mine at home for the last ten years and I could never go back to a livery yard. My lot have always lived out so I have a field of a couple of acres and a field shelter/hay store where they can get out of the bad weather.

I feed hay all year round as they are all good doers and one is laminitic so at this time of year they are on restricted grazing. I get my hay from a local farmer. He also rolls the field if it gets a bit trashed over the winter but it's not done every year.

I don't have any fences as I have Cornish hedges so no real maintenance issues there. I get the muck up from the field and out of the shelter and place in small piles around the field against the hedges so basically lots of small muck heaps. It gradually rots down so in all the years I've been here I have never had to have a muck heap removaI.

In the spring, I divide the field up to spray docks etc and keep the horses off for the appropriate length of time. Don't be put off by managing the land, it's really not that hard or time consuming. I love being able to look out of the window and see my lot grazing, it always puts a smile on my face.

Ariela · 03/07/2018 13:26

We moved the other way: 2 ponies at home to 1 horse at a yard (stables at home were too small for a horse).
Has the advantage of better grazing - more land, company, help with the horse when we can't do it/go away - and daughter gets paid to ride or look after other peoples horses too, better facilities, school etc, better hacking, people to hack with - the other horses near home are field ornaments only, it isn't expensive (it's the cheapest around), it is not far from home so we don't spend a fortune on commuting, and the yard owners are delightful.

However I miss popping down in the mornings to feed them while the kettle boils etc, and we miss the compost, just coming to the end of our pile.

We do all our own maintenance with our own vintage tractor, mower, tedder, bailer etc, we do our own fencing too, but divvy up with electric fencing to strip graze or track graze. We still cut ours and our neighbour's hay and sell it to a lady up the road, we buy hay for the horse from the farm we're on and it is rock bottom price so we still turn a profit on hay without the hassle of shifting it to the yard, it just gets collected by the lady in our road.

Ariela · 03/07/2018 13:29

Oh meant to say, having once been on a yard without automatic drinkers to the field, check the supply to each paddock, there is NOTHING worse than shifting water in the rain/mud/heat.

For poo removal, ask about often local allotment holders will collect it and make their own muck heap, our neighbour with the big hay field uses masses in his pristine garden (NGS standard, beautiful!), we just rot it down for a year or two then scoop it into a trailer with the tractor and tow it across and tip it for his gardener to use.

Worth asking the incumbent owner how they manage their fields.

teaandtoast · 03/07/2018 21:14

Thank you, @qu1rky. We hope to be moving next year to a house with some land and I would like my first ever horse. It's good to have some idea of how much land the horse would need.

Booboostwo · 04/07/2018 09:27

I had mine in livery yards for 6 years and at home for the last 16 years. Having them at home is great in many respects, e.g. it's easier to pop out and ride or check on them and you can manage them any way you want.

The negatives are that you need to be available to do all jobs, e.g. turn out and bring in ties you to specific hours every day of the year. You also need to do all maintenance, e.g. broken fences, frozen water troughs, etc even when you are rushing for work. You need cover for when you are sick or on holiday. In emergencies, e.g. loose horse, things can get a bit hairy if you are on your own.

In terms of buying a property a lot of land always helps as you can turn them out for long periods of time, water and electricity are very helpful, stables and dry cover for hay, tractor access to remove muckheap, etc.
Most horses won't settle on their own, pairs bond too much so three is an ideal number but you need the land for that.

snowpo · 04/07/2018 18:01

I didn't really like having mine at home, I really missed having the company you get at a livery yard. I usually ride out on my own, but I just missed having other people around. I became really demotivated and hardly rode. I missed my 'time out', there are always house/garden jobs to do and I found because I wasn't physically taking myself away from home other things seemed to take priority over riding.

In terms of hedgecutting, fertilising, rolling etc of fields it wasn't too difficult, need to get to know the local farmers though!

Pebblespony · 04/07/2018 18:06

I don't know too many people who have them in yards. Having them at home seems to be the norm here. (W of Ireland)

Pebblespony · 04/07/2018 18:09

Looking after the land is a bit of a pain though Grin.

Honeyroar · 04/07/2018 18:20

I have mine at home. It's lovely, however it does have its issues. You need to find good suppliers and cover for holidays/illness. You have to do all maintenance yourself, it costs more than you think. It can be lonely (or peaceful if you like your own space). Two horses often become joined at the hip and drive you crazy neighing when you take the other one out. Three or more works much better.

How much land you need depends massively on the land type and how it drains (this dry summer may well be the worst time of year to view land, I'd rather view it mid winter and see how it holds up). Also on your horses (my big ish horses churn our land up, whereas my ponies on the same field didn't..). Good doers won't need much grass, whereas a tb or horse that doesn't hold weight will need more.

Re land maintenance, if you poo pick, ragwort and rotate and rest fields, you could probably set aside £500/yr for a farmer to roll, harrow and remove muck heaps.

Cariadxx · 05/07/2018 20:17

I love having mine at home. I do get a bit lonely at times with no one to hack out with but my neighbour rides most weekdays

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