Keeping Your Horse On Your Property Is A Huge Commitment
Your horses have been boarded at a local horse farm or boarding facility, but you yearn to have them in your backyard. No more commuting to see and care for your four legged friends, allowing you more time for them.
But are you ready to make the commitment?
When keeping your horses on your own property, there are so many things to consider before making the huge jump. Horses are much more work than a cat or a dog.
Here are the points to consider:
- Plenty of acreage. A minimum of one acre per horse is required for a horse to have some room to exercise and graze. More is even better. Keeping a horse confined to a stall most of the time will make it stir crazy. How would you like it if you had to stay in the house 24/7 with only an hour to go out to stretch your legs? The same is for the horse.
- Shelter. Shelter is to be provided for the horse to get out of the weather when need be. It is not necessary to have a barn. It can be a run-in shed.
- Manure management. As with any animal we own, the poop is to be picked daily from the stalls and the small turnout areas year round. No matter what the weather. It is then dumped into a pile to be composted or removed on a regular basis. Pennsylvania requires a written manure management plan no matter how many horses or livestock there may be on the property.
- Barn management. Making sure there is enough hay and food for the horses in advance, especially in the winter months, when deliveries are harder to make due to the snow and ice. Be prepared to pick up your own feed and hay and stack it as well. . . . or be ready to pay someone to do it for you. Believe me, stacking hundreds of bales is no easy task. The higher you stack, the heavier the bales tend to get.
- Water. Horses should always have free access to water. In the winter, ice is to be broken in order to access water. The ideal thing to do would be to have heated water buckets, or a heater in the stock tank. Automatic waterers are well insulated to keep from freezing. The water should always be at a warmer temperature to entice the horses to drink. If the horses are unable to drink enough water, it may result in colic, which can be fatal to horses.
- Pasture & turnout area management. Fences and gates will require regular maintenance and repairs, as well as pastures and turnout areas. Pastures will need to be checked for debris and poisonous plants, plus managing the manure.
- Keeping watch on the horses. Horses are like small children in the sense that they can get hurt or sick at any time. Be prepared in case it is an emergency where a veterinarian may need to be called in.
All these points are in addition to grooming and exercising the horse. Plus, having horses on your own property makes it much harder to go away for vacation, or any other trip. There should be someone reliable and knowledgeable taking care of the horses when away for longer periods of time.
If you are ready to take on the work and commitment involved in horse keeping, you are ready to have your horses on your own property.
Brigita McKelvie is a REALTOR® (Pennsylvania License #RS297130) with Cindy Stys Equestrian & Country Properties, specializing in rural and horse properties and farms in Eastern Pennsylvania. She has an e-Pro® (Certified Internet Expert) certification and a GRI (Graduate, REALTOR® Institute) designation.
Brigita McKelvie, REALTOR
Pennsylvania License #RS297130
Rural and Horse Properties and Farms
Cindy Stys Equestrian & Country Properties, Ltd.
The Premier Equine and Country Real Estate firm serving Eastern Pennsylvania from back yard operations to world class equestrian facilities.
Use a REALTOR with "horse sense" that doesn't horse around when it comes to horse properties.