Winter Livery / Summer At Home

fiona1973

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Hi. Am new to this forum and would really appreciate some advice please. We are looking to buy a property that has a 1.75 acre plot. Around .75 acres has a drive and garden and then there is a 1 acre field (probably slightly less taking into account house and garage). I would LOVE to get a pony for my daughter (8) and a horse (cob) for myself. I realise that the paddock might be too small for all year turnout so was considering using this from May-Oct only and then putting them in livery from Oct_May. We haven't owned horses before but from what I understand rule of thumb is one acre for one horse. Would small acreage work if it was only for half the year and can you find a livery that does winter only? Thanks so much for your time reading this Fiona xx
 

eggs

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That acreage could work with the type of horse/pony your are suggesting. Your biggest issue would be in finding a yard to just let you do winter livery. I would also suggest that as you are new to owning horses that it might be better to start off with livery where you are more likely to be in a supportive environment.

Another thing to consider is that if you have the two horses at home you might find it very difficult to take one out to ride and leave the other - especially if you don't have any stables.

Personally I wouldn't do it in your situation.
 

honetpot

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I have done it the other way round. In winter when its too wet to turn out on most yards I had a thrash paddock at home with two stable, which meant I could muck out and ride after the children went to school and then put them out. You are feeding hay anyway and it saves money on livery.
In summer they went to a livery yard where there was better hacking and I reseeded the back paddock.
 

poiuytrewq

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As Eggs has said yards are understandably very reluctant to allow winter only liveries.
I tried desperately this winter- even promising it would be long term but no one would have a bar of it!
I genuinely would have stayed but as soon as they knew we had option 2 over the summer that was it.
Could you put up stabling? That might help but unless it's very well drained land it's going to be tough.
 

OWLIE185

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I am sorry but one acre for two horses is far too small (even if it is well drained and on good soil).
Find a property with at least 5 acres and make sure it has planning permission to keep domestic horses on it.
 

Damnation

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I would say to you what Eggs has said, as a first time owner a livery yard would be better for you just incase something happens or you are not sure how to do something there is always someone around and 9 times out of 10 horsey people are happy to impart knowledge when asked :)

My advice? Do a year on a good Livery yard, get a good grasp of the basics of horse care, what is involved and the time/costs/maintenence associated with it. E.g shoes, bedding, feed, hay, worming programmes, vaccinations, vet, farrier, physio, teeth, knowing when to call the vet and how to deal with small cuts and scrapes without needing a vet. Also Cobs and Ponies can be prone to things like Lamanitus and you will need to know how to manage it so they don't get it and what the warning signs are aswell as treatment if it does happen.

If your heart is still set on having them at home, I would advise putting stables up for winter on some hard standing. If you want two horses then put up 3 stables, somewhere to store feed, hay and bedding. Having them in at night will certainly help save the land. Also remember that on such a small amount of land you will need to really look after it, poo picking, maybe having it rolled and harrowed to preserve it.

Also as someone else has mentioned, if you have 2 at home and they develop a strong "pair bond" if you want to ride while your daughter is at school the other horse may potentially injure itself if it panics and wants to go with you on the ride if left alone! Same with the daughters pony if she wants to ride and you need to be on foot your horse may well panic and do damage to itself, the stable, churn the field up or damage fencing. Some horses are fine to be left alone for short periods of time but others do mental and can really hurt themselves.

If I had my own land and it was only me that rode (OH is not horsey) then I would have 2 ridden horses and a companion for when I want to ride one without any injuries.

It is alot to think about so I wouldn't rush into anything just yet :)
 

Cocorules

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My parents did this as first time owners with less acreage than you are considering, but two ponies. We did not do summer / winter switch arounds but something much more ad hoc and switched regularly. Even had periods with day time at one and night at the other. Looking back we were lucky that someone was happy with that arrangement long term. However given that they were happy it worked well.

It is much harder to find grazing land now though.
 

fiona1973

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Thanks so much for all your replies. I have a friend who has quite a lot of acreage (9 acres 3 horses) and was also considering asking if could keep them there over the winter. Its always been a childhood dream of mine to have horses and would so love to be able to keep them part of the year at our house. There are stables at the house - not great condition but usable. Buying a house with more acerage just isn't affordable for us unfortunately Can see the huge advantages of full time livery but there is something so nice about keeping horses at home. So was trying to figure a way of doing this over the summer. In the winter I just cant see my daughter being able to ride after school as its dark when she gets home so thought would make more sense to have them with us in the summer when she can ride every night. Thanks again. Great to hear your advice :)
 

sunshine100*

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Hi I would also do a year on a livery-do you have exp on how to manage land-it can get churned up pretty quickly after a week of rain? also you may not be aware of mud fever etc.have you a local farmer that you can pay to manage the land?

It is nice that you want to do it but without exp you could come a cropper...:(
 

Princess16

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It's a shame you are having your dreams shattered but it's true to say the reality of keeping horses at home is not as easy as you think.

I have one at home on two fields - one summer and one winter both of which we own and rotate. (He has horse friends in adj field so not alone) I cannot tell you how trashed the field gets with heavy rain with just one horse alone (this year has been particularly brutal) and then there is the risk of laminitis in spring/summer with the rich grass which means sectioning off and strip grazing which with 2 would mean hardly any land between them TBH. Then there's the question of where you would keep all the tack? Would you have a shed for this I.e. Even more room taken up.

If I were you, as others have suggested, I would do DIY livery which is cheaper but you have still got other people around you for advice. Try it for a year by which time you would be familiar with the yard owner Who may then let you just have winter livery plus you will have gained some experience of what it entails going it alone with any problems or injuries that may arise.
 
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