Bringing home my mini - need suggestions!

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Stephkimble

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Hi all! I am new to this group (although I've been lurking for a while!) My family is buying a new home with 2.5 acres and we are moving my 2 year old gelding and what will be our 4 month old colt into our back yard. The facility he is currently being boarded at is a reliable place but we have had some major issues with the owner. The last of which occurred when she hit my horse on the side with the handle of a whip to make him run so the vet could get a good look at a leg injury. LONG story. However, I will not stand by and watch that happen again. There have been many stories about how she has threatened to hurt different horses and I'm not risking it anymore.

ANYWAY!

I don't know too much about boarding on my own property. I have a good amount of horse experience in general and have had my 2 year old for almost a year. So where should I start? Any and all tips are more than welcome. This will not happen until at least August so I have time to do some thinking. Thanks everyone in advance.

- Stephanie

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Tess

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I got my first miniature a week ago so I don't know that much. I think it would be easier to answer questions. Do you have any particular questions?
 

Stephkimble

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That's just it, I don't even know what kind of questions to ask! I know I need a certain kind of fencing, shelter, etc. Just need some DO's & DONT's.
 

chandab

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You might want to get a basic horsekeeping book (or check one out from the library). Many like Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping on Small Acreage. I prefer Storey Publishing books.
Most books in the Western Horseman series are pretty good.
Yes, they are geared towards full-size horses; but you'd have the background to then ask the differences between full-size and minis. This forum is one of the best resources out there. Check out the search feature in the upper right corner, and search feed (lots of topics), boarding at home (not sure what wording will get you the information you want), fencing, etc.
This one is pretty good, one of the first books I ever bought, and I still refer to it occasionally:

Books by Heather Smith Thomas are usually pretty good (link to several on Storey Publishing site):
 
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lkblazin

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Narrow down some questions that you may have. With pastures, you will want a couple divided. That way you switch off with grass growth. Ask locals the best way to keep hay around your area. Some do pallets and concrete. I have mine in a room with both lol. I used to have it on a room with a dirt floor and pallets...didn't always work so well.

I can't really think of anything. Just try to do online research and read books. Maybe go to local farms.
 

7fluffyfriends

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Welcome and good luck with your move!

When we have moved, I always found out asap the vet options in the area - not all vets are large animal so it was good to know in advance and have the number readily available. After that, farriers!

You may already have all of this info if you are remaining close to your current home!

Definitely agree on a divided pasture. Even if it is small, the option to move your minis back and forth is good for the grass and it will last longer during the season.

Other questions I try to ask and answer when moving are:

1. Where will my hay come from and how much do I need for the winter season? (Also where / how to best store)

2. How will I get water out to the pasture - buckets? Hose? Do I need to buy a trough?

3. Fencing - what kind - there are many options and we have both cattle panel and wooden fence post paddocks here plus two areas that are fenced with electric webbing type of tape. It has been wonderful!

4. Shelter - how much do they need? Usually a simple three sided shelter gives them enough protection against rain and windy days, as well as the hot days when they need shade. I do like the option of being able to close them in during really inclement weather - or when the vet/farrier come


5. When you are gone for a long weekend or on vacation - who will check in on your minis?

It is such fun having them around everyday and you have a whole new set of adventures - enjoy!!!!
 

Tess

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Hi,

I keep my hay on pallets under a tarp. I have not had a problem with it.

For water I use a hose, with it I fill up a black rubber bucket that is what I use for water.

My fencing is cattle panels with 2" by 4" rectangles. I also have a pen that has that same fence but with wooden boards on the outside. For shelter I have in one pen a lean to, in the other I have a shed with the door open all the time but you can close it.

Hope that helps!

~Tess
 

Stephkimble

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Thanks all! We are moving about 10 minutes down the street. Vet & farrier will be the same. I didn't even think about having the two pastures. My mini isn't on too much grass now so we plan on keeping it about the same. And I've seen a small barn made from a carport closed in with stalls built inside so we might go that way. Unfortunately, most of the yard is red clay so that'll be fun ? Anything we can put over it to fix that? Or do I just have to suck it up and have a red palomino?
 

Stephkimble

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And as for care of the minis should we be on vacation etc., I will be living with a big family. Grandparents, my aunt, my mother, and my best friend. They will be well taken care of. And if we go the way of the carport barn, I'll keep my hay inside on pallets since we will only have 2-3 stalls. Is cattle paneling the way to go for fencing?
 

bevann

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We have used a carport as a shelter.My advice is to have a way to make 2 stalls in case you have to lock them in for some reason.You will need an area covered for farrier and vet to work in when they come.Feed should be kept in an area locked securely since Minis can tend to open almost anything. Hay needs to be kept dry and in a secure place.Look for a source soon when farmers start to bale it. Minis do fine without grass but with red clay you may have a color problem.the only solution there is to haul in lots of topsoil(very expensive) and plant grass.Fencing can be of various types.Easy and quick is drive in metal T posts and attached 16 foot hog or cattle panels from Tractor Supply Store.You will need wooden posts set in concrete for hanging large gates.We have used cyclone or chain link gates for entry into fields for both Minis and people.they work great but you must use a snap to fasten or small Mini noses will have them open quickly. 5 gal water buckets should work or a muck bucket works great in a field.If there is someone near you who has Minis go visit to see what their set up is like.Have fun.I would move also if someone was behaving badly towards my animals. Keep asking questions.We're here to answer and help any way we can.
 

Stephkimble

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Wow, thanks! That's a lot of great information. We also have an oak tree problem. Acorns everywhere! And I'm not willing to take the risk. Any advice for this besides clearing the trees? It gets expensive when there are so many. I'm kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place here. I'd be willing to rake them away daily but I'm worried this wouldn't be enough.
 

bevann

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I have a friend whose farm was in NY overlooking New York City and her property was loaded with oaks and lots of acorns.I remember her saying the horses ate the acorns and no problems. Not sure what toxic plant info says
 

Stephkimble

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Luckily, I went out today and found that half the yard has no acorns just a couple hickory nuts but not enough to do any damage. Their pasture will probably go there. I've heard horror stories about acorns and I've heard of minis that eat them all day and have no issues. But if I can avoid the chance, I will! haha Thanks!
 

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