Need HORSE HELP- <<UPDATED - PICS pg 3>>

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by needmorechickens!, Oct 24, 2008.

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  1. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    I have never owned a horse, but....Due to some circumstances a friend is having, I am about to get a horse tomorrow.
    Now I was planning to get one next year, but just wasn't ready yet. We have started a run-in barn and it has the posts and roof trusses, but it will be a few weeks before we are able to get it fenced, the metal roof, and some covering on the walls.
    Each stall is 12x12 so I plan to use one as a paddock. My husband is going to put some 2x6 boards around one of the stalls and I bought a corral gate for the front of the stall to keep the horse in. Since there is no roof, I planned to put a huge tarp as tightly as possible over the trusses to help shed some water. Of course we will have to get the horse out for some exercise every day.

    Does this sound like it would work out ok for a few weeks?

    Here are my questions...
    1.) Should I use the tarp or will it be more trouble than its worth? (collecting water, flapping...) Will the flapping of the tarp in the wind scare the horse.

    2.) I have clay soil and when it rains a lot it gets very muddy and kinda slick. I have some fill sand, should I put some in the stall or should I just wait and see how it goes.

    3.) Should i get a storm blanket or a turnout blanket of some sort? Does it need it to stay warm? I have some friends that have a bunch of horses with no barn or shelter of any kind, but that doesn't seem right.

    4.) I know to provide it hay and water, but how much hay? And do I need to supplement with any grain or pellets?

    5.) I doubt it has had any health care (worming, vaccinations....) and if so, then what do I need to think about doing first?

    6.) My friend is giving me a saddle, but how do I know what size halter to get?

    Well as I type this out, I realize how ignorant I am of horses. I know nothing so feel free to give me advice.

    ~Rebecca
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  2. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    The first thing to remember is that every horse is different and what scares one might not scare another. So, as for the tarp question, It would be benificial for the horse to have a dry shelter yes, but if the tarp is going to scare the horse or collect alot of rain and possibly bust and drench him then it's not a good idea. Horses are very accident prone from everything I have experienced and I raised horses and showed professionally for years so anything you think might not be a good idea, probably isnt.
    Secondly, the health care issues. The first thing you need to do is schedule the vet out to have a health exam done, get a coggins test if the horse does not already have a current coggins certificate and get it a tetnus shot and vaccinations. The vet can tellyou what to worm with and how often and whatever else is necessary.
    Thirdly, feed is going to be a definate necessity along with the hay if the horse will not have a large pasture with good grass. I would use a complete pelleted feed and stay away from any of the sweet feeds due to the fact that sticky molasses is prone to go bad at certain times of the year, draws flies, poses no health benifits, and is notorious for being used in incosistant amounts within any given sweetfeed formula. It can also cause your horse to be hyped up like a kid on sugar in some cases. Just stick to a good 12 to 14 0/0 protien pelleted feed that is nutitionally complete and you will be fine. Follow the feed directions on the bag. DON"T overfeed cause you can colic the horse and I promise you that it's not anything any horse owner wants to deal with! Good clean fescue or timmothy hay will keep the digestive tract working well. Stay away from fine bermuda or alica hay because again, you can cause colic from impaction. Plenty of fresh clean water and about 4 flakes of good quality hay per day along with the pellets and you should be good to go.
    I would also have a farrier come out and trim the feet or shoe if it has been over 6 weeks sine the last farrier visit. [​IMG] hope this helps and I wish you lots of luck!
     
  3. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    Georgia
    needmorechickens! :

    I have never owned a horse, but....Due to some circumstances a friend is having, I am about to get a horse tomorrow.
    Now I was planning to get one next year, but just wasn't ready yet. We have started a run-in barn and it has the posts and roof trusses, but it will be a few weeks before we are able to get it fenced, the metal roof, and some covering on the walls.
    Each stall is 12x12 so I plan to use one as a paddock. My husband is going to put some 2x6 boards around one of the stalls and I bought a corral gate for the front of the stall to keep the horse in. Since there is no roof, I planned to put a huge tarp as tightly as possible over the trusses to help shed some water. Of course we will have to get the horse out for some exercise every day.

    Does this sound like it would work out ok for a few weeks?

    Here are my questions...
    1.) Should I use the tarp or will it be more trouble than its worth? (collecting water, flapping...) Will the flapping of the tarp in the wind scare the horse.
    I would forget the tarp, just get the roof done as quickly as you can.

    2.) I have clay soil and when it rains a lot it gets very muddy and kinda slick. I have some fill sand, should I put some in the stall or should I just wait and see how it goes.

    This depends on what the horse is used to, here in Ga we have the same issue, I brought a horse up from FL and she adjusted very well

    3.) Should i get a storm blanket or a turnout blanket of some sort? Does it need it to stay warm? I have some friends that have a bunch of horses with no barn or shelter of any kind, but that doesn't seem right.

    There again, depends on what the horse is used to. My broodmares stay outside 24/7 and the only time I blanket is if it is in the 20's, but they are all used to being blanketed

    4.) I know to provide it hay and water, but how much hay? And do I need to supplement with any grain or pellets?

    Buy the best quality feed and hay you can, I have no grass and feed hay year round, I use a good quality grass hay (Bermuda) and a good quality grain, a couple of mine get supplements but for specific health issues. You can provide a mineral salt block, but likely it will not get used much in the winter.

    5.) I doubt it has had any health care (worming, vaccinations....) and if so, then what do I need to think about doing first?

    Get a good vet out first, if loaded with worms something as simple as a paste wormer can cause huge issues. The money for a vet examination would be way less than an emergency call for colic after worming.

    6.) My friend is giving me a saddle, but how do I know what size halter to get?

    If it is an average size horse, then generally an average size horse halter will fit, there are exceptions, I have a 2 year old that still wears a yearling halter, she has a small head.


    Well as I type this out, I realize how ignorant I am of horses. I know nothing so feel free to give me advice.

    go to MSN and search under groups for Alabama&georgia horse lovers, great group knowledgeable people.

    ~Rebecca​
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    needmorechickens! :

    Does this sound like it would work out ok for a few weeks?

    Um, quite frankly, I'm sorry, but ABSOLUTELY NOT. You cannot keep a horse in a basically wall-less (unless you put the 2x6's SOLIDLY up to about 8' high) roofless (a flappy tarp that falls down in the first rain shower doesn't count) exposed 12x12 pen for weeks :eek: Sorry. Leading or riding the horse around for an hour a day won't make it ok, either.

    Find a boarding barn that has a vacancy, eat beans for a few weeks so you can afford it (if you ask around you should be able to find somewhere inexpensive, even just pasture board with a shed and safe fences). Then once you have proper shelter and fences you can bring him home.

    Alternatively, if part of the area you will fence is sheltered from the wind by trees or a hedgerow, you could go buy a bunch of electric fence, t-posts (NOT step-ins, they're too short), t-post caps (not optional), insulators, electric tape, [and a good charger, and quickly fence yourself in at least a half acre. You'll want at least 3 strands of tape btw. Then just let the horse live loose in the paddock til you have the shelter built.

    Boarding would be much simpler. Also has other benefits, see below.

    1.) Should I use the tarp or will it be more trouble than its worth? (collecting water, flapping...) Will the flapping of the tarp in the wind scare the horse.

    Probably yes to all the above problems. And if the horse gets out it probably isn't coming back, at least not without major vet bills and future serious behavioral issues.
    2.) I have clay soil and when it rains a lot it gets very muddy and kinda slick. I have some fill sand, should I put some in the stall or should I just wait and see how it goes.

    As much as you CANNOT (even legally!) keep a horse in a 12x12 unsheltered outdoor pen for weeks, you REALLY can't when it will turn into a mudpit with the first rain. A bit of sand isn't going to fix that -- only a roof and walls will. (When the horse has full access to turnout it is not quite as much of a problem because he is not stomping on the same few sq ft of ground all day)

    3.) Should i get a storm blanket or a turnout blanket of some sort? Does it need it to stay warm? I have some friends that have a bunch of horses with no barn or shelter of any kind, but that doesn't seem right.

    Get a waterproof turnout sheet (NOT rainsheet, NOT insulated blanket); you will need it even when you have the shed, so that the horse can go out comfortably all the time. You will probably seldom have to put the sheet ON the horse, but there will be some times you want it. This does not in any way change the impossibility of keping him in an outdoor unsheltered pen while you fence things, btw.

    4.) I know to provide it hay and water, but how much hay? And do I need to supplement with any grain or pellets?

    Feed him what he's been getting. He is unlikely to need grain or pellets and should probably be tapered off them if he's getting them now, but don't do it now -- feed EXACTLY (same brand and all) the same for a couple weeks. If no grazing is available, a typical horse needs something like 25 lbs of hay per day (allowing for a little waste).

    5.) I doubt it has had any health care (worming, vaccinations....) and if so, then what do I need to think about doing first?

    ASAP, have the vet out. The vet will check him over and tell you what's a sensible plan for worming and so forth. DOn't just leap in on your own, you can kill a horse that way unless you have a lot of experience with neglected horses.

    6.) My friend is giving me a saddle, but how do I know what size halter to get?

    If he's a typical sized horse, get "horse" size - work up or down from there [​IMG] Bear in mind that the saddle may well not fit him properly and may need to be reevaluated and replaced before you start riding him.

    I would really VERY VERY STRONGLY suggest finding somewhere you can board this horse for a few weeks. Not only will this give you a chance to build his shelter and fence, it will also give you a chance to get a bunch of help from experienced horse people with respect to knowing what you've got, learning to handle him, heading off potential problems (either from bad habits or quirks he has, or from your inadvertantly doing things wrong). It will SO be worth it. Also I don't really see that you have an alternative unless you can throw a large fenced paddock together real fast.

    Congrats on the new horse, but PLEASE PLEASE don't try to pen him outside there in a 12' pen with just a tarp for shelter [​IMG] Also now would be a real good time to invest in a few good horse-care and horse behavior books [​IMG]

    Have fun,

    Pat​
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  5. reallemons1

    reallemons1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Gloucester, VA
    Ditto on what everyone said. Find a boarding barn. This will make your horse safe, they are accident prone. Also it will allow you to meet other horsemen and learn how to handle, care for, proper housing for your horse, feed and hay storage,etc. So much to learn, being around other owners will help greatly. Enjoy!
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Oh, P.S. make sure you get a bill of sale in writing that states the horse is becoming your property. No matter how good and wonderful this friend is, "misunderstandings" have happened among many other good and wonderful friends in the past where circumstances change and the person comes along wanting their horse back which you've come to consider your own and cared for and spent lots of money on. It can get very very ugly.

    It can be just a scrap of paper on which you handwrite "I, <name of seller>, hereby sell <name of horse>, a <description of horse with color, sex and age>, to <your name> for the sum of <whatever it is> which by my signature I agree she has paid in full." followed by the date, your signature and friend's signature. Make one copy for each of you if you're feeling ambitious - otherwise, you keep it yourself.

    Really truly, a bill of sale can prevent LOTS of problems you never knew you could have [​IMG]

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. TMNTCkins

    TMNTCkins Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with finding a place to board the horse. You will learn alot from other people and there hoarses. Horses get themselves into trouble when they are board and not having proper housing for a horse is an accident waiting to happen.
    You must get a bill of sale and I would have a vet out for the shots an overall exam just because you are so new at this to make sure there is nothing wrong with the horse that you might over see. Good Luck.
     
  8. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Riverside/Norco, CA
    Board the horse, it comes out to a few bucks a day more than keeping them at home. Considering for that you get a safe, sturdy barn, an arena, sometimes a hot walker, a safe proven facility with amenities like a washrack, and a bunch of new friends that will tell you the things you need to know, those few bucks are a DEAL OF THE CENTURY!!! Board your horse until you have a good grasp of what is standard horse operations and safety. Sometimes if you are all by yourself and trying to re-invent the wheel, you do a very poor job of it and due to lack of feedback from experienced horsemen, you begin to get "used to the way we do it" and don't know how badly off and dangerous and unhealthy your solutions are to common problems. Not intended as a criticism, just a frame of reference. Good luck. Horses are not cheap and there is no way to get around that fact. Period. If money is a big issue in your home, NOW is the time to change your mind and not own a horse. The more money you try to save, the more you will eventually have to spend on vet bills, hospital (people) bills, new fencing, better tack, lessons, etc...
     
  9. linebacker

    linebacker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2007
    North West Tennessee
    Rebecca

    You didn't mention the conditions the horse is boarded in now. My horses have two stalls inside the barn which are always open with run-in access. They only use it in the worst of our weather. Even the rain we've had the last couple of days hasn't made them come inside the barn. (I know I'll get slammed for this) A horse is a tough animal and can handle most of the weather we have here. I second the vet check-up. I would be more worried making sure the stall floor drained. Use tarps or plywood to ensure overhead cover and side windbreaks.

    I know you will improve the housing and the horse will be better off under your care.

    Another note a horse will founder. Try to keep it on the diet it was on or as close to it as possible. If it was on pasture only feed it two or three flakes at a time along with pelleted feed until you get to know it better.

    If there is anything I can do to help just let me know.

    Brad
     
  10. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

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    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    a word of caution i can give that i dont think anyone else did is that 12' area, if it gets wet your horse get can hoof rot over time...not a nice or easy thing to fix up.
     
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