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need horse people advise

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I don't think with 10 acres you will be stressed one bit. But, what I would do would be rotational graze the horses using portable lines. ie, portable fences. Block off the areas and the sheep can still graze under, but the horses cant. This would be your best bet. Just ensure the horses can come to the barn, if there is one, and also that they have access to fresh clean water.

 

I would also make sure that in your contract, you have it written that you are not responsible for feed/hay, care or any injuries that may occur. That would be your best bet. Other than that, I don't see much a problem. Let me know if you have questions on grasses, and rotating. I do it for a livin.

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I think everyone has brought up some good points and I personally would not truly opt to offer any equine boarding for whatever exchange unless it's something you felt REALLY comfortable with considering all of the good points already made. I've found in my many years of experience with horses that the opinions surrounding their care, feeding, grooming, housing etc etc are so many that even with the best of intentions, you can lose in a very big way. And alot of people are quick to say that "oh they can be out all of the time" but then get pissy if they're out in the rain or the snow or the heat even. There are just many many variables that don't even touch on the actual well being of the horse but simply the mentality of the horses' owenrs.

 

Up until a few months ago I always boarded and even though I consider myself pretty easy to get along with, I always found that there was something lacking. The key was whether or not the pros made up for the cons when I considered making a fuss...but I was truly very rarely happy. Now they're at home and I'm thrilled with the care I can provide but they are not easy pets all of the time. Fortunately I like all the messy stuff that surrounds them but at minimum every day they need to be checked for scrapes and cuts, fed at least twice, preferably three times and have stalls mucked out if they're housed in the barn. And while they are herd animals and do well out at pasture...they also, like all domestic animals, enjoy human company and thrive on one on one time spent grooming and telling them that they are the best!

 

As for offering boarding to offset costs...in your shoes I would only offer that if I truly, without doubt, loved horses and knew what they needed in addition to having a healthy amount of patience in dealing with owners!

Good luck!

maria

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Horses and sheep make good pasture companions insofar as they don't share the same parasites. You'd probably want to make sure the horses will tolerate sheep, though. My little paint horse is pretty territorial about his pasture - he even chases out the cattle egrets. :rolleyes: So when I get sheep, I'll put them in an adjacent pasture until he decides they're not dangerous interlopers.

 

If the owner is going to come out twice a day and do self-care, I don't see a problem. Be careful, though - it's awfully easy to get hurt around horses if you're not experienced with them. Horses almost never mean to hurt a person, but they are half-ton prey animals with lightning quick reflexes. So if the deal requires you to feed or handle the horses at all, I'd advise you not to do it.

 

And of course you'll have to explain to the dogs that horses are not sheep and are never ever to be worked no matter what.

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