Tight Spaces: Horse Farm Design for Limited Acreage

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When you’re constructing a horse farm and have limited land, design and layout are critical to maximizing your time and resources. You might be constrained by existing fencing and buildings. You might have to work around natural obstacles such as streams and hills.

“Often, new horse property owners come from urban settings and are unfamiliar with a rural lifestyle,” says Alayne Blickle, founder of the horse and property management program Horses
for Clean Water, in Nampa, Idaho. “They don’t know that you shouldn’t put your … sacrifice area over your septic system’s drain field,” for instance.

Then there are those who are familiar with living with horses but are, perhaps, getting their first property and have a blank slate and no idea where to start. Either way, here’s how to design a functional farm on what land you have.

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Heather Smith Thomas ranches with her husband near Salmon, Idaho, raising cattle and a few horses. She has a B.A. in English and history from University of Puget Sound (1966). She has raised and trained horses for 50 years, and has been writing freelance articles and books nearly that long, publishing 20 books and more than 9,000 articles for horse and livestock publications. Some of her books include Understanding Equine Hoof Care, The Horse Conformation Handbook, Care and Management of Horses, Storey’s Guide to Raising Horses and Storey’s Guide to Training Horses. Besides having her own blog, www.heathersmiththomas.blogspot.com, she writes a biweekly blog at https://insidestorey.blogspot.com that comes out on Tuesdays.

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