Posts Tagged ‘horse facilities’

I’m thinking of constructing a “natural” horse run-in shelter, like by building an earth shelter or 3-sided “shed” with dirt vs a wood barn. Any thoughts or experience?


Hi Andrea,

I’m sorry to say I have no experience in earth shelters for horses but am posting this in case one of the readers of this blog or my Facebook page might have some information that might be helpful for you.

If you decide to go with a conventional horse shed or barn, be sure to consult the following publications:

Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage

Horse Housing

Your Horse Barn DVD

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Fire Strips

I’m glad we did a thorough ranch beautification last fall once the grass and brush quit growing because dry vegetation makes an excellent fuel source for fire.

So, for safety against fire and to eliminate breeding grounds for flies and mice, we mow at least a 30’ perimeter around all of our buildings. But who would have ever thought fire season would start in February and March?

The fires have been mostly in the Boulder, Colorado area, west of Denver, but this past weekend there was one near Fort Collins which is about 40 miles south of us – too close for comfort.

Take the time – ahead of time – to prepare your property for the eventuality of fire. Refer to Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage for more fire prevention information.


Fire strip mowed around metal buildings with metal roofs. Picnic Rock Fire (2004) in the background


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We’ve had more rain than usual this year which has made the maintenance of our outdoor arena interesting.

We live at approximately 7000 feet in a semi-arid climate (15 inches of rain per year) so dust is our usual problem.

But this year with the rain (and hail !) packing down the footing, it seems like a non-stop job to keep it fluffed up !

After a number of rain days in a row, the arena had turned into a hard pan, felt like concrete when you walked across it. I kept waiting for that perfect time when we got just enough moisture to soak into the decomposed granite soil to wet it without it being too soggy.

If I time it right, I can get by with using just the rotary harrow but if things get out of hand, I have to call on Mr. Big Disc to work the hard surface, but sometimes a disc will work the footing TOO deep.

So after 0.27 inches of rain last night, I hopped on Ruby (my Massey) and raised the bucket so I would clear the arena rails once I got to rockin’ and a rollin’. Then I drove very slow on the initial pass so the harrow would really dig in.

With each subsequent pass, I kicked Ruby up a notch and soon was smoothing perfect footing.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of an arena harrowing.

Have a great ride.

Equipping Your Horse Farm by Cherry Hill and Richard Klimesh

Equipping Your Horse Farm by Cherry Hill and Richard Klimesh

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