Housing (Barn/Stalls/Pasture, Feed, Supplies, Bedding)

ALEX: As far as finding the right housing for your horse, it really depends on what you want to do with your horse.

Horses are cold-natured animals, so they take to the elements pretty good as far as the cold, so if you’re just going to have a trail-riding horse and you have some land, and you want to put up a run-in shed and a paddock, that might suffice. But to have the ability to get them out of severe weather and into a barn is extremely important.

Is your piece of land conducive to having a barn built or does it have a barn on it? Is that something that you want? That’s another expense that needs to be thought of.

So I think you need that element of being able to get a horse out of any harsh weather conditions that could come along, don’t you think?

STEVE: Absolutely. I think horses are extremely adaptable. It just depends on what your personal desires are. I utilize my horses here, and I keep them housed in a barn — which is where we are now — and I keep them blanketed. But I also keep them clipped, so they can dissipate heat and not have a bunch of sweat on them, so they cool off much, much quicker.

They clean up a lot better that way, too. And also, when I take them on the road I don’t have to worry about them getting too hot. But everybody is different. I’ve gone to several places where guys don’t clip and don’t blanket; they leave them outside and they do just fine. The horses are very adaptable, so you just have to take into consideration what your personal desires are and what your horse can adapt to.

ALEX: Plus, a barn needs to be functional. You have to have the proper stalls and gates to have a horse confined — probably no less than a 12’-by-12’ stall. A wash rack would be preferable, as well as an office to store your tack — or a tack room of some kind.

So it’s not just a square box for a horse. There are other things that have to house your equipment. You’ve got to be able to clean your horse, and you’ve got to be able to store hay and feed. So it’s not just all about a stall.