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Post by CryptidGirl on Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:50 am

Looking at gas prices lately, I've been wondering if it's cheaper to have a car or to have a horse. I've got about an acre of land and the only major predators are coyotes and bobcats. I thought about getting a relatively small horse, like a Caspian, and a cart for basic errand-running instead of driving a car everywhere. Which would be cheaper?
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Post by Sonshine on Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:21 am

Not sure which would be cheaper, but with a horse you don't have to worry too much about it breaking down. Smile I would love to have a horse and buggy or cart, but we don't have enough land to support one.

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]
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Post by 12acrehome on Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:54 am

One acre is pretty small for even the miniture horses. You will not have enough pasture for a horse, so you will need to buy about a ton of hay per year, and you will need to suppliment that with some grain feed in winter. Hay prices vary according to how well the fields produced, and the type of hay you are buying. Then there is the manure...you'll have to find a use or disposal method for about 1 1/2 tons of that every year.

Purely from a cost analysis, a car is still cheaper to operate. The car does not use gas while parked, a horse still uses hay and bedding when not working.

A horse also needs daily excersize, and attention. They do not do well without other animals to enteract with.

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Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

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Post by dizzy on Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:19 am

OK, question for you-how tall are you? I'm not overly familiar w/the Caspians, never seen one, but I'm thinking if you're not an overly big person, a Welsh pony might be a better choice. I have one that's a Welsh (Arabian?) cross. She's stocky enough to pull a cart, but big enough that I can actually ride her. (I'm 5' 4.5", and about 130 lbs.)

As far as companions go, a couple of goats would work well for companions. They're all herd animals, but you don't need as much land for the goats as you would another horse. Plus, if you had just 1 goat in there, take the horse out, and the goat would scream it's head off.

Contrary to what many people think, you do not need to keep a horse in a stall at night. My horses have just a run in. I do have it set up so that I can divide it up into 3 10 x 10 stalls for feeding, or if the weather's really bad. (Licorice and Stormy won't always let Misty in if I don't have the stalls set up.) I put no bedding down, but I do keep it picked.

W/an acre, if you're able to, divide it in half. That way, you can do rotational grazing. And, depending on where you are, during the summer, you may not need to give much hay. Generally speaking, a horse needs between 1 and 2% of it's body weight in hay/pasture per day. They need more in cold weather since it helps them to stay warm. If you're not in a really cold area, you could probably get by with 100 50 lb bales/year. Depending on how hard the horse works, you may not even need to give grain. If you do, go w/a pelleted feed. It's easier on their teeth. If you don't give much grain, you might want to look into a vitamin supplement. Forget about the mineral blocks, they're not worth it. They're almost all salt. For salt, don't get the big white blocks of it. They're actually designed for cattle. You're better off going w/loose livestock salt.

Other expenses you can expect:
Dentist at least 1x a year. A horse is born w/about 4" of molar under the gum line. So, the tooth is constantly growing and can develop sharp points which need to be filed down, or floated.
Farrier depends on the horse. But, normally every 8 weeks. And, depending on the horse, you may or may not need shoes. Mine are all barefooted.
Vet for shots and Coggins test. Depending on where you are is going to depend on what shots you need and how often you need to have a Coggins pulled.

OK, that's all I can think of for now.


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Post by CryptidGirl on Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:12 am

Thanks for the info! I was wondering if an acre was too small, and about the companionship, but if it would get along with goats, I could get milk from  the goats, too!
Dizzy, I am about 5'5 and about 125 pounds. I was thinking a Caspian because they are an ancient, very tough breed (possible ancestor of the Arabian), exceptionally docile, and their hooves are so hard that they almost never need shoes. Would that help with farrier cost/visiting frequency? They were King Darius the Great's favorite horses and were used for the Persian mail routes. Since they are strong for their size, they are classified as small horses rather than ponies.
I don't plan on using the horse so much for work as I do basic errand running. I would probably just ride it, only hitching it to a cart/buggy if transporting more than one person or if I'm hauling something.
Would the horse help keep the coyotes away from the goats, or would all of them be at equal risk of attack? Also, would horse care be more expensive than fixing a broken-down car?
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Post by Farmfresh on Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:16 am

They are also probably not a breed easily found in the US, unless you know of some in your area. Non-typical breeds are usually VERY expensive as well due to their rarity.

Everyone is giving great advice. An acre is just too small IMO to keep even a pony. In addition to grazing space equines need exercise space. Their feet are wonderful at destroying your grass and leaving a pocked up mess.

My D1 has 3 acres currently and has an aging POA Pony (53 inches tall) and a Spotted Desert Sheep weather. It is a constant battle keeping grass on that space. She feeds about 5 or 6 big round hay bales a year and in addition grain in winter and square bales occasionally as well.

As someone that has lived in a city and used a horse and/or horse and cart for transport I can tell you the you will face a lot of unforeseen problems. Traffic can be EXTREMELY dangerous. My horses were well traffic broke and spook in place trained, but what do you do with the person that ON PURPOSE tries to run into your horse. How about those funny guys that drive right behind you, when they could easily pass, just to honk and yell and taunting you and the horse.

When you get to your destination what do you do with the horse? My pony Cayenne has been tied to many unusual hitching posts and she did well with all of them, but you go into the shop for a loaf of bread and come back out with a two year old trying to crawl under the ponies belly or people feeding her a hamburger or large loud groups of teens teasing her. Bad situation all around.

Here is an old pic of My Sweet Cayenne and I out doing some errands. This was taken about 12 years ago so we are both young and purty. LOL
Horse or Car? Sheryl%20Cayenne%201

If you REALLY want the best, cheapest transportation for your money ... a good bicycle cannot be beat.
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Post by 12acrehome on Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:59 pm

beautiful horse FF, but a tad small compared to what I grew up with

"Big John" looked like this...I do not have a picture of him handy, just found this on the net. John was a Belgian.

Horse or Car? Denise-bell-evans-grayhavens-spike-belgian-draft

I could sit crossed legged on his back, no reigns, no saddle no halter, just bare horse and pre-teen to early 20 something and a .22 rifle.  John would walk where he wanted, and I'd squirrel hunt from his back.  When a shot presented itself, a pat in the neck and a quiet "easy boy" and he'd not move a muscle, except to lower his head...

_________________
Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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Post by dizzy on Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:14 pm

If you're wanting something to keep the coyotes away, a donkey would be better! But, they are noisy as all get out.

As far as the farrier goes, it's going to depend on how much they wear their feet as to whether or not having the harder hooves will help. I've known of people who have horses w/hard feet. And while they didn't need to have shoes, they did need to have the horse stand in a puddle for awhile B4 the farrier got there. Otherwise, he couldn't do their feet!

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Post by Lanichiii on Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:36 pm

It sounds like the majority opinion is that a horse is a less practical solution than a car but if you still decide to get one based on less practical reasons here is a website that might help with hoof care:

http://www.ironfreehoof.com

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Post by Farmfresh on Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:13 pm

12acrehome wrote:beautiful horse FF, but a tad small compared to what I grew up with

"Big John" looked like this...I do not have a picture of him handy, just found this on the net.  John was a Belgian.

Horse or Car? Denise-bell-evans-grayhavens-spike-belgian-draft

I could sit crossed legged on his back, no reigns, no saddle no halter, just bare horse and pre-teen to early 20 something and a .22 rifle.  John would walk where he wanted, and I'd squirrel hunt from his back.  When a shot presented itself, a pat in the neck and a quiet "easy boy" and he'd not move a muscle, except to lower his head...
Oh we had big horses too. She was just a practical compact model. Very Happy 
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Post by 12acrehome on Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:43 am

So you don't have to just take the advice offered by members, here's a pdf file from the Oregon State University Extension office

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/pdf/ec/ec1558.pdf

lots of work involved with horses, great animals, and I would dearly love to have another, but I do not have the time to properly care for one.

_________________
Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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Post by Rohn on Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:03 am

Lots of good information there 12acres. I knew, and it is now confirmed, that even though I admire horses and used to love to ride, I will never own a horse. After looking this information over (I didn't read it word for word), I'd have to strike it rich before I could ever think about having a horse. So I guess I'll stick with automobiles and bicycles.
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Post by 12acrehome on Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:35 pm

LOL same here brother Rohn, same here.

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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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Post by CryptidGirl on Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:45 am

After reading everything, I will probably go with a car. You have mentioned factors about horse ownership I never thought of and provided some great links. Thanks, everyone!
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Post by 12acrehome on Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:53 am

there is something special about horse ownership, and a true bond will be formed between rider and horse, but they have become a luxury that most of us cannot afford. Cars are getting that way, but all things considered a small car, purchased used that you can keep and operate for 7 to 10 years is the most economical choice.

_________________
Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
12acrehome
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