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What equipment is needed for all the maintenance?

The equipment that you will need to operate and maintain your horse farm depends mainly upon how big or small your particular facility and budget is. For a small private four stall barn, a simple lawn tractor will usually suffice to maintain the pastures, dress the footing in the arena every few days (with a simple attachment on the back like a piece of chain link fencing for sand arenas), and, with a trailer cart hooked up, to move hay bales from a separate hay storage building into the barn every week. This, along with a good quality "muck cart" that is big enough to hold four stalls worth of manure and comfortable to push around, will usually get you by.

For a larger operation (or even a small one, depending upon your budget), a four wheel drive tractor with a front end loading bucket and detachable rear mount mower makes hay transportation, manure management, and large scale pasture management very convenient. The bucket on the front makes negotiating tight corners a little tough, especially inside an indoor arena or round pen, so maintaining the footing with a lawn tractor might be easier. You will still need a good "muck cart" for various tasks, but if budget is not a primary concern stall cleaning can be done with a John Deere type "Gator" vehicle. This resembles a tiny pickup truck, with a box bed on the rear to hold manure. They are usually four wheel drive (very handy for driving on or around manure piles), and the bed on the back dumps the load directly onto the manure pile without having to get out the pitchfork.

On top of all this, add a couple of stall cleaning forks (the plastic ones seem to be the easiest to use), a wide "grain hog" type shovel for shavings, hay hooks for moving hay bales around, good quality brooms for sweeping (maybe even a leaf blower for large aisle ways), and the requisite rake, shovel, post hole digger, hoses, hammer, tool sets, etc.

The maintenance of any horse facility is a large, ongoing part of horse keeping. The equipment and tools that you will need depends upon your particular situation, and the above list is by no means complete (although it gives you a good start). Horses can be very hard on the buildings they inhabit and the ground that they work and play on, and you will discover over time what it takes to keep yourself and them safe and happy day after day.


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