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
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.