Home' Smart Farmer : March 2012 Contents March 2012
OW that you own a horse,
what next? By this stage you
should, hopefully, have
decided whether you will be keep-
ing your horse at home or agisting it.
It is best to thoroughly research
agistment properties before you
decide to sign an agreement.
Decide on the facilities you
require. For instance, do you work
late at night and need lights on the
arena to work your horse in winter?
Ask the landowner about the ser-
vices included with the fee. Will
they charge extra to feed out in the
morning or night, take rugs
on or off, or bring horses in
and out of the paddock?
Sometimes, an agistment place
may seem to charge a cheap weekly
fee but this can be false economy if
you then need to get the owners to
feed out several times a week.
Some landholders do not offer any
of these services in which case you
may need to work in with other agis-
tees. See if it is possible to take turns
to feed the horses or turn them out.
Make sure you ask where your
horse will be kept if you decide to
Looking at photos or being shown
a lush green paddock is all very well
but if your horse is ousted to a dry
and weedy spot at the back of the
property, you only have yourself
Decide how often you will exer-
cise your horse before committing to
having it stabled full time or left in a
small yard with a shelter 24/7.
I believe horses do best when kept
out in a paddock as they are often a
lot healthier and happier than those
kept coddled and rugged-up in sta-
If you are able to ride your horse
only a few times a week, leaving
them in a paddock means they can
stretch their legs and get a bit of
Paddock-kept horses are known
to have fewer respiratory and behav-
ioural problems. If you choose a
paddock with good grazing, feed
costs can also be lower.
You also need to decide whether
you want to keep your horse in a pad-
dock by itself or if you will be happy
for it to be with one or more horses.
Make most of agistment
with thorough research
An undercover tie-up area can come in handy during inclement weather.
Do your research
Talk to other owners who agist
Ask friends for recommendations
Horse ownership, part 3
with MIRANDA KENNY
you enjoy your foray into horse own-
ership or not.
While most people are more than
willing to help those new to the
industry, some do not have every-
one's best interests at heart.
You often hear stories about people
riding others' horses, or "borrowing"
feed and never replacing it, or steal-
ing saddles or tack.
Inform the agistment owner if you
have any problems.
Check if the agistment property
has lockers and if so, keep your gear
and feed there.
If you have your own float, it can
often make a good temporary tack or
feed room but make sure you are
able to lock the door and put a lock
on the hitch if possible.
Having lived on a farm in the Clare
Valley for most of my life, I have
been lucky enough to keep my hors-
es at home.
But after moving to Adelaide for
work, and then deciding I wanted to
own a horse again, I had to agist my
horse in the outer suburbs.
The property where I keep my
horse only has a few agistees, so in a
sense it was almost like being back
The bonus is that this property has
much better facilities, with an arena,
yards, stables and very safe fencing.
The owner is also an experienced
horse trainer -- and a farrier -- who is
more than willing to help if needed.
Most of the other horseowners are
friendly and I often go riding with
some of them on weekends.
Good luck with your foray into
Choosing the right
agistment property can
take time so select
It can be more expensive to keep a
horse by itself but safer, particularly
if your horse is at the bottom-end of
the pecking order.
Ask your friends, or others in the
horse industry, for recommendations
when deciding on an agistment
A place may look great but other
owners who keep their horses there
can make a big difference in whether
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