After years of dreaming, you have decided to take the plunge. You are buying your own horse ranch. Horse lovers know the joy and fulfillment raising horses brings. Doing it as a business means investing lots of time, money, and sweat each and every day, no matter if you plan to breed, train, or even board horses. However, you can make your new endeavor successful by starting with the basics and growing your operation slowly.
The amount of land you need for your horses varies according to the quality of your pasture and your management techniques. The minimum amount of land you need per horse is one acre, although that can be a tight fit. You will be safer to allow one horse per two acres. If you put too many horses on your ranch, your feed bills will be exorbitant, an expense you do not need while getting started. In the beginning, deliberately keep fewer horses than you think you can manage. As you settle into your role as a horse rancher, you can always add more stock.
No matter what climate you are in, you will need a horse barn to provide shelter for the animals. Of course, your horses may be outside most of the year, but you must have the ability to bring them inside when necessary. A standard horse stall is 12x12 feet, but if you keep larger breeds, you may want to expand the size of the stalls. You will also need an aisle so you can easily get to the animals to feed and groom them as well as clean their stalls. You will also need a tack room and a secure area for feed. If possible, store the feed and hay in another building because horses have often broken out of their stalls and gorged themselves on both. Since horses can become foundered and even die from overeating, keeping the food locked away is essential.
The land and the barn are two of the most important items you need when you begin your ranch, but you also need stout fencing, an arena, and a round pen. As your business grows, you will always find ways to improve and invest in your ranch. Ranching is more than a full-time job. You will be working every day from sunup to sundown, but for a horse lover, the life is fulfilling. After all, spending all your time with beautiful equines is about as good as it gets.