If you are lucky enough to own a horse farm then there is probably plenty of under utilized space on the property. While horse barns, pastures and arenas come first, there are lots more ways you can add value to your farm life experience beyond horses.
Homesteading is trending up across the country, and the addition of chicken-keeping to your animal care world can reap more rewards than just a supply of fresh eggs daily.
Did you know chickens are very efficient at keeping down the insect population if they are allowed to pick and peck over pastures? There are a few caveats to consider in mixing horses and chickens in the same environment, but also many benefits. Here’s a view from both sides of the fence.
If you have kids they will love the fun of collecting eggs. Taking care of chickens can teach children valuable lessons like responsibility. There is a huge array of recipes that incorporate eggs and this gives plenty of opportunity to enjoy experimental cooking lessons with the family, and of course you can also share your farm fresh eggs with friends and family, or even sell them to boarders.
Another keen pursuit is the growing of fruits and vegetables. It seems everywhere you look these days a new garden has sprouted up replete with bedding boxes and chicken wire to keep the critters out.
A fresh supply of homegrown food is not only good to eat, it can be great fun to nurture and offers a sincere reward with its known provenance and availability. Of course not everyone lives in a region where there is a long growing season, and the addition of a greenhouse can greatly extend the length of the season as well as offer a bug and critter free, controlled temperature environment that will encourage all plants to thrive.
As horse owners the thought of a glass or wrapped plastic greenhouse may not appeal. Glass is a hazard to horses and subject to damage and wrapped plastic can flap and tear and does not offer the most appealing aesthetic. Consider a modern, polycarbonate greenhouse that gives the appearance of a pretty and traditionally designed structure without the worries of broken glass or the annoying wind noise of a plastic clad frame.
Horse owners are also very often dog owners, and love keeping dogs around for both play and as an added security measure. If you train horses, then training dogs probably comes naturally and dog breeding, dog boarding and grooming, and obedience training are all avenues that can add income to your farm business.
Start with a commercial grade easy care, easy clean kennel to ensure the daily chores are quickly and efficiently accomplished, and keep your canine care and comfort at the top level that customers will truly appreciate. If you board horses for folks, those same clients will probably trust you to board their dogs when they are away from home on business or pleasure travel. What a neat way to add more revenue to your bottom line.
If you are a busy at the farm with horse care and training, any spare moments to relax may be few and far between and like most of us a cheap plastic chair or two, set outside the end of the barn for a quick respite are what’s on offer. As you dodge the heat of the sun and migrate around the yard to find a spot of shade with no pesky bugs, those moments of true relaxation can be fleeting.
Up the level of enjoyment of the great outdoors for yourself, family, friends and clients, with the simple addition of an outdoor living structure. Pavilions, pergolas and gazebos offer a permanent building that will provide shelter from the sun and protection from the errant summer shower. Remember to ask the manufacturer about options for screening in the space, so that you can escape the persistent buzzing and biting insects when you want to kick back. Choose a company that offers a large selection of styles and designs. For low maintenance choose vinyl over wood.
Talking of family perhaps you have kids home that are bored with just hanging around the barn and spend most of their time planted on the couch with device in hand. The anti-social screen time drives most parents nuts but it is a seemingly inevitable pastime in the modern era.
If you have the space the addition of a playset can add much value to a child’s life. It offers a great place to play with friends, and can teach good social behavior such as sharing space and helping others enjoy the activities it provides. A playset is a tool that can teach leadership and motor skills such as balance, and encourages the development of a child’s imagination. Swinging can additionally reduce stress. Learn how swings can build a child’s mental health with meditation, mindfulness, thinking time and daily reflection.
A playset keeps your kids entertained in a healthy manner, can be sited within view/hearing range of your barn but not under your feet, and gives you more time to focus on riding without guilt! It will also make your children popular with friends, who will want to visit and share in the fun.
There are many ways to design a horse farm that offers inclusivity for all generations and presents the opportunity of a bucolic, fun and educational lifestyle experience for everyone. There is no limit to the imaginative ways an outdoor space can be leveraged for maximum enjoyment though perhaps the necessary funding may be an issue. If that’s the case seek a manufacturer that offers simple financing and can supply all your needs in one easy purchase.
KINDLY NOTE: This article is available for use in its entirety without edit, in any media format, on condition that credit, in any media format, on condition that credit is given to Horizon Structures Inc., and author Nikki Alvin-Smith as a byline at the beginning of the article publication and Horizon Structures URL address and Nikki Alvin-Smith URL is included. Horizon would appreciate notification of any publication. Kindly contact Horizon Structures for photos to accompany the article.
This article is brought to you courtesy of Horizon Structures Inc., Atglen, PA – Modular horse barn specialists. Horizon Structures also offers both residential and commercial kennels, coops, multi-use structures and playsets. Please visit https://www.HorizonStructures.com to learn more.
About Horizon Structures: One horse or twenty, there’s one thing all horse owners have in common…the need to provide safe and secure shelter for their equine partners. At Horizon Structures, we combine expert craftsmanship, top-of-the-line materials and smart “horse-friendly” design to create a full line of sheds and barns that any horse owner can feel confident is the right choice for their horses’ stabling needs.
All wood. Amish Made. Most of our buildings are shipped 100% pre-built and ready for same-day use. Larger barns are a modular construction and can be ready for your horses in less than a week. All our barn packages include everything you need –
Horizon Structures also sells indoor riding arenas, chicken coops, dog kennels, 1 and 2 car garages, storage sheds and outdoor living structures.
Headquartered in South-Central Pennsylvania, Horizon Structures, LLC is owned by Dave Zook. Dave was raised in the Amish tradition and grew up working in the family-owned shed business. He started Horizon Structures in 2001 in response to an ever-increasing customer demand for high quality, affordable horse barns.
For additional information about the company or their product line, please visit their website at https://www.horizonstructures.com
Horizon Structures LLC, Atglen, PA
About Nikki Alvin-Smith: International published writer and creative content producer. Ghostwriting, blog services, PR/Marketing specialist. Nikki also produces catalog and website copy, white papers, e-books, corporate brochures, advertising copy, photography, videography for a wide range of businesses.
As a Brit who has called the America home for the past 35 years, Nikki brings a unique perspective to the equestrian world. Nikki is also an accomplished Grand Prix dressage trainer/competitor, competing at international level and is a highly sought clinician offering clinics worldwide. She has been a horse breeder/importer of warmblood and Iberian breeds for more than 25 years. Together with her husband Paul who is also a Grand Prix trainer, they run Willowview Hill Farm, a private dressage training operation in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York. Please visit https://nikkialvinsmithstudio.com/ to learn more about her affordable services.
Media contact: Nikki@NikkiAlvinSmithStudio.com