In order to assure that This Old Horse is a viable, self-sustaining operation, there are major initiatives that could contribute by either reducing expenses or generating revenue. If we can close the gap and create a sustainable model, we can help more horses. Here are some big projects that would help us change the world for alot of horses out there. Funding these projects would make a powerfule imopact
WILD HORSE / SPECIAL NEEDS SANCTUARY
We have a 4-acre pasture that needs upgrading to create a long-term sanctuary for our six rescued blind Spanish Mustang stallions. Our vision of this project is that they would live their lives in peace and comfort in a habitat that accommodates and respects their special needs while giving them the space and safety to roam freely in the space. This will require modifying the perimeter fencing to add a 'bumper' of plank boards attached to the inside of the pasture fencing that will gently alert them when they are near the pasture boundaries. We also need to add an additional well to the south end of our property so that we can install automatic waterers to provide fresh, unfrozen water year round. We also need to add a few run-in shelters they can freely access during inclement weather and a small storage barn for hay and supplies. If you are interested in helping with any or all of the projects needed for the stallion sanctuary, they would be most appreciative!
100 ACRE HAY FIELD
Two cuttings a year from a 100-acre managed grass hay field would provide enough hay to feed 65 horses a year. This would feed our herd and anything left over would be donated to the Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition's Hay Bank. Even with the expense of managing, cutting and baling the hay would save 50% on our annual hay costs.
HAY STORAGE FACILITY
Hay storage requires a dry, ventilated space to protect hay from rotting and molding. A hay storage facility would assure the quality of the hay and allow us to negotiate better prices on bulk purchasing.
We support horses who are recovering from injuries or long-term lameness. Their rehabilitation plans sometimes require stall rest and they would benefit from large stalls that had direct access to small turnout areas. We could build a small layup barn on our property or setup a layup situation in a new situation with a donated horse property.
REPLACE STALL FRONTS AND DIVIDERS
Our facility was built in the early 1980's and endured some serious wear and tear over the ensuing years. The original stall fronts and dividers are deteriorating and weakening and need replacment. There are 29 stalls in the barn and all need replacment.
Our retired horses who are capable and want to work are used in our lesson program. They earn their keep through lesson revenue. An outdoor arena would provide another place for riding and lessons. It would require establishing a solid, well drained base plus footings and rails.
Our manure is picked up and hauled off the property. If we had our own new or used manure spreader, we could save the cost of hauling and use the manure to fertilize our own pastures.
BARN & ARENA INSULATION
Besides creating a more comfortable space, insulating the stall barn and attached indoor arena would prevent water buckets and tanks from freezing in the winter. The cost of running heated buckets and tanks during the cold winter months increases the utility costs by $1,000 a month.
Excavation and drainfields in our high traffic turnout areas would provide comfort and stability for horses moving between the paddocks and barn. It would require landscaping to create dry, safe pathways.
OVERSIZE HORSE TRAILER
We support horses of all sizes, many of them are over 16 hands high. We could use a tall (over 7 feet high) horse trailer to comfortably and safely transport some of the bigger horses. Bumper pull or gooseneck would work and up to 4 stalls.