15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Good beginner book, Oct 29 2008
This book is not written with Canadian weather in mind.
It is good for a beginning horse owner who has no idea what to look for when shopping for a hobby farm or a teenager trying to work out how to keep a small pony in the back yard.
The "plans" for small acreage hobby farms are not drawn to scale, nor is there any consideration for snow removal/plowing. Putting an electric fence wire within 4" of the ground would mean that it would ground out in the first snowfall. Buildings are not to scale - and a 20' x 40' is sometimes four or more times the size of a 20' x 20' garage or even the barn.
It does give you ideas about what sort of fencing would be ideal, but I haven't been to a horse farm yet that has fencing as high as the tallest horse's withers. In our paddocks, that would mean that the fences needed to be almost 6' high - that's totally unnecessary, even for our stallions.
Planned paddocks in the plans often come to acute points - like funnels - where a horse could be trapped and hurt. Fences shouldn't have narrow areas where horses can be trapped or a "herd" of horses could get stuck in a panic.
This book is used as a textbook in the Equine Studies program at Kemptville College/Guelph University. I hope the professors discuss the pros and cons of the designs rather than just assuming their students will "know" how to apply the book to real life.
I'd like to see a lot more information on manure management and how to safely disperse manure so as not to contaminate ground water or spread parasites. This book has a small chapter on manure management, but it's totally inadequate for Ontario, Canada.