Many of us remember the days when farms were surrounded by acres upon acres of land. Yet, when driving around today, we rarely see those large farms with rolling pastures. So what happened to those farms that were built decades ago? Well, due to population growth and urbanization, they became surrounded by neighborhoods and urban land developments. Often these neighborhoods back up to the large farms and these neighbors get their first experience living near a horse farm.

Many times, neighbors have only ridden a horse on a vacation trail ride or pet one at a petting zoo. They struggle to relate to the farm lifestyle and are not adjusted to the smells and sounds that come with a horse farm.

A good horse neighbor

Non-horsey neighbors hope to have tall, green pastures outside their homes with a few horses peacefully grazing.

Non-horsey neighbors hope to have tall, green pastures outside their homes with a few horses peacefully grazing. So when our horses tear up the fields on muddy mornings, overgraze, and poop near the neighbor’s fence, often neighbors choose to complain about the “eye soar”. Therefore, it can be a good idea to have a sacrifice pastures, especially during the winter months. Not only does it please your neighbors but it’s better for your pastures too.

Remember to operate machinery between normal working hours. While there is something fantastic about a freshly dragged arena, powering up the tractor before 6am is not the best idea. Try to operate all machinery between 8am and 9pm.

Some states require a manure plan for horses and other livestock. Whether your state requires it or not, manure plans are a good idea. Some states regulate that manure be picked up every day in highly confined areas. Other states have no regulation at all. Either way, manure should be stored away from any neighboring properties and kept to a minimum.

General maintenance of the farm is a large part of being a good neighbor. Monitoring the level of weeds in pastures and weed whacking along the fence line can make a huge difference. Having a property that is well-kept shows that you care about its longevity and appearance.

Farm management is crucial to containing the smells and sounds that come with operating a barn. The care of your property will translate into your relationship with your neighbors. And happy neighbors always makes running a barn easier.

By Anna Hellman

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