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Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Did you know that goats hate to get wet? Indigenous to dry, arid areas of the world, the goat has no innate love of water so providing shelter from rain and snow is a kindness they will much appreciate and use.

Housing goats at night is also important to protect them from predators, most notably the coyote, though there exists a multitude of offenders.

A securely fenced area is also imperative during the day, as neighborhood dogs that are allowed to roam free can also attack goats. 

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December 11, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


The traditional working horse draft breeds of yesterday are seeing an increase in popularity in the U.S.A. due partly for their use as working horses on the homestead, but mainly as horses to own for fun and for competition in halter, driving and ridden classes. 

Following WW2, the number of draft horses worldwide was a pitiful number, particularly in Europe for obvious reasons. For instance, there were approximately only...

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December 2, 2020 posted by Content Admin

"Paws for Thought" From Horizon Structures Kennel Conundrum Newsletter

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


It's sad to say but lost revenue as a side effect of the Corona virus is an issue for many dog boarders. The Covid-19 crisis is affecting everyone, and kennel owners are no different. Businesses struggle to fill their kennels as patrons stay home and limit vacation and travel. The unfortunate result is boarding kennels dealing with diminished need for their services.

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November 12, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Purchasing hay supplies for equines is one of the largest expenses in the horse keeping budget.

Hay

Here are six easy hacks that can turn the tables on horse hay costs.

Quality Not Quantity

It makes no sense to purchase low quality hay. Horses can be picky eaters and low quality hay will often be discarded by horses, and/or tromped into the pasture and go to waste. 

Hay that is sold by the ton is fine for cows, as...

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October 28, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


The joy that a horse innately brings to people is truly a gift worth giving. At just 32 inches high at his wither, mini therapy horse Dominique may be small in stature, but the amount of pleasure he brings to folks is HUGE

Everyone deserves love and happiness in their lives, especially folks that are suffering distress, trauma, loneliness and pain. The calm and gentle presence of this sweet miniature horse wins the hearts of all he...

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October 22, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


A new horse barn is an exciting prospect, and shopping for it should bring enormous pleasure to the excited purchaser. In today’s world buying your new horse barn is easy to accomplish. You can literally do it all from your home office or sitting on the couch. You do not need to compromise on design features you want as barns can be customized to suit every taste and desire. The options are endless: color choices; various siding and roof materials; size of the building’s footprint; traditional and modern styles; overhangs and stall...

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October 21, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Horse barn designs vary greatly but one thing they all have in common is the need to be functional and safe for both horses and their handlers.

Horses have a habit of hurting themselves even with the most carefully planned and constructed environments for their care but if you start out with flawed design in your horse barn you are substantially increasing the chances of spending more money on the vet than you might have...

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October 3, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


It’s amazing what you can do with a small piece of property or smallholding when it comes to rearing critters and growing fruits and vegetables. The backyard can be a place of solace as a private retreat, a playground to keep children happy and healthy with fun-filled exercise outdoors. The uses are limited only by your imagination and of course, any current zoning restrictions. The latter are well worth checking before you start a new enterprise. 

If you are lucky enough to own a horse farm then there is probably plenty of...

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September 30, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


The verdict is in. The latest in timber frame horse barn design, that utilizes the beauty of traditional carpentry technique of mortise and tenon joinery made with artisan talent combined with the affordability of modular design, is hotter than the century-hitting temperatures this country has experienced this summer.

It is the ‘fairest of them all,’ when it comes to horse barn style and design. Wood fashioned in its ultimate spectacle that reflects the beauty of nature at every turn. There is a certain magical appeal of...

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September 10, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


HayThe venerable Windrush Farm, located on the Boxford/ North Andover line at Massachusetts, was in search of extra shelter for their 20 lesson horses following the Covid-19 crisis shutdown of their renowned therapeutic riding program. C.E.O., Janet Nittmann, was quick to take action to secure additional resources to keep the horses happy and safe.

“It was a rush to secure extra...

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August 21, 2020 posted by Ivo Krtalic

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Throughout this Covid19 pandemic social media postings from horses owners who proudly announced that isolation and quarantine procedures were nothing new to them were prevalent. 

Commercial horse farm owners and managers dread the introduction of transmittable diseases such as Strangles, Equine Influenza, Eastern Equine Encephalitis or the Equine Herpes Virus, which can infect horses at their facilities and shut down their businesses. Bio-security concerns should be a factor in the design and operation of all horse farms.

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August 19, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


If you’ve ever spent the day working in the heat under the glare of full sun in the ‘dog days of summer’ then you know first-hand how heat exhaustion and sunburn can creep up on you. As a clinician I have certainly spent my fair share of time giving instruction to riders from the center of a dusty, hot arena baking myself to a crisp. I’ve also suffered with skin cancer, possibly as a direct result from too much exposure to the sun. 

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August 19, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Many property owners with extra acreage are tempted to make their own hay by knocking down a grass meadow and baling it up for either their own horses and/or to sell.

Hay

For horse owners it is wise to know what is growing before you mow. There are an extensive number of nefarious herbs and weeds that can harm horses.  Some plants and weeds may be harmless for...

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July 16, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


If you’ve ever volunteered as a puppy walker and puppy home for a hunting club then you’ll appreciate the incredible ability the hound has for finding trouble. The American Foxhound, a cross between the English and French Foxhound, later intertwined in some cases with the Irish Foxhound, is a prime example of a canine with speed and stamina and a nose for finding quarry.

Irish Foxhound

As a kid my first hound puppy was an English...

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July 8, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


If there is anything the Covid19 crisis has taught us all it is to have a Plan B.

Covid Crisis

Horse owners never expected suddenly to find themselves cut off from access to their horses that were in livery. Commercial barn owners did not expect to be left holding the muck fork and dealing with frustrated clients. In some states, folks were not affected, but for others, such as those in the North-East, the time away from being allowed to see/...

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July 8, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


The history of horse barns shows us that building structures for agricultural use has evolved significantly over the years as farmers’ needs changed. Initially more grain was threshed on the ground level of a barn than animals kept, and the need for hay storage was not much considered.

As we age through the 1600’s into the 1800’s, the barn design slowly transformed its purpose, with ground floor living for cows and horses (...

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June 23, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Lots of folks are going green these days, venturing into vegetable growing for the first time to secure their own food source amidst the Covid19 pandemic. During World War II the ‘Victory Garden’ concept captured the benefits of producing foodstuffs on your own soil, limiting reliability on outside sources.

Garden

Other reasons to go green include health concerns and the ethic of mitigating the damage caused by our individual carbon...

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June 23, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Horizon Structures Facebook May Run-in Shed Auction winner Arthur’s Acres Animal Sanctuary, is not your average 501(c)3 rescue operation. Founded two years ago by Todd Friedman, the farm located in Parksville, New York is home to a herd of pigs that he has rescued from all over the Eastern seaboard.

The...

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June 23, 2020 posted by Content Admin

What do chickens need? If you are raising chickens for meat or for eggs, you’ll find that it can be sometimes very challenging. They are prone to some health issues that can pass very quickly, due to their close proximity in a coop/confined space.

We also need to worry about predators when we raise chickens and it doesn’t matter where you live, whether in off-grid living or in the city, there will be predators. Even in downtown Denver, in the very heart of the city, you will see foxes roaming...

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June 22, 2020 posted by Content Admin

Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith


Equestrians embrace tradition.  And, timber frame horse barns offer a time-honored tradition that is hard to beat when it comes to beautiful carpentry exquisitely showcasing the natural aesthetic appeal of wood.

When my husband and I purchased our farmland in Upstate New York, the neighbor had already taken possession of a lovely 2 bridge – or bank - barn in the front of our property. It was still standing proudly on the hill after 100 years, and despite the fact that its main occupants consisted of a flock of pigeons and said...

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June 8, 2020 posted by Content Admin

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