Creating Pet/Wheelchair Friendly farm from scratch

mustangsrwildJanuary 20, 2012

Hello! Huge, life-changing project just starting and I would appreciate your ideas and suggestions as I start this major rescue/renovation of an old family farmstead in SW OKla. So feel free to chime in with anything you think can help! What would you change or have done at your place?

Basics: Handi-capable Hubby, myself, cats and dogs in a house that needs structural, mechanical and more help on 10 timbered acres. Plus horses on 30 yet-to-be-fenced acres of neglected pasture. Workshop needs cheapest roofing material possible (pond liner?) and horse shelter yet to be determined. (3 sided portable steel?)

I'm researching Craigslist and online for cheapest materials and ways to solve projects. Such as:

Flooring... Vinyl Planking from Lumber Lqdtrs. .79 Sqft.

After removing 30 yr old baby puke colored carpet and linoleum, smoothing out rough spots on plywood underlayment. This will be covered and sealed by glue or bond enhancer as planks are set in place using a heavy roller. I can install this myself and it will be water/pet proof as well as easy for wheelchair rolling. Plus planks can be replaced if damaged.

I look forward to hearing your ideas. Thanks so much! :)


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Are you looking for ideas for the house or barn or both? Also I suggest taking on 1 project at a time, which will help you allow for completion, add more thought to the best solution, and keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

First of all, I would not go with temporary especially if I were limited in my abilities. It is hard for us to find the time to fix all the temporary shelters much less actually acting on it. They fall apart at the worst possible time, like get blown over in a snowstorm for example, and the hassle & stress of immediate solution is just not worth it.

Having said that, the best improvement we did was create a hubble area for feeding....meaning 1 area to feed with several access points for different pastures, like a wagon wheel where we feed right in the middle. We aren't old yet but as we age we find this most helpful, though cleaning out can be a bear we have the equipment to do so it may or may not be easy to clean out by hand so think about how you will do that when setting up.

Allow for more than you think you will need. I posted a few ideas for temporary shelters on another tread, so I won't type them again. That poster hasn't come back so I don't know if it would work for them or not.

I hope this helped some, I may have more ideas if I understood just where you are trying to improve (sorry, it's early this morning).


    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 5:27AM
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Thanks Brendasue! Good to meet ya.
Great ideas, and you sure are right concerning the age factor. Luckily I have 6 months to do it all. Advice on house and barn/pasture is welcome!

Imagine a perfectly square 40 acres. Then carve out a long rectangle,a strip that is the 1/4th on the left (South) side. That's the 10 acres in timber around the house saved for wildlife. The remaining 30 acres is in grass for the horses, just a few trees for shade.

I am considering a 14 ga steel barn through as their OKla. location is not far from the ranch and prices include installation. I need a carport and horse shelter both, so I hope I can get a discount. Steel buildings have inground anchors set 3 feet deep. But I am not sure on what kind of shelter. I was thinking of a 24' x 12' loafing shed, but I'll be asking the mfg. what would be most wind resistant. The carport will be next to the house, and in the trees, so wind won't be as big a factor.

I'm planning on putting the barn/shelter within sight of the kitchen window of the house, as being able to see the horses feeding on a large round bale during a storm is the best! I'll put the barn/shelter @ 175 ft. North of the northside kitchen window, with a paddock area in between, where a grass round bale will be located 90% of the year. (I've done this system for 4 years at my current place in Colo. and the horses are fat & happy, while my husband can help keep an eye on them during bad weather.)

I pen the horses into the paddock before the storm and let them out after, locating heated water tanks in the paddock area, right next to the fence for easy filling. The barn/shelter will block the North wind and with the shelter floor on the Southern exposure, lets the sun dry it out. There's a slight slope, so drainage will be good and the soil is pretty sandy.

You make a good point, so I think I'll divide the pasture into 3 areas, like a half-wagon wheel, or using a runway, with all three leading to gates reaching the barn/paddock area, which is the hub. With 30 acres, that will make @ 3 ten acre pastures. (There is also a small 2 acre pasture on the SW corner of the ten acres surrounding the house for quarantine/roundpen/colic/new mare & foal use.)

I'm looking at getting a hay bale buggy (Tumble bug variety, no spear) to trailer round bales into the paddock with the ATV in the future. (Right now, I have a great hay man who delivers one within 24 hours of a call and puts it right where I want. I'll sure miss that!) I've already made note of neighbors that have grass round bales left in the field from last year, so I might buy their bales this next season, depending on hay quality. Don't want to introduce any noxious weeds into my scarce pasture.

On that note, any ideas on overseeding? That's probably my first improvement, as I hope to let the seedlings grow strong til July when I plan on moving the horses. Looking at brome pasture mix to add to the drilled-but-patchy bermuda early enough to get the Spring rains.

Let me know what you all suggest!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 11:59PM
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I'm a little unclear as to whether you are designing for pets and a person in a wheelchair or for pets with wheelchairs like the ones at
If you're designing for pets with wheelchairs, please keep in mind that a dog's wheelchair wheels are much smaller then a person's wheels and can get stuck in the mud more easily. Also if you have ramps, it is important that the ramps have high sides to the dog's wheels wont run off the edge.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dog Wheelchairs

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 9:53AM
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