Ten acres might sound like a lot of land, but when factoring horses, buildings, and programs, those large spaces can be used up quickly. Since God has made it possible for us to have 10 aces of beautiful land, we long to make good use of every square inch. Ever since we first stepped foot on the land, Devin and I have talked over so many different layouts for the property. We have done our best to think through parking for guests, work efficiency, pastures for horses, turn arounds for trailers and deliveries, designated riding areas, and locations for structures and outbuildings. We have mentally and verbally processed through current and future needs so that we aren't creating more costs and labor down the road. Through many, many conversations, plenty of walks on the property, and several hours of mowing, we have determined a few different options for the entire grid. And many times, our plans have been redefined as we have more questions or problems pop up, take a closer look at the topography, or base ideas on the absolute basic needs to get started.
While we feel fairly confident of our knowledge on equine management, we know our skills are limited when it comes to prepping the land in a subtropical environment for horses (both short term and long term) and when it comes to creating a master plan for phases of property development. It certainly didn't take long for the weight of responsibility and the desire to be good stewards to send us seeking wise counsel. After searching through a few possibilities, we came across Sustainable Stables out of North Carolina. With experience in affordable horse farm design and planning, along with knowledge in establishing good land management, we felt that this consulting firm would be such a great help in providing another set of eyes on what we could do with the land.
Last night, we walked all over the property with Clay Nelson from Sustainable Stables and thoroughly enjoyed the process of sharing, dreaming, and planning. We completely appreciate his views on pasture prep and management and agree with the pasture/paddock system presented. Having someone else give insight to the property and all the possibilities was such a blessing, and we are just getting started!
This is such an answer to prayer! Devin and I have asked God repeatedly to grant us wisdom in planning and bring someone else on board to walk through all of this with us. I am so excited about this process and look forward to future conversations on all that we can do to create a welcoming environment for guests and participants and a healthy, sustainable home for horses.