Horse or ATV?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MyHomesteadName, Dec 12, 2006.

Horse or ATV?

  1. Horse

  2. ATV

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  1. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    Once I move, I have been wondering whether I would prefer a horse or an atv as one of my "passtimes". I know I'd enjoy ATV riding. I've done that in the past and its very fun, but I have a romanticized view of riding horses out on the trail and such and my daughter LOVES them. My uncle actually owns a horse ranch, but I haven't picked his brain yet and you guys all have an opinion I'm sure. :p

    Anybody who actually owns both have any opinions? Hmmmmmmm?

    I would keep the horse on my property, not at a stable, so I wouldn't have THAT expense. I guess I'm concern about things like feed, vet bills, and daily care.

    With an ATV, maintenance is minimal and I can just hop on and go! but it is can be noisy.

    Fire away!
     
  2. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    we have both but im atv all the way
     

  3. pasotami

    pasotami Hangin out at the barn!

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    I have both - actually ATV (now stolen), an RTV which I feed and work with, and 50 head of horses. When I am working I use both - tractors, RTV, and horses - when I want to "play" I never head for the machines - I go for a horse. I spend a lot of my time out here alone and the horses are both income, renewable, benefit my garden, help me where my machines can not (I live on a steep mountain), but most of all they interact back. I can tell you the name, nature, and usual behavior of each horse but I can't tell you a blasted thing about the tractor or RTV other than they are very useful.
    If I were you - I would spend some time with horses before buying one or more - you may be one that just does not like or get along with them. My DH thought that he would love them as I do - he never goes to the barn now. He watches... they are just not his thing - neither is the tractor. He likes the RTV and ATV's....
     
  4. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    its a different kinda "ffun".
    horses are queit and take more alertness and thinking, they can freak out, hurt themselves or other things.

    a dirt bike ca run out of gas... or the like.

    you dont have to worry if drivig yout ATV somewhere new will spook it or if it will step on an unsen nail, wire.... whatever.

    horses on established trails for a relaxing quiet nature walk....
    ATVs for lookig for those new trails for the horses... making them and doing the scouting runs.

    I'd say if you got the bucks do both.

    having had horses most of my life and now just having one in retirement, I enjoyed riding both but on different ways.

    I would take a dirt bike or ATV out to explore the strip mines....
    and driving as a snail pace on one down a dirt road is kinda dull.

    riding a horse down a long quiet dirt road, that nice.
    trailblazng on unknown terrain is fun to, but a broken horse is more of a problem than a broken ATV.

    your kid wont bawl her eyes out of her honda breaks an axle.
    she will if the horse breaks a leg.

    if you like trail blazing on a horse... its fun. ive done it, my old horse here when he was younger was an A1 trail bulldozer. good log jumper too. once i showed him water wasnt a monster, he would take off and leap into water if he saw it. He did that in a deep pond once and almost drownd me.



    he freaks out over holstine cows.... never did figure that one out. he does like brown cows.

    but cars and trucks he ignores.

    Ive gone places on an ATV for fun that a horse wouldnt safely be able to go....
    so each has a different kinda ride.

    get one of each, and take turns while out. we used to do that too, 2 bikes and 2 horses. We would race them across the field. the bike usually wins, but the horses love the run trying to beat the strange looking animal thats so noisy.

    which in hindsight wasnt to bright since he never learned when not to "race" a motorcycle.... he would get all antsy on the road of one passed him
    "I gotta run lemme go!"

    the mix ends up pretty interesting.
     
  5. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    I like to putz. I'm a slow natured kinda guy. I don't race atvs or anything, but I do like to look at new places and take a quiet stroll out in the boonies. One positive thing I was thinking about horses, was they don't need gas, but I don't know what it costs to actually keep one of the things. Do you guys grow your own hay? Do you supplement with grain? Do you HAVE to "shoe" a horse? Can you just give them the run of the pasture until you go riding? How much is all that?

    I never thought about the "helping the garden" aspect. That is something to consider. My uncles all own horses and I have been around a few. I do enjoy the interaction, but I don't know what it would be like to keep one long term. I would feel dumb if it became a hassle and I wound up just throwing away a lot of money. We'll see. They are beautiful creatures.

    Is it easy to break a leg when wandering about? I do love to explore.
     
  6. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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  7. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    How is hunting on a horse vs atv?
     
  8. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Depending on where you live, it may not be legal on the back of either of them.

    Horses are a LOT of work and it better be a labor of love because they don't just "like" time with you... they DEMAND it.
     
  9. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    Do they DEMAND care (obviously)?....or attention?.....or both?
     
  10. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    if you dont know the trail leg injury is a very real possibility... depending on the terrain. a good horse can usually watch the trail pretty well and side step what you miss.... they do have eyes. lol

    I have ot feed mine [cuz he is as old as dirt] good senior feed that about 14 bucks a bag, he eats 5 bags a month, and about 10 bales of hay. he has a donkey so I feed more, really. but on his own, he would eat @ 4 bags of feed and 15 bales of hay a month... and get fat. a healthy horse can live happy on good quality hay alone, mine ate nothing but for most of his life, about a bale a day. hay cost different everywhere so go figure. if they have a good size pasture thats good. less hay they will eat. unless they are worked, they dont need grain. trail rides are not work, its walking. a hay fed horse walking around a grassy field will have more than enough energy to ride several times a week and not need more food.

    Ive never shoed my horses, and I used to ride him all the time. shoes in my opinion just ruin a horses foot if they dont need them for traction in working. walking a trail isnt work for a horse.

    a 3 sided shed is all they need in a field, they are quite happy to be out in the open, its where they evolved.

    a horse learns to walk an unknowwn trail and look where to step... let them hang their head low if they want to, they are trying to see whats in front of them.
    Ive seen people fight with trail horses to keep their heads UP and "pretty", this is when they get hurt... he doesnt want to step in a hole, and if you let them learn they will look for holes and logs not to trip over. You have to look too but the horse isnt blind or stupid, they can see where they are walking.

    then you got annual shots, worming every few months [debateable point depending on the drugs] and finding a hoof trimmer who knows what they are doing.

    if you ride regularly and the horse is barefoot, trimming is reduced to you and a rasp once a week to keep things right. Hooves wear down walking. they also chip, and you will need to learn to do horsie pedicures as a norm of grooming.

    all things being equal, a horse is about a 100 buck a month expense... give or take.
     
  11. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    before you hunt on horseback better find out of they are gunshy or someone gnna go for a ride... lol

    demand? they are like puppies.... they like you...they like atttention. like little kids they turn into brats of you dont pay attention to them. some dont care... as long as they have another horse to pal with.

    you wouldnt just let a dog run loose and not pay attenttion to it [lots of people do, i wouldnt] they like people... you want them to like people.

    it helps when you have to jack them up and fix them. if they like you they wont try to kill you.
    lol
     
  12. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Well let's put it this way.

    Twice a day for an hour each time for basic grooming, feeding, and cleaning. This is a minimum. Whether you are sick, don't feel good, on vacation... It doesn't matter. Now if you are talking about sticking them in a stable somewhere and paying someone to do it that may be different, but don't expect to be able to get quality riding time other than arena or if the stable is a REAL nice stable and has riding trails nearby. Of course you will have to worry about transportation also, which will include a trailer and truck. You can hire people to do that though, if you have the money. Then there is the hay, will you be growing/bailing yourself or purchasing? Unlike an ATV you can't park a horse, and also unlike an ATV they use their "gas" (hay) everyday.

    But I am a novice and we've only had them for about 6 months or so. (Technically we have a horse and a riding mule right now.)

    If you are looking for just FUN and don't have a passion for horses, get the ATV you will enjoy it a lot more... and almost anyone can ride it. Horses get used to riders and vice versa so not just anybody can jump on your horse and ride it.

    I would recommend you go over and post in the Equine forum, but they might beat ya up a little over there for even comparing a horse and an ATV. LOL. :baby04:


    Oh, wanted to add... one GREAT thing about horses: MANURE! If you are planning on doing any planting/gardening it's a good thing to have! Don't use it without composting it though.
     
  13. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    thats a little much, just for basic care... I take them food, check water tub and give them botha quick once over to see if they didnt get into any trouble while I was gone... maybe 5/10 min twice a day.

    but then again, my house is surrounded by horse pen so I pass them all day long and pet them pat them talk to them while I come and go...

    ah hour twice a day for
    "basic care" is a little much, if they are out in a large paddoc with a run in shed.

    someone about an hour ago was banging on the back of the house so I stuck my head out the back window and there is a big furry nnose looking up at me, and he was kicking the hay barn wall [yeah the hay barn is 1/3 of my house] because i was late with his dinner.

    he used to come up and stick his head in my DR window where the table was.... the dog yard is there now so he cant.
    I am planning on making part of the haybarn [connected to the house.... rememeber] his run in shed and use his shed to store hay. then I can open the laundry room door and step right down into his shed.


    still an hour twice a day is kinda much for hands on care... for one or two.

    15 min should be more than enough.
     
  14. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    you wont say that when you have 14 tons and cant get rid of it.
    lol
     
  15. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Our barn is out back and I figured an average including cleaning stalls letting them out to pasture and bringing them back, picking hooves, etc.

    For someone who is learning the animals and trying to get them used to style, riding etc, I thought it may be appropriate. After we become experts, maybe we will be down to 20 - 30 minutes oveall average. I can basic stuff in that amount of time now, but that wouldn't be letting them out to pasture or in and cleaning them up a bit. We would have serious issues here if I heard the horse pouding on the side of the house... because that means ESCAPE!
     
  16. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    I've got fields out back that should handle our two pretty well. I used well over 6 tons of composted this past year (it was here when we bough the place and had composted for a good amount of time. I even had folks coming over to get some!
     
  17. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the good info guys. That really helps.

    Sounds like an atv is the thing for me right now. I work in the lab all day and get home in the evening and won't have the time.

    Maybe when daughter is older and I can trust her to commit to it,we'll think about horses. Or maybe I'll love the farm so much, I'll do it full time. Don't know if the income can compete with the dental field though. I love my "toys". :p

    I'm loving the land prices I'm seeing. I imagine we'll have at least 30 acres as a minimum.

    :D
     
  18. ponyboy123

    ponyboy123 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, after seeing those pics of the horses and the homestead, I almost want to get some horses. I must admit though, I'm a ATV guy. The farm here keeps me pretty busy so there is little time for good care of a horse or two. If you have the time space and money I think it would be great to have some horses.
     
  19. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    The ATV would be less expense in the long run. Horses can be a very expensive hobby, but then so can the ATV. I loved my horses, but if I was going to buy either/or, I'd go for the ATV.

    But I voted for horse... :shrug: I guess when it comes right down to it, a horse has a personality and can be loved. The ATV just isn't a living and lovable thing.

    Here's a pic of Dolly, Cricket, and Little Girl. I sold them a couple years ago, and I miss them a lot.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. DixyDoodle

    DixyDoodle stranger than fiction

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    Definitely a horse here! But I would love an ATV with a trailer, too. Good and reliable ATV's around here cost around $5,000, insurance for a year maybe $150? And let's not forget the cost of gas! My best quarter horse cost me $600 (ok, that's not typical, but I came along at the right time---I have been offered $2500 for him) and I spend a total of maybe $200 a month for four horses (including shoeing, etc), so unless you have a hard-keeper, they are not really that costly once you get shelter and fencing out of the way---until the vet walks into the yard, at least.

    I enjoy nature hiking, etc, and you see a heck of a lot more wildlife on horseback than you do ATVing! I can get really close to deer while on my horse. I just let him graze and they will do the same after an initial wary look-see.

    I find ATVing to be far less dangerous and exciting. I mean you can go fast and furious on an ATV but it pretty much does what you want it to. With a horse there's always that X factor. And it just feels more powerful: controling a 1500 pound well-muscled animal takes a heck of a lot more skill than sitting down, stepping on the gas, and steering. :D

    DD