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jaus tail
03-10-2014, 11:26 AM
Hello everyone,

In my story, an uncle takes his teen nephew to his farm. He wants his angry nephew to learn horseback riding.

It's on a vast plain and the uncle's got a stable at the farm. Is it possible for a man to own a stable? Does he require any specific license for it? Would he require maintenance guys to look after the horses? I want to involve minimum people in the story, if possible only the uncle and his nephew. How many guys would he need to look after the horses? How many horses does a stable contain?

Regards,

Jaus

wendymarlowe
03-10-2014, 11:42 AM
What kind of stable? It's perfectly possible to just own a horse (or several) because you like horses, no questions asked. If that's the case, the uncle could do everything himself and you'd have a lot of leeway in how the stable is set up.

If the uncle keeps the stable as a money-making venture, then you have to look at how - does he offer riding lessons? Board other people's horses for a fee? Train for competitions? Compete at rodeos? All those things would affect how many horses he keeps and how many staff he needs to keep the stable running.

jaus tail
03-10-2014, 12:15 PM
Thanks for the reply. He keeps horses cause he likes them. I didn't know you could just own a horse. Does anyone own a horse over here? That'd be a great source of information.

Regards,

Jaus

Sapphire135
03-10-2014, 12:26 PM
Depending on how much detail you need to go into, even if a single person owns a property of just a few acres with, for instance, a two stall barn, you would need to be concerned with 1) hay delivery (unless you grow hay on your own property); 2) manure removal; 3) shoeing your horse (or keeping hooves trimmed) - a farrier would do this or, perhaps, the guy knows how to do it himself?; and 4) requisite fence repair and other structural concerns.

The list goes on, but those are the basics.

Having even one horse is a lot of work unless you are at a full service facility. Maybe all the barn chores will be good for the angry nephew?

jaus tail
03-10-2014, 12:33 PM
I google searched farrier, t'was very helpful. Thanks for the word.

King Neptune
03-10-2014, 03:57 PM
It's on a vast plain and the uncle's got a stable at the farm. Is it possible for a man to own a stable?

Who else would own a stable?


Does he require any specific license for it?

That depends on local regulations. If he has a farm, then including a stable wouldn't usually require any additional permits.


Would he require maintenance guys to look after the horses?

Who would do the actual work would depend on lots of factors. It is not unusual for some impoverished horsepersons to do most of the maintenance for the rental of a stall, but there are large stables that have several full-time employees.


I want to involve minimum people in the story, if possible only the uncle and his nephew. How many guys would he need to look after the horses? How many horses does a stable contain?


That depends on the size of the operation. I don't know how many people are necessary for what size operation, but it also depends on what kind of business they are running. A boarding stable that doesn't do anything except turn the horses out and muck the stalls doesn't need many people. If they give lessons or train horses, then there would have to be more people.

jclarkdawe
03-10-2014, 04:07 PM
There's tons of books out there on horse ownership. You probably want to read some of them.

But let me warn you. Horse readers are knowledgeable readers. If you don't know the difference between a fetlock and a saddle horn, your readers will. Do you have the confidence to write to this level of reader about a subject you don't appear to know anything about?

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

sheadakota
03-10-2014, 05:29 PM
Pretty much what Jim said.
I have ten horses. I wouldn't call what I have a stable, it's just my barn. I do not need a license to own my horses. We did board for a fee at one time and no we did not need a license or permit to do so either.

I do not hire anyone to look after my horses, my husband and I do that ourselves. Yes its a lot of work, particularly in winter. It is also expensive- again particularly in winter ( I live in Pennsylvania) If someone related to me wanted to bring their kid- or relative to my house and teach them to ride, I would want to know the following things- does the person teaching KNOW how to ride? do they KNOW how to TEACH someone to ride?

What about the kid's parents? Are they going to sue me if the kid falls and breaks something? I have had people ask me to teach their kids to ride, most of them think Im going to put them in the saddle the first day and gallop them up the mountain- nope- not happening.

truth is they probably aren't getting in that saddle for at least a week and then it will be in the round pen with my most trusted, slowest, and boring horse.

depending on the level of knowledge and skill from the kid- the next step would be outside the round pen but I will be leading his horse from my horse- no going solo yet.

when I think the kid is ready I will let him have the horse's head and we will WALK the horses up the mountain. Oh yeah, and the kid is also going to clean my barn, feed my horses and clean and fill my water troughs, whether they are paying me or not. If the kid has attitude and doesn't listen to me- bye- bye. Horses can kill you, if an arrogant self-absorbed teen doesn't understand this I will not teach him or have around my horses.

I probably didn't answer everything but that should give you a start anyway.

Wicked
03-10-2014, 06:12 PM
Hello everyone,

In my story, an uncle takes his teen nephew to his farm. He wants his angry nephew to learn horseback riding.

It's on a vast plain and the uncle's got a stable at the farm. Is it possible for a man to own a stable? Does he require any specific license for it? Would he require maintenance guys to look after the horses? I want to involve minimum people in the story, if possible only the uncle and his nephew. How many guys would he need to look after the horses? How many horses does a stable contain?

Regards,

Jaus

What country is this story taking place in?

If it's in the US, what state is it taking place in?

There can be a lot of difference between how someone keeps their horses in one place, compared to another.

What riding style is being taught? Western? English? Bareback?

"Angry nephew". No angry person is getting on one of my horses until they get their attitude straight. A horse isn't a machine. If the rider is nervous, the horse can tell. If they're pissed off, the horse can tell. They may react to those feelings in a negative way.

As Jclarkdawe said earlier, be careful with the details.
I once read a story where the author was clearly not familiar with horses, but felt the need to go into detailed description. They said the horse went to the stream to get a drink. That is exactly where they should have stopped, but no, they decided to try and describe it. Going into loving detail about how the horse lapped the water from the stream. Like a dog.

I was laughing so hard I could barely finish the story.

Saanen
03-10-2014, 06:41 PM
If you're not familiar with horses, you really need to get familiar with them (a lot) before you write this story. I recommend taking a few riding lessons to learn not just about horses and riding, but how a stable works, the atmosphere of a stable, and the type of people who love horses. You can look online to see who in your area gives lessons.

If you can't do that, it might be worth it to recast your story's setting to something you do know about. As others have said, horsey people are going to see right through you if you don't get the details right.

jaksen
03-10-2014, 06:50 PM
In my town there is a stable run by a married couple. They hire the grooms, all the workers, but most of the horses are owned by people in town. These people keep their horses at this stable because it's easier for them. Of course they pay for the upkeep, etc. They also pay to have their horses exercised when they are unable to ride the horses themselves.

I also had cousins who owned horses. They lived across the street from me when I was a child. They stabled their horses in a barn on a farm down the street. They paid the farmer to take care of the horses, but they rode almost every day. In fact one day one of their mares jumped the fence (they pastured in a big field behind my house) and was discovered a day later in a neighboring town. (She was in a field with some thoroughbreds.)

About a year later she gave birth to a foal. True story.

Sorry, I got off track there.

ULTRAGOTHA
03-10-2014, 08:37 PM
In the US, (I'm assuming US until told otherwise) the word stable is more often used for a commercial venture that can combine boarding horses for other people, riding lessons, sometimes offering trail rides or preparing riders for competitions and getting their horses there and back. Or it might be a breeding operation. Or a racing stable. Or a stable full of pregnant mares producing estrogen-laden urine. Or some combination thereof. Or something else. But it usually has the connotation of a commercial venture.

If it’s just a person who owns hir own horses and keeps them on hir own property, the building is often referred to as a barn.

If this uncle owns 10 horses, what does he do with them? Is he breeding them and selling off the foals? Is he a competition rider and has 10 horses in various stages of training? Does he just like horses and uses them for his own riding and/or driving pleasure?

Learning to care for horses can certainly turn around a person whose life is heading downhill or has already arrived at the bottom. There’s a wonderful program in some prisons where inmates take captured wild mustangs and train them enough to sell well. It’s good for the mustangs who would otherwise be culled or starve, it’s good for the inmates, and it’s good for the purchasers who have a basic trained horse to buy. You might look into that program.

But I agree with Wicked that anyone who is currently angry or cannot control hir temper ought to be kept away from horses until some self control is achieved.

Also, horseback riding lessons can be relatively inexpensive and a good way to learn a ton about horses rather quickly. Even cultivating an acquaintance with a local stable would help. You could offer to volunteer to learn to muck out stalls!

Or attend some local horse shows of the style of riding the uncle uses. If he’s in the middle of a vast plain in the US, Western riding is more probable.

If you’re at the level of knowledge where you weren’t aware someone could just own a horse, I hope you really enjoy research!

Also, if this isn’t taking place in the 21st century, tell us now. Because answers to your questions from before the latter 20th century will be very different.

ReflectedGray
03-10-2014, 09:23 PM
I don't own a stable myself, but i've boarded horses for 20 years and know how stables work. I'm a competitive show jumper, so our stables are very organized and on a fairly large scale.

My trainer actually owns the barn, with the help of a few investors. They have full time grooms / caretakers who live on the property. That is really typical for large public horse properties because itís not really safe to leave valuable animals overnight with no one there.

Boarders pay a monthly rent for their horses to live on site. This usually covers the actual stall, bedding, hay, and sometimes blanketing/turnout. Usually training is separate, unless the trainer owns the barn and decides to make it a lump sum.

You really need to know what type of horse world you are talking about. At my barn, everyone is a show jumper. That means that all the horses are in training with a trainer. This type of barn is vastly different from a more casual barn where people have horses for trail riding / pleasure / retirement.

Typically you donít see grand prix show jumpers and trail riders in the same place. Both types of activities are awesome, but they usually have separate facilities. Know that there is a lot that goes into the horse world. If you have no experience with horses, anyone who does will immediately know that. Its not something that is easy to fake.

So, if you are going to write about a barn, you really need to KNOW what goes on. Horse people buy books about horses, and then will promptly put them down if the world doesnít make sense. Frankly, I can always tell who rides and who doesn't. If you want your book to appeal to an audience familiar with horses, I think you are going to have to do some very extensive research. Stay away from show jumping / competitive riding. Itís really more of a lifestyle than a hobby.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. Iím not trying to be discouraging, just honest.

jeseymour
03-10-2014, 10:25 PM
Hello everyone,

In my story, an uncle takes his teen nephew to his farm. He wants his angry nephew to learn horseback riding.

It's on a vast plain and the uncle's got a stable at the farm. Is it possible for a man to own a stable? Does he require any specific license for it? Would he require maintenance guys to look after the horses? I want to involve minimum people in the story, if possible only the uncle and his nephew. How many guys would he need to look after the horses? How many horses does a stable contain?

Regards,

Jaus

So it's his farm? Maybe he runs a lesson stable? In that case there would be other people around, like stable hands. You could have the place be as large or as small as you want. The only state as far as I know (in the US) that requires licensing is Massachusetts. It'd be easier to set your story somewhere other than there. :)

I have a small lesson barn in New Hampshire, with six horses (well, one horse, four ponies and a burro.) Most of my teaching is done at other people's farms though, on their own horses. I do not have any outside help, although my oldest daughter helps out with the mucking. Many years ago I had a larger lesson barn, also in New Hampshire, with up to 50 horses. We had a few part time people working for us there. So you can totally make this fit your story. If you don't want any outside help, give him just a few horses.

I agree with other folks though, that if you're going to write about horses at all, you have to know what you're writing.

Sapphire135
03-10-2014, 11:33 PM
But let me warn you. Horse readers are knowledgeable readers. If you don't know the difference between a fetlock and a saddle horn, your readers will. Do you have the confidence to write to this level of reader about a subject you don't appear to know anything about?

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

I second this a million times. I can't tell you how many times I have been reading a book (usually a historical) where horse riding is mentioned in just a small way and the writer gets something so wrong that it takes me completely out of the story.

If the horse riding idea that you have is secondary to the main plot, I suggest doing lots of research and EVEN THEN it is probably best to keep your descriptions about things pretty vague. I know people who have been in horses in a casual way for decades and still don't have the same depth of knowledge as those of us who have been involved very seriously for the same amount of time.

Good luck!

Brutal Mustang
03-10-2014, 11:43 PM
A great way of handling your lack of knowledge jaus tail, is to take some lessons yourself. Then you'll be learning right alongside your character. To my understanding, one bestselling children's author did that. I believe it was the author of the beloved Saddle Club series.

NinjaFingers
03-10-2014, 11:43 PM
Stepping in on this one.

He would not need a license unless he was teaching or renting horses to the public. Whether he had employees would depend on how many horses he has.

If you are going to make horses major to your story, then please, please, PLEASE spend some time with them. I can hand out all the information I like, but without a bit of experience - you don't necessarily have to ride, but at the very least find a local lesson barn or rescue that will let you muck a few stalls in exchange for some instruction about the way horses are. Another option is to look at horse training videos on Youtube, but that's not as good as actually interacting with them.

Also worth thinking about - are these just riding horses or does he actually have draft horses? There's been a movement over here to go back to horses for farm work...

Nonnavlis
03-11-2014, 12:48 AM
I don't have time to read the whole thread in detail, but I did skim, and I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this. In Canada, or at least the part I am in, it is quite common for commercial stables (the sort that would teach lessons) to have their students help with the stable work, as part of the learning (Actually, I've never attended a stable that didn't do this). So if your Uncle character teaches lessons at all to other teenagers, it's quite possible they would help with the upkeep of the horses and stables, especially if he teaches them in exchange for that assistance (Riding lessons can be pretty expensive for a kid to afford, usually $30-$50 a lesson in my experience).

girlyswot
03-11-2014, 12:55 AM
Who else would own a stable?

Many women do.

King Neptune
03-11-2014, 01:07 AM
Many women do.

But do any horses? Probably only examples of the human species do.

Brutal Mustang
03-11-2014, 01:09 AM
But do any horses? Probably only examples of the human species do.

I've known a few horses who thought they owned the stable.

Cath
03-11-2014, 01:13 AM
Careful folks, the one liners aren't a welcome tangent.

Orianna2000
03-11-2014, 01:35 AM
Horse lovers are very particular, so whatever you do, make sure you get the details right! Otherwise, you'll have a whole bunch of protesters boycotting your novels. There's a book: 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Horses (http://www.amazon.com/Worst-Mistakes-Writers-About-Horses-ebook/dp/B005XT33HK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394484966&sr=1-1&keywords=writers+mistakes+horses). I haven't read it, so I don't know how detailed it is, but it might be a good place to start. There's also a very brief section on horses in The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy, Vol. 1 (http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-Writing-Fantasy-Alchemy-ebook/dp/B00F3J5WNS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394485108&sr=1-1&keywords=complete+guide+to+writing+fantasy).

jaus tail
03-11-2014, 07:07 AM
Thanks a lot for all your replies. I've actually done a crash course in horseback riding myself, but it was in a camp, in a village organized by my college, also back then I didn't think of asking any questions.

I'm from India and the story is set in India. The horseback riding is secondary to the plot.

Sorry, this question might sound dumb but,
To those of you, who own horses, you keep them in barns, and the barn is close to your house, right? I mean what if some hooligan attacks your horse? How far would the barn be from your house? I haven't seen any horses in the city.

Medievalist
03-11-2014, 07:32 AM
Thanks a lot for all your replies. I've actually done a crash course in horseback riding myself, but it was in a camp, in a village organized by my college, also back then I didn't think of asking any questions.

I'm from India and the story is set in India. The horseback riding is secondary to the plot.

You should ask equine people, people who ride, care for and keep horses.

You can try Pony clubs:

https://www.facebook.com/MyPonyClub

And India has some unique breeds of horses

http://nrce.nic.in/breeds.php

These people seem really lovely:

http://www.adagioridingstables.com/

NinjaFingers
03-11-2014, 07:35 AM
It really depends. There are barns that are locked up and left unattended at night, ones where the owner or a barn manager lives on the property. In short, you can do whatever serves the story on that.

shaldna
03-11-2014, 04:11 PM
Hello everyone,

In my story, an uncle takes his teen nephew to his farm. He wants his angry nephew to learn horseback riding.

It's on a vast plain and the uncle's got a stable at the farm.

Okay, does he have a single stable? Some folk have one or two stables built on the side and only keep one or two horses. Some folk have lots of stables. It all depends on how many horses, what he wants / uses them for. Are the horses working animals? In that case he might have several. If it's just for pleasure then he may only have one. I know lots of folks who don't actually ride anymore, but still have 'the old mare' hanging about in her retirement.



Is it possible for a man to own a stable?

I'm not really sure what you mean here. Do you mean is it possible for him to build and own stables on his land? Or do you mean is it possible for him to buy a single stable at a yard in the same way you could buy an apartment in a building? If it's the latter than no, many horse owners rent a stable in a barn from a yard. This is what I do now - I pay a rent for my stables each week, buy my own hay and feed and look after the horses myself.


I want to involve minimum people in the story, if possible only the uncle and his nephew. How many guys would he need to look after the horses? How many horses does a stable contain?

It depends. I've been on yards that have 300 horses and I've been on yards that have 1. If it's just the uncle then he's likely to only have 1 or 2. Horses take a lot of looking after. Most people can manage it themselves unless they have a lot. That said, once upon a time I had a stable block of 10 to look after by myelf, that was on top of my day job. Now I have two and I find it easy enough to look after them around my other commitments - most people I know who have horses also have day jobs.

I the uncle owns the yard / barn he may have someone looking after the horses - over here these are officially called 'grooms' but are usually just called 'lads' - they would do the mucking out, feeding, grooming, sometimes the riding.

If he is just renting a stable on someone else's barn then he may pay them to look after his horse. I pay to have my horse fed in he mornings and turned out into the paddocks because it's difficult for me to get there at that time. Then in the evenings I do the dinners, mucking out and riding etc. If I'm away, like on holiday or ill, I can pay the staff to do all the work.


It really depends. There are barns that are locked up and left unattended at night, ones where the owner or a barn manager lives on the property. In short, you can do whatever serves the story on that.

Unattended barns were quite common when I was growing up. Not so much now - even if the owners don't live on site you'll usually find that there's a flat above the stables or a caravan that one of the lads lives in.

jeseymour
03-11-2014, 05:00 PM
Stepping in on this one.

He would not need a license unless he was teaching or renting horses to the public. Whether he had employees would depend on how many horses he has.



So are you saying Virginia requires a license for teaching riding lessons? Because as far as I know, Massachusetts is the only state that licenses instructors and stables, and I would love to know about it if Virginia does as well.

jaus tail
03-11-2014, 08:00 PM
Thanks for your replies. But now I'm thinking, what will I do with the horses. I guess I'll spend more time in the Brainstorming session.

Thanks again for the replies. I've copied them all in a word file.

FYI I never met someone who's owned a horse. I thought only professional riders and royal folks owned horses. To learn than some of you guys actually own horses, cool.

ULTRAGOTHA
03-12-2014, 06:13 AM
Most of the responses you received were for North America. I don't know how much that will help regarding horse keeping in India.

Brutal Mustang
03-12-2014, 08:35 AM
Most of the responses you received were for North America. I don't know how much that will help regarding horse keeping in India.

Agreed. I grew up in Central America, and horse keeping practices there were quite different. Plus, it had a whole different culture surrounding it. For instance, here in the U.S., mostly girls ride. Down in central America, it was mostly men riding.

jaus, you'd probably be best served interviewing local stable managers for this.

PS. Your country is home of the magnificent Marwari horse. You'd better put at least one in your story!

shaldna
03-12-2014, 01:42 PM
Thanks for your replies. But now I'm thinking, what will I do with the horses. I guess I'll spend more time in the Brainstorming session.

Thanks again for the replies. I've copied them all in a word file.

FYI I never met someone who's owned a horse. I thought only professional riders and royal folks owned horses. To learn than some of you guys actually own horses, cool.

I live in Ireland and most of the people I know who have horses are normal folk. I managed to keep several when I wasn't even employed. Here keeping one horse will cost you about £150-200 a month. I'm currently paying about £320 to keep two - that's stable rent, paddocks, feed and bedding and use of all the facilities - area, horse walker, trails etc.

Horses are reasonably cheap to buy too - depending on what you are looking for. Serious competition horses will always be expensive, but you can pick up a decent riding horse for a couple of hundred quid. My last couple of horses I got for free and my daughter's excellent pony only cost me £300 - and that was including her tack.

That said, we don't really go in for 'breeds' here as such, most folk have some sort of draft or sport horse, and then there are the cob and pony people.

Also, no one I know can get their head around the crazy American breed / colour thing. Here a piebald / skewbald / tricolour is just 'coloured' and a palamino is a colour, not a breed. Also, we don't have 'vanners' we just have 'cobs'.

Bolero
03-15-2014, 10:06 PM
Thanks for your replies. But now I'm thinking, what will I do with the horses. I guess I'll spend more time in the Brainstorming session.

Thanks again for the replies. I've copied them all in a word file.

FYI I never met someone who's owned a horse. I thought only professional riders and royal folks owned horses. To learn than some of you guys actually own horses, cool.

Majority of horses owned in UK would be by ordinary people. Folks can sink pretty much all their spare cash and then some on keeping a horse or a pony.
Riding lessons are a common hobby especially for kids - one or two hours a week at a local riding school. Can be anything from riding round fields owned by the riding stable, to riding round housing estates in a city. Lots of pony story books around for kids. (see Christine Pulleyn Thompson for one). For some reason it particularly appeals to girls who go pony mad - pony pictures in the bedroom, stacks of pony books, as many riding lessons as they can, nagging parents to buy them a pony (whether or not parents have anywhere to keep it). Then some grow out of it, others don't. :)
At least it is out of doors, involves exercise and interaction with an animal. Much better than being glued to the TV :D.

Pony trekking is also offered in holiday areas - not a riding lesson as such, but going for a ride (trek) through the local countryside.

shaldna
03-22-2014, 08:16 PM
Majority of horses owned in UK would be by ordinary people. Folks can sink pretty much all their spare cash and then some on keeping a horse or a pony.

Horses can be as cheap or as expensive as you want them to be. I know people who think nothing of spending a couple of hundred quid a week on their horse, and others who manage to keep them for less than £100 a month.



Riding lessons are a common hobby especially for kids - one or two hours a week at a local riding school.

When I was a kid nearly everyone had riding lessons at some stage. They were really cheap and a great hobby. In rencent years most of the riding schools I know have shut down, or become liver only, due to the insane costs of insurance. The cheapest riding school I know off offers group lessons at £17 per person per hour - and there will maybe be ten of you in a class. When I teach I charge £25 per half hour for a private lesson.

It's actually cheaper to own a horse than to have lessons.


Can be anything from riding round fields owned by the riding stable, to riding round housing estates in a city. Lots of pony story books around for kids. (see Christine Pulleyn Thompson for one).

No offence, but those books are about 40 years out of date. You might want to have a look at some Samantha Alexander books - she was really popular about 15 years ago.


For some reason it particularly appeals to girls who go pony mad - pony pictures in the bedroom, stacks of pony books, as many riding lessons as they can, nagging parents to buy them a pony (whether or not parents have anywhere to keep it). Then some grow out of it, others don't. :)
At least it is out of doors, involves exercise and interaction with an animal. Much better than being glued to the TV :D.


Yeah, most of us never grow out of it. :)
Pony trekking is also offered in holiday areas - not a riding lesson as such, but going for a ride (trek) through the local countryside.

these are pretty popular, and many holiday resorts offer this as an activity. It's how a lot of people get the bug - I know a couple of people who only took up horse riding after trying it as a free activity when on holiday.

eileenmcilwain
04-09-2014, 06:44 AM
I will point out that owning a horse in India is going to be VERY different to owning a horse in Australia or the US. The information people have given you may not apply in India where the laws, economy, environment etc are different. I will say though that there are a few things ALL horse owners need to consider regardless of where they keep the horse. These are:


Food - horses need to consume between 1-2% of their weight in roughage every day to remain healthy. The roughage can be in the form of pasture, or if pasture is not available (drought conditions, developed area, lack of space) then hay such as lucerne, oaten, wheaten, meadow clover, rye grass or a mix of these is usually fed. If you use hay you will need somewhere weatherproof to store it, like a shed or barn. You will also need someone to feed the horse every day as hay left outside can go mouldy overnight and make a horse sick. Horses will also eat grain such as oats, barley, and maize although too much can be bad for them.
Water - horses drink a lot of water so you will need a water source. It might be a dam, or it might be a hose running from the house to a drinking trough or bath tub in the horse's living area. Topping up water is usually a daily chore unless you have some sort of automatic drinking system in place (fancy barns often have this).
Shelter - While horses can survive in both warm and cold climates, you do need somewhere to keep your horse so it doesn't run away. There are many ways to confine a horse. If there is limited space available, then a stable, small pen, hobbles, or even a rope tied to a picket line can be used. If there is ample space, then a large fenced paddock with trees or a man made shelter (like a shed or stable) can be used. In the desert, the sheikhs will even bring their horses into their tents to keep them warm on a cold desert night. Whatever the case, you don't want your horse just roaming around.
Manure Disposal - generally the smaller the space, the more work is involved. If a horse is in a large paddock then you wouldn't bother picking up the poo with a rake, you'd slash the whole paddock using a tractor/slasher to spread the poo around. If your horse is in a stable however, it's a lot more labour intensive. Removing soiled bedding & poo, and laying down clean bedding is a daily chore to keep the environment clean. Bedding might be straw, wood shavings, or sawdust - something absorbent and cheap.
Hoof care - if your horse is in a big paddock his hooves may only need to be trimmed every 3-6 months, something the owner might do himself or pay a farrier to do. If your horse is confined in a smaller space it's hooves will need maintenance every 2 months as they won't wear down naturally. Steel shoes need to be replaced every 6-8 weeks as they will wear down and the nails will loosen as the hoof grows out.
These are the absolute basics. As long as you have all these points covered your "stable" will be believable. Other chores of horse ownership might include brushing, cleaning out hooves, and treating for parasites such as worms. In any case, I would research how people keep horses in your area because it might be very different to how horses are kept elsewhere.

In India the native breed of horse is the Marwari, a lean, athletic type of horse with curling ears like a lyre. These were originally bred in Rajasthan for the royal military, although they're not owned exclusively by royals anymore. The brown & white (piebald) and black & white (skewbald) colours are the most favoured, but they also come in other colours like black, grey, and chestnut. Here's a link to a website about the breed. http://www.horsemarwari.com/index.htm

http://www.hugi.is/media/contentimages/153133.jpg

eileenmcilwain
04-09-2014, 06:52 AM
Oh yes and to answer your original question, people can either clean their horse's stables themselves or pay someone else to do it. It's not a task that requires a huge amount of skill so you could easily get a kid to do it. All that's involved is scooping up the poo with a rake, scooping up any wet bedding, putting it in a wheelbarrow and emptying it at a designated spot. Then you would add fresh bedding to replace what you've just removed. It's a daily chore if your horse is stabled at night as it's bad for your horse's health to stand in it's own filth for long periods of time.

skylark
04-09-2014, 12:02 PM
I want to involve minimum people in the story, if possible only the uncle and his nephew. How many guys would he need to look after the horses?

My co-worker owns three horses. She rents a field with a suitable building in it - she calls it a barn, but it could equally be called a stable.

She and her adult daughter together care for the horses (they take turns, it only needs one person at a time, and both of them also have full time jobs). So you don't need extra characters unless you want for them to have a lot of horses.

jaus tail
04-09-2014, 05:49 PM
Thanks for the replies. I wanted to know whether maintaining a barn would require much manpower or whether would any licenses be needed.

But it seems pretty much convenient for my mc to own a stable.

EarlyBird
04-09-2014, 06:09 PM
We used to have horses. Two. We took care of them by ourselves. Occasionally, we had a vet and farrier tend them, but only when there was a problem. We could have easily kept a few more without needing any additional help.

We didn't have a barn, but an old outbuilding we converted into a large stall. It was a couple houndred feet at most from our home. The stall was surrounded by a large corral which extended right up to our side yard, so we could look out our window and see the horses.

No license necessary, but horses do require ample space. They're wander around while graving and trample a lot of good grass while eating, unlike cows who tend to stand in one spot and eat all the grass around them before moving over to the next spot. If there's not enough grass for them to eat, they have to be fed hay, which comes in bales. Oats are a common dietary supplement. We used to give a generous scoop a day. Horses have a sweet tooth, too, and like anything from apples and carrots to pancakes with syrup and cookies. Yes, ours ate all these things, and more. (We spoiled them rotten.)

As far as learning to ride, it's not too difficult. I didn't know how to ride when I got my first horse, so I bought a how-to book. Yes, I learned to ride from a book. It didn't take me long, either. Of course, practical experience was the best and quickest teacher. I even learned to ride bareback and did it often (requires a lot of inner leg strength). I learned to jump as well...big learning curve there! Actually got a concussion from falling off.

When I first was learning to ride, my inner thighs hurt so bad I could hardly walk. Make sure you include that little tidbit in your book. It's very realistic and could provide for some funnier moments...dramatic ones too, say, if your character is being chased by a vampire and can't get away because his legs are too sore from riding.

There are two styles of riding, western and English. I can do both, but far prefer western. It's more fun and less rigid. Google both terms and I'm sure you'll find lengthy descriptions for both.

Horses can be quite affectionate. Ours used to follow us around like a dog and rub against us. They can also be stubborn and ornery at times, refusing to go somewhere they don't want. (I flipped over the front of my horse on more than one occasion because she stopped mid-run when we came to something that spooked her.) Ours were also playful and we'd play a version of tag, although sometimes they forgot their own strength and knocked us over!

ETA: The hardest part about taking care of horses, at least for me, was mucking out the stall. You have to shovel out the manure each day or it really piles up. Our horses had free access to the stall, so they weren't in it all the time, just when they wanted to be (mostly during inclement weather), but we cleaned it out each day and put down a fresh layer of hay. It probably took only twenty minutes. Also horses occasionally need bathing. It's much like washing a car. Wet, lather, rinse. Manes and tails can be trimmed to make them easier to care for. I used to let the tails grow to the ground and braid them. I used to roach our Quarter horse's mane, meaning trim it down to the neck so as it grows, it resembles a mohawk.

Hope this helps!

eileenmcilwain
04-10-2014, 03:07 AM
Thanks for the replies. I wanted to know whether maintaining a barn would require much manpower or whether would any licenses be needed.

But it seems pretty much convenient for my mc to own a stable.

Depends on the size of the barn, the number of horses and how they are kept. If you had only one horse that lived in a paddock 24/7, and the barn was used solely as storage for hay, equipment etc, then you wouldn't need much manpower at all. However, if you had more than six horses and they were all stabled at night, then you would be cleaning stables for a good couple of hours every day, as well as spending half an hour or so feeding the horses. One person could do it, but they wouldn't have much time to do anything else.

On average I'd say takes about 15 minutes to clean a 4m x 4m stable properly (remove poo & wet bedding, dispose of the manure, and top up the stable with fresh bedding). If you have an exceptionally messy horse it may take an extra 10 minutes.

You don't need a special license to have a horse or barn, although if you live in a residential area the council may not allow you to keep livestock on your property.

Hope this helps!