This article is a guest post by Daphne Nelson. Daphne homesteads in Washington State. With interest growing in self-sufficiency and self-reliance, many are looking to move out of the cities and suburbs to rural communities. Being an experienced homesteader, Daphne points out some of the important things that you can consider. You can also view Daphne’s previous posts: Buying a Homestead , Learning Your Land and Chickens – No Fowling Around. Also, be sure to checkout the information on Daphne’s homestead that is for sale. You can find more information at the end of the article.
Coming from a family that has raised horses for several generations, I can honestly tell you that horses are a lot of work. People raise horses for various reasons, but frankly, it’s been my experience that they simply are not worth the trouble. Even in a survival situation, you might be better off without one. I don’t want all the
horse lovers up in arms, if you want to raise them then enjoy yourself, train them for something useful, but it
is only my opinion that having to deal with horses you aren’t really using is a waste of both time and money.
If you don’t have access to a vehicle and feel the need to leave an area, yes, a horse might be useful, but if you are already at your bug out location, and you are not using a horse for actual labor, skip it. They require constant watering and feed, and it may not be in your best interest to have to contend with these chores. I’m not saying they can’t be helpful, they can, but you can’t just harness up any old nag to work a plow, they have to be trained. They have to be trained for everything, even the sound of guns.
Reportedly, the U.S. has roughly 1 ½ horses for every person here, and most of those, not all, are domesticated. If you really need a horse, you can probably find one that’s no longer being used, or at least trade for one. I highly recommend you use your money for more long term survival needs. Of course, I suppose you could always eat the horse if you really needed to, it is considered a delicacy in France, but I just don’t think horses are an expense that most prepper’s should consider.
However, if you insist on having horses as part of your preparedness, you should consider what you need that horse to do. Will it be required to work, or is it to make a long journey? Are you going to be pulling a wagon, or picking your way across mountains? In just about any of these cases, I would recommend a sturdier breed of horse…maybe a mountain pony or a Bashkir Curly.
Height determines whether it’s a pony or a horse, so anything under 13 hands is a pony. They tend to be sturdy and can work hard, and are good pack animals, and can pull a small wagon. They can also be ridden, and their sure footedness is a plus. Their personalities vary from very congenial to down- right ornery! This is true of any horse, though, so don’t skip a gentle pony just because he might get a little out of hand once in a while. But as with all horses, if you are going to be firing a gun around them, they need to be trained to the sound, otherwise, you’ll be tracking them for hours.
The Bashkir Curly are a good steady horse. As surefooted as the pony, and small for a horse, generally between 13 and 15 hands, the Bashkir does not require high end feed, and are really good in rough terrain. They are sturdy, hard working horses and can be used for plowing, or logging. As a mountain horse, they are well suited to foraging for their feed if the need arises. They shed their coats in fall and spring, putting on a thick curly winter coat, making them ideal for high terrain, and there fur can actually be spun into yarn for clothing. They are gentle horses, and easy to handle and definitely on my list of the type of horse to have in a disaster situation, if you choose to have one. The American Bashkir Curly Association in Ely, Nevada can help you get started with a good horse, and might even have a few available for adoption.
So, if you choose to have horses, make sure you work with them and they are trained to the needs you are going to have. Remember, it takes a lot of time, and money to maintain horses. Keeping your fences in order, and having enough feed, shelter and water to maintain all of you might be too much for you to deal with in a disaster situation. Just make wise choices, and don’t be afraid to ask if the questions to determine if the animal will suit your needs.
FSBO: 3,000 sf, 3 br, 2 bath, lakeside home on 6 +/- acres. Perfect prepper’s paradise! A Picturesque mountain valley 110 miles north of Spokane WA brings wildlife of all kinds and Canada is less than 10 miles as the crow flies, or roughly 15 miles by road. Has a large kitchen pantry and a large ¾ basement. Hot tub included as is the riding lawn mower and all fencing tools.
Beautiful seasonal lake and a year round stream are a great water source, with a great fishing lake just 3 miles. Fenced and cross fenced for animals. Large 2 story barn for feed, livestock & storage. A workshop, small storage shed and a woodshed complete the buildings. Large fenced garden, and multiple fruit trees; apple, cherry, plum, plus many yearly producers like asparagus, raspberries and hops.
The property is remote, but not isolated, and is already located in a prepper community. Everyone here can take care of themselves. There are roughly twenty families spread throughout the valley here. There is a small town about 8 miles from here, and I do mean small, but there is a mercantile, a good school, a small medical clinic, and a small church. There about 200 people who live in the town. The entire area is surrounded by national forest and is very close to both American and Canadian wilderness.
Remodel was halted due to death of husband, and is just too much for me to keep up on my own. Looking for a good family, willing to embrace the North Country lifestyle to move in here and make this a home! $249,900.00