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Tips for Planning Your Corral

Tips for planning your corral include selecting an appropriate location, choosing the right fencing for your horse, ensuring you adhere to any necessary zoning regulations, and seeking local advice. Your goal should be to provide your horse (or horses) with sufficient space for while ensuring that they are safely and securely contained. The following tips for planning your corral will help you do this.

Location, location, location! • Choosing the right location for your corral is critical. Ideally, you want to ensure that the area has good drainage, proper irrigation, and a reasonably flat terrain. • Remember that the area immediately around the gate, on both sides, will get the most traffic. Proper drainage in this area is especially important, to prevent it from becoming a muddy and slippery mess during rainy periods. • Consider having a soil sample taken to ensure that there are no environmental hazards in the selected area, as well as to test for pH levels to help optimize grass growth. • When possible, select a location that will provide shelter from the most common prevailing winds.

Fencing must be safe and secure • Horses are, by nature, nomadic animals and must be contained by secure fencing. Wood, welded pipe, and plastic are all common fencing materials for corrals as well as large pastures. • The materials you chose may depend on whether it is a permanent corral or only a temporary one, to be used for only a short amount of time. In either case, though, the safety of your horses should be of paramount concern. • Remember that your corral fencing should not only keep the horses in, it must keep unwanted visitors out. This includes dogs that may enter under the fence, or children who may try to climb over.

Stay abreast of zoning regulations • Check local zoning ordinances and building regulations when planning your corral. Some areas, for example, have specific limitations on minimum and maximum sizes for corrals and other spaces. • Find out if there is a local group that helps horse owners keep up with the ever-changing rules regarding zoning and land use. Some groups may offer regular updates to horse owners.

Consult local professionals for advice • Your local cooperative education office may have resources available that will help you with issues specific to your geographic area or climate. A local university with an equine studies program can also be an excellent resource. • Talk to other horse owners in your area about challenges they face on their property. There are many decisions to be made when planning your corral. Selecting an appropriate location, choosing the right fencing for your horse, ensuring you adhere to any necessary zoning regulations, and seeking local advice are all helpful tips for planning your corral.

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