Mistakes People Make Buying Their First Horse

Modular Horse Barns

Mistakes People Make Buying Their First Horse

Buying your first horse is incredibly exciting, but it’s easy to get caught up in the physical beauty of a horse and end up with an animal that can land you in the hospital. Avoid these common mistakes people make when buying their first horse.

Cheaper isn’t always better. Green or unbroken horses are obviously cheaper than those with extensive training and experience. Since you are inexperienced yourself, you’re not likely to be able to handle a green horse. They’re unreliable. Skip the cheap, green horse and look for one with training that you can enjoy from day one.

Older horses are smart. They’ve been around, so they are what horsemen call “bomb proof,” meaning nothing scares them. They aren’t going to run wild or buck when a car whizzes by. Just make sure the older horse is medically sound, and the horse should be fine for you. A horse that is in its late teens or early twenties is ideal, but we’d pass on one that is heading toward thirty years old.

Young horses for children. The romantic idea that your children can grow up with the horse may sound sweet, but isn’t the safest bet. An untrained horse can accidentally hurt your child. Go with a horse that has already been trained, preferably one that has been around children.

Auction horses. Like car salesmen, horse traders have a reputation. This is a case of uber buyer beware. Horses at auctions might be cheaper, but you don’t really know what you’re getting. Some horse traders drug their “difficult” horses to make them calm, or to mask health issues. You won’t be able to test ride a horse at the auction, either. For experienced horsemen, that’s okay, but for the first time buyer, it’s trouble.

Love at first sight. Hogwash. Don’t buy a horse without doing your homework. Ride the beast, a lot. Ask a lot of questions about its training, history, health, vet records, etc. Then go home and sleep on it. Look at other horses and compare them not by their coloring, but by how they rode and acted toward you. Some horses prefer men, some women.
Buying the color. You’ve got your heart set on a Palomino or solid blanket Appaloosa and nothing else will do. You won’t even look at brown horses. You might see a bright red car that is beautiful, but ends up being a gas guzzler that’s uncomfortable to drive and is always at the mechanic’s shop. You can’t drive a color, and the same principle applies to horses. You can find a good beginner horse that is also the coloring you want, but keep your priorities straight.

Buying more horse than you need. It’s kind of like buying a super macho, six inch lifted 4 wheel drive truck, because it looked so cool and the salesman convinced you that it would never leave you stranded during off-road driving, when in truth all you need is a 4-door sedan for taking the kids to school and running errands. If you just need a western pleasure horse to ride with friends, then don’t bother with horses that have been trained for jumping concrete culverts in cross country competitions.

Long term commitment. Once you’ve got a horse barn, tack, and the beast itself, you’ll also have long term expenses of feed, riding lessons, vet and farrier bills. Some people neglect to plan for 365 days a year committed to the horse (because they still need care even when you want to go on vacation) and end up unhappy with the whole horse experience.

Horse ownership can be a wonderful experience, and the joy you’ll get out of it is like nothing else. It’s far better than cats and dogs, because of the dynamics of the horse itself. We hope these tips will help you when buying your first horse. Should you need a prefabricated horse barn, give us a call today. We’d be happy to help you and can deliver your new horse barn anywhere in the southeast.

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Horse Care Tips

Horse Care Tips

Horse Care Tips

Horse care tips for winter, like it or not it is here. How will your horse fare this freezing season? Hollywood images of wild mustangs make them look healthy. But the truth is, animals in the wild are often lame, unhealthy, and die younger than animals under human care. Think mustangs attacked by mountain lions versus a pleasure horse that lives in your horse barn. Don’t panic. We’ve put together a few horse care tips to help with your equestrian care needs for winter.

Shelter.

Although horses thrive being outside, they also benefit from a shelter. A prefabricated horse barn is useful because it not only houses your horse, but stores hay, feed and tack as well. Alternatively, pastured horses benefit from a run-in shelter. If you have several horses, you might need more than one shed because they don’t all like sharing space. Think pecking order with chickens, except much bigger.

Food.

Horses need to eat 2% of their body weight every day. But honestly, who is going to weigh sweet feed and hay, much less a horse? No one. Assuming your horse is a “Regular Joe” and doesn’t need a special diet, give him all the hay he wants and maybe a gallon (twice daily) of sweet feed. Easy keepers don’t need that much grain. Still feel a need to weigh something? Alright, give him 25 or 30 pounds of hay daily. You can weigh it with a bathroom scale, but we don’t know why you’d bother. Just feed the horse because it’s digestion of hay that will keep him warm.

With all that dry hay and grain, your horse will need fresh (not frozen) water throughout the day. A creek, water bucket heater or carrying water to him twice daily are good options. Figure 10 gallons daily per horse.

Mud and Ice.

In our area, we have a lot more mud than ice, but both need to be addressed for equine care. To prevent fungal and bacterial infections, clean your horse’s legs and feet regularly (daily if possible). Ice can build up on hooves, so they should be picked out daily Consider removing shoes until spring.

These simple care tips should help keep your horse healthy this winter. By addressing mud/ ice and food/water needs, you’ll have the basics covered. When it comes to horse barns or run-in shelters for equestrian care, look no farther than Carolina Storage Solutions. We’ve delivered more prefabricated horse barns to the Asheville and Hendersonville, NC area than anyone else. Give us a call today for more information!

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Winter Horse Care Checklist

Winter Horse Care Checklist

Winter Horse Care Checklist

Without a doubt, winter is the hardest season for equestrian care. It’s cold outside, the wind howls, and there aren’t many days fit for riding in the greater Asheville, NC area. Here are a few tips to help you get through the winter and keep your horse healthy so come springtime you and your equine companion will be ready to ride anywhere in the Southeast.

Food and Water.

As part of their thermoregulatory processes, horses warm their bodies through digestion. The breakdown of hay through a long digestive tract creates tremendous heat, so it’s important to keep plenty available. Consider providing alfalfa hay available for your horse to munch on at his leisure.

Frozen water buckets can be a real issue. Unless your horse has access to a creek (which usually doesn’t freeze), you might need a heated water system, or to carry water to the barn twice daily. Horses have colic and impaction issues in winter, mostly due to inadequate water supplies and improper grain-to-hay ratios.

General Health.

Horses don’t generally need a blanket unless they have previously diagnosed health issues requiring such measures, or have been trimmed/sheared for winter work. Furthermore, horses do better outdoors where they can seek less windy coves or run into shelter as desired. A run-in type prefabricated horse shed is a good idea.

If you do choose to cover your horse with a blanket, be sure you’ve got a proper fit, and all the buckles work right without rubbing, pinching or cutting your horse’s skin.

A lot of people remove horse shoes for winter, or switch to winter shoes for better traction. The iron shoes of summer have issues with ice build-up.

Riding.

Although it’s cold, your horse still needs a little exercise, or come spring he’ll be too out of shape to perform well during the first warming spell. He’ll become a barn potato if you aren’t careful. A few minutes a couple times a week, even if just lunging him, will keep your beast in good shape. Because it’s cold, be sure he’s completely cool and dry after a workout, before you turn him loose or put the blanket back on him.

Carolina Storage Solutions of the Asheville, NC area loves horses and being able to help horse lovers across the Southeast by delivering horse barns to prepared sites. Call us today for more information!

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Horse Care Five Common Winter Mistakes

Horse Care Five Common Winter Mistakes

Horse Care Five Common Winter Mistakes

While you bundle up in layers and love your toasty home in winter, horses do better in the cold. They don’t usually need blankets, and as long as they have access to shelter and adequate food and water, they will be healthy (and happier). This doesn’t mean you can throw the horse out to pasture and forget him until spring. Just don’t make these common mistakes.

1. Frozen water.

Horses have increased impaction colic in winter from dehydration. They can’t drink ice, after all, so provide plenty of (liquid) water.

2. Summer rations in winter.

Horses regulate body temperature via digestion of fiber (hay), and they also burn more calories to stay warm in winter. So when it’s cold, feed them more hay, especially.

3. Inside the barn all day, wearing blankets.

Horses are healthier if they are left outdoors in winter, as long as they have shelter from the elements. Keep the barn hallway open during the day, and put him in the stall only at night. It’s often colder inside the barn than outside, which is why a prefabricated run-in shelter is a good option for pasture-only horses.

Except for horses clipped for show, their fur is sufficient for winter. They don’t usually need blankets. Just brush the mud and dirt off him daily, especially the legs, and he should be fine.

4. No exercise.

We humans get out of shape every winter from lack of exercise. It’s the same for horses. Riding regularly, despite the cold, will help keep your horse in good shape. If this isn’t possible, at least turn him out into a large pasture daily. Come spring, he’ll be able to ride without overexertion.

5. Reduced grooming.

Even though you’re in a hurry to get through your barn chores and back home, take time to groom your horse daily. It’ll prevent hoof, leg and skin issues, and will give you a chance to check for weight loss, eye and ear problems, etc.

Quality equestrian care requires daily maintenance, rather than occasional trips to the barn. We hope these tips help prevent mistakes people often make concerning their horses during winter. Carolina Storage Solutions of Asheville and Hendersonville, NC loves being able to deliver modular horse barns to horse lovers all over the Southeast. Give us a call for more information!

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Favorite Horses of the South

Favorite Horses of the South

Did you know that there are over 350 different breeds of horses in the world today? True story. With so many to choose from, it’s helpful to be able to categorize them into useful groupings to help you decide which breeds are best for you. Let’s look at it two different ways.

Horse and pony breeds fall into four major groups:

Draft horses, which weigh about one ton, are built for hard work. Percherons, Belgians and Clydesdales are examples of these breeds. With their incredible size, it’s no wonder they’re favorites when it comes to pulling wagons.

Light horses are smaller and thinner than draft horses. They top out at about 1300 pounds and include the most popular riding horses. Arabians, Morgans, Quarter Horses and Tennessee Walkers are a few examples.

Ponies such as Shetlands and Haflingers are smaller yet and ideal for young children.

Feral horses such as the wild mustangs of the west and the horses of the NC Outer Banks are examples of this category.

Now that we’ve looked at the four main categories of horses, let’s think about the three ancestral lineages.

Hotbloods include Arabs and Thoroughbreds. They owe their quick-footed, hot tempered spirits to their Middle Eastern/North African lineage. When Indiana Jones chased down the bad guys in Raiders of the Lost Ark, he rode an Arabian.

Coldbloods. Have you seen the commercials with the Clydesdales pulling sleds in the snow? These majestic beasts and other draft breeds originated in northern Europe and are known for their calm temperament despite their size. The chainmail and armor clad knights of the Middle Ages rode Coldbloods.

Warmbloods. Just like warm water being a mix of hot and cold, these horses are a mix of hotbloods and coldbloods. Quarter Horses, the quintessential cowboy horse falls into this group. They are popular because they are fast on their feet and easy to handle (not crazy, like Arabs can be).

Now, a brief list of Southern favorites:

Quarter Horses. Incredibly versatile, and with the largest equine registry in the entire world. They got their name from being fastest in quarter mile races.

Paints. This is not just a breed based on color, but also a stocky build. You can have a Quarter Horse that is also a paint.

Appaloosas are a similar category. Known for their distinctly speckled coat, the Nez Pierce Indians in particular valued them for their strength, speed and intelligence. We’ve personally found them to be incredibly durable, being virtually inexhaustable, and yet sweetly tempered.

Arabians. These horses are not particularly tall, and are pretty lightweight (800-1100 pounds). They have gorgeous confirmation, with arching necks and beautifully carved heads. These graceful creatures are best suited for experienced riders.

Morgans. Every single Morgan goes back to one bay stallion named Figure, a colt bartered to a music teacher named Morgan, who ended up breeding the young stallion and eventually generating this small draft breed. Morgans are the smallest work horse.

There are many breeds of horses in the Asheville and Hendersonville, NC area. This information is meant to help categorize which breed might be best for you and your needs. Once you’ve found the perfect animal for your needs, keep in mind equestrian care. A modular horse barn and its maintenance, adequate feed, tack and veterinary care will be essential to your enjoyment and the horse’s health.

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A Clean Horse Barn for Equestrian Care

Equestrian Care

A Clean Horse Barn for Equestrian Care

Someone once said owning a horse equals happiness. Keeping your barn in good shape is essential to responsible equestrian care. We’ve listed a few tips on horse barn maintenance to help you get the most pleasure out of owning a horse through simple maintenance of your prefabricated barn.

Roof. Grab a ladder and climb onto the roof (be careful!) to repair any storm damage. Clean the gutters, downspouts and drainage pipes.

Walls. Inspect exterior and interior walls. If you’ve got a horse that kicks, you’ll need to take care of damage inside his stall. Not only could he get cut on exposed metal, but holes in the walls can be an entryway for pests.

If your horse barn is metal, consider power washing the exterior to get rid of any mold buildup. You’ll need a water supply nearby, of course.

Take note of any holes at the base of the walls, inside and out, and fill them with gravel. If they were caused by rats or groundhogs, you’ll have to handle that problem as well, because they’ll only dig new ones. If the holes were caused by erosion, you may need to do a little grade work to build berms or cut ditches. Be sure to reseed the disturbed land and fence it off from animals until the grass is sprouted and well-established.

Moving inside the building, all interior walls (and ceilings) need to be swept free of cobwebs and dirt. Wear a bandana or mask to keep from breathing in so much dust.

Doors and Windows. With the freezing and thawing temperatures that come with winter, this fall is the ideal time to inspect all the doors and windows of the barn. Perform any necessary repairs, and give all the hinges a squirt of WD-40 so they won’t get stiff and inoperable over winter.

Floors. Whether you’ve got a cement foundation with rubber mats, or an ordinary dirt floor in the barn, fall is the time to shovel and rake the stalls thoroughly. Add a fresh layer of sawdust or straw, and watch your sweet equine friend’s happy reaction.

These are pretty basic tips on fall barn maintenance. If you don’t really have a place to keep a horse, we can help. Carolina Storage Solutions sells more high-quality, prefabricated barns in the greater Asheville, NC are than anyone else. Give us a call today for more information!

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Hunting in Style: Man Cave Hunting Cabin

Man Cave Hunting Cabin

Hunting in Style with a Man Cave Hunting Cabin

Some guys are lucky enough to have sweethearts who like to go hunting with them, or at least camping. Some, however, just don’t care for the bitter cold, howling winds and how damp everything gets with tent living. Be honest. You can’t really blame them. There’s a better alternative to tent camping: a Man Cave (storage shed) outfitted as a hunting cabin. You can have all the things you need as a hunter, while providing a comfortable retreat for her as well. Think of how much you’ll enjoy sitting beside her, watching clouds and wildlife from the front porch of your private hunting cabin tucked up in a quiet mountain cove! It’s all about making the most of the hunting season, and you have the power to do so at your fingertips.

Basically, a hunting cabin is simply a storage shed or storage barn that’s outfitted for hunting. Getting one isn’t difficult, but you’ll have to consider a few things before you order it.

1. Permits. If you’re ordering a modular unit that comes in multiple pieces, you’ll likely need a permit. The local permitting office can give you more information.

2. The site. Will a “wide load” delivery truck be able to get there? We can’t set up your hunting cabin if it takes 4WD and a team of mules two weeks of pulling to deliver it to the site. Fortunately, most hunting land in our area has good road access, so you’ll probably be fine.

The prepared site needs to be flat. Will you need to remove trees or have a professional do some grade work? You’ll need a thick layer of gravel for the building’s foundation, or a slab of concrete for even more stability.

3. Cranes and trucks. If you are buying a bigger garage, like those with lofts, to turn into a hunting shed, remember the height we’ll need to offload and set up the building. Some trees may need to be trimmed or removed. Make sure the “wide load” delivery truck can get to the site without damaging the building.

The simplicity of preparing for your hunting cabin is part of the beauty of the idea. There simply isn’t a lot to it. Carolina Storage Solutions is here to help with the details. Give us a call today and you’ll be enjoying your Man Cave hunting cabin in no time!

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We Can Deliver Your Hunting Cabin Almost Anywhere

Hunting Cabin

We Can Deliver Your Hunting Cabin Almost Anywhere

The heat of summer is finally past us, which means hunting season is beginning. There’s something about cooking over a campfire, camouflage hunting clothes and safety orange that gets you going. Not to mention the anticipation of a successful hunt. If you’re like most men, though, sleeping on the cold ground in a tent is tolerable at best, and definitely not your favorite part about hunting. What if you could have all the things you love about hunting, but switch out the tent for a hunting cabin? You can, with a storage shed or barn that you outfit for a Man Cave hunting cabin!

It’s the best of both worlds: hunting and rustic indoor living. If you’ve got halfway decent road access (the delivery truck has to be able to get there and offload the shed to your prepared site) then you can have a great hunting cabin to use this season. It’s that simple.

You’ll have friends who will want to use your hunting cabin. Get them to help you prepare for delivery. You’ll need a flat foundation, with a good, thick gravel base. Some guys make it more permanent with a cement base, but that isn’t always feasible. When the building comes, it’ll be on a flatbed delivery truck, so you might need to cut a few low lying tree limbs.

Most hunters choose sheds with covered porches because they offer a place to shuck off muddy boots, clean equipment, or simply sit under shelter while stew simmers over the fire. Inside the hunting shed, extra folding cots and hunting blinds can be stored in the lofts overhead. The countertop and cabinetry will house food and bottled water. You’ll still need an outhouse, though.

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that mean the most. A long weekend away from the routine. Time spent out in the woods hunting, and then camping at night. The soft sounds of nature at night without the intrusive noise of civilization. No television, dishwasher or washing machine running. Just peaceful quiet.

If a better way to hunt sounds exactly like what you want, check out Carolina Storage Solutions online. Pick the storage shed you want, based on your hunting needs and the amenities you need, and give them a call to discuss details about having it delivered. This will be something you’ll enjoy for many years. Call today!

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Man Cave is a Great Place for a Football Party

man cave storage shed

Super Bowl party in your Man Cave

It’s football season again! Your friends want to chill out at your Man Cave every weekend for college and pro football games. Can you imagine how cool it’ll be? All your friends hanging around, lots of different chips, and everyone enjoying the pregame show. Look around. This little building might’ve once been your run-of-the-mill storage shed, but no more. Ever since your sweetie pie turned it into a Man Cave, you’ve got Game Day Central! Excitement fills the air as your buddies yell back at the TV and talk smack about the players and teams. You know it’s going to be another great day at the Man Cave.

But what should you do to get ready for the game?

Being the uber-macho man that you are, you’ve got priorities. It’s all about the grill. Drag that beast over to the Man Cave and have the gas tank refilled. You’re gonna need plenty of cooking power for burgers, onions-n-sausages, wings and jalapeño poppers. Get the grilling tools ready. This is gonna be awesome!

Next item on the list? The beverages, of course. You’ll definitely need ice. Get your biggest camping cooler prepped. Oh, and solo cups.

Your significant other will take over decorating for the party. Chances are she’ll want to frame that signed jersey, your pride and joy that bears the team’s colors. It’ll look great! Ask her to pick up one of those glass heads at the craft store to display the helmet, too.

Manly Tip #1: When she comes in with colored garland for the game, use small screw-in hooks to hang it. Come Christmastime, when she drags out twinkle lights, you’re ready to go.

It won’t be long before all your friends start arriving for the party. Once they’re there, everything will automatically fall into place. Are they hungry? There’s meat on the grill. Thirsty? Grab a cold one from the cooler. Tired after working all day? There’s a folding chair with their name on it.

Manly Tip #2: Tell your friends BYOC. Bring your own chair. This works for meat and drinks as well.

There just isn’t that much to worry about when hosting a football party at your Man Cave. Heck, even if you don’t have a storage shed to turn into a Man Cave you can make it happen anyway. It’s easy. Order one from Carolina Storage Solutions now, and it’ll be delivered to your prepared site just in time.

Manly Tip #3: Invite your friend, the electrician, to the first party so he can have it hooked up in time. Boom!

Football party at the Man Cave? Brang it! We’ve got you covered. Give us a call today!

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Enjoying the Fall Leaves from My She Shed

She Shed

Enjoying the Fall Leaves from My She Shed

There’s nothing like taking a little time to enjoy the beauty of fall. Some people might find this season depressing, because it shouts winter’s imminence. But not me. I love every season and the positive things they all represent. For me, fall is a season of cooling temps after summer’s sweltering heat, as well as a season of beauty. Perhaps Albert Camus said it best. “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

When we moved to this house, we inherited the ugliest, most dilapidated storage shed in the history of mankind. That thing was nothing but a rust bucket with walls held together by not much more than wishful thinking. The cheap sliding doors had given up years ago, and the roof was basically a sieve. It had to go. There wasn’t one positive thing about the shed, except a good, level foundation.

I’d read about She Sheds and had seen a few in magazines, and at a couple of girlfriends’ houses. They were pretty cool. I imagined having my own private retreat outside the house, a place where I could work on my crafts or have girls night, or even an affordable alternative to the usual dinner-n-movie date night with my husband. The idea simmered on a back burner for a couple years, until we moved and I decided the eyesore in the back yard had to go.

My husband is a busy man. It’s not that he didn’t want to build me a new shed. He simply had no time. So I hosted a “Death to the Shed” girls day. With power screwdrivers, leather work gloves for all and a couple of ladders, we had it and the warped plywood floor dismantled and safely stacked in the back of a friend’s truck in no time.

All I really had to do then was pick out a replacement shed. I chose a style and colors to match the house, as well as a few upgrades like window and door styles that appealed to me. After the shed arrived and upfitted with electricity and cable, I made it homey with furniture and decorations.

Now I’m having coffee, enjoying the beautiful fall colors and crisp weather from my wonderful She Shed. You, too can do the same. Carolina Storage Solutions has delivered more storage sheds than anyone in the Asheville/Hendersonville, NC area. Call them today!

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