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12 Tips for Keeping Horses on a Farm or Off-Grid Property

Planning on adding horses to your farm or off grid homestead? Think again. It might be a lot harder than you think. Here's a list of things you will need to consider.

See Also: Off Grid Horses: Riding Lessons and Other Issues.

Assess Land and Facilities

Before bringing horses onto your property, assess the land and facilities to ensure they can accommodate the needs of horses. Check for suitable pasture areas, access to fresh water sources, safe fencing, and adequate shelter options such as a barn or run-in shed.

Provide Ample Pasture Space

Horses require ample pasture space to graze and exercise. Aim for at least 1-2 acres of pasture per horse, depending on the type of forage available and the horse's needs. Rotate pastures regularly to prevent overgrazing and promote healthy vegetation growth.

Secure Safe and Sturdy Fencing

Install secure and sturdy fencing around the pasture area to keep horses contained and safe. Choose fencing materials appropriate for horses, such as wooden board, high-tensile wire, or electric tape, and regularly inspect and maintain the fencing for any damages or weak spots.

Ensure Clean and Fresh Water

Horses require access to clean and fresh water at all times. Install automatic waterers or provide large troughs that can hold an adequate amount of water for the number of horses on the property. Regularly clean and monitor water sources to ensure they are free from contamination.

Construct Adequate Shelter

Provide suitable shelter for horses to seek protection from extreme weather conditions such as rain, wind, or intense heat. Options include a well-ventilated barn, run-in shed, or a combination of natural and artificial shelters. Ensure the shelter is structurally sound and offers enough space for all horses.

Develop a Feeding Program

Create a feeding program that meets the nutritional needs of your horses. Consult with an equine nutritionist or veterinarian to develop a balanced diet based on hay, pasture grazing, and appropriate grain or concentrate feeds. Feed horses at regular intervals and monitor their body condition to adjust the diet as needed.

Maintain Regular Veterinary Care

Schedule regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations for your horses. Establish a relationship with a local equine veterinarian who can provide routine care, administer vaccinations, and address any health concerns promptly. Stay updated on deworming protocols specific to your region.

Practice Regular Hoof Care

Establish a routine for regular hoof care, including trimming or shoeing. Schedule visits from a skilled farrier who can maintain proper hoof health, address any hoof-related issues, and provide guidance on hoof maintenance between visits.

Implement Pest Control Measures

Develop a pest control plan to minimize the impact of flies, mosquitoes, and other pests on your horses. Implement strategies such as fly masks, fly sheets, fans, and insect-repellent sprays to keep horses comfortable and protected from pests.

Provide Enrichment and Exercise

Horses need mental stimulation and regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Incorporate enrichment activities such as toys, treat balls, or varied grazing areas to keep horses engaged. Set aside dedicated time for regular exercise, whether through riding, lunging, or turnout in a safe and adequately sized paddock.

Practice Good Manure Management

Develop a manure management system to prevent the accumulation of waste and maintain a clean and healthy environment. Regularly remove manure from the pasture and implement composting or proper disposal methods to minimize environmental impact.

Continual Learning and Education

Stay informed and continuously educate yourself about horse care, health, and management practices. Attend workshops, seminars, and clinics, and connect with local horse communities to exchange knowledge and experiences. Stay updated on the latest research and advancements in equine care.


Keeping horses on a farm or off-grid property is a rewarding endeavor, but it requires careful planning, commitment, and ongoing maintenance.

12 Tips for Camping: New Skills and Gear

Summer is almost here and it is June already, which means a lot of people are going to be out there camping in Ontario.

Here are some tips, new skills and gear that even experienced campers might find helpful:

  1. Ultralight Backpacking: Invest in lightweight and compact camping gear to reduce the weight of your backpack. Look for ultralight tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment to make your trek more comfortable.

  2. Navigation Skills: Improve your navigation skills beyond relying on GPS devices. Learn to use a map and compass to navigate through unfamiliar terrain. Familiarize yourself with basic orienteering techniques, such as reading topographic maps and using landmarks.

  3. Leave No Trace: Embrace the principles of Leave No Trace (LNT) to minimize your impact on the environment. Practice responsible camping by packing out all your trash, disposing of waste properly, and leaving the campsite as pristine as you found it.

  4. Advanced Fire Building: Go beyond basic fire-building skills by learning advanced techniques. Explore methods like the Swedish Fire Torch or Dakota Fire Hole, which maximize fuel efficiency and heat output while minimizing environmental impact.

  5. Backcountry Cooking: Master the art of backcountry cooking by experimenting with dehydrated meals, one-pot recipes, and campfire cooking techniques. Learn to prepare gourmet meals with minimal equipment and ingredients, making your camping experience more enjoyable.

  6. Wilderness First Aid: Enroll in a wilderness first aid course to enhance your emergency response skills. Learn how to assess injuries, treat common outdoor ailments, and administer basic first aid in remote locations.

  7. Weather Forecasting: Develop the ability to interpret weather patterns and forecasts. Study cloud formations, wind direction, and other natural indicators to anticipate changing weather conditions. This knowledge can help you make informed decisions about safety and itinerary changes.

  8. Knot Tying: Expand your repertoire of knots beyond the basic ones. Learn advanced knots like the taut-line hitch, trucker's hitch, and bowline on a bight. These knots can be invaluable for securing tarps, setting up complex shelters, or creating improvised equipment.

  9. Improvised Shelter Building: Practice building emergency shelters using natural materials. Learn how to construct different types of shelters, such as lean-tos, debris huts, or snow caves, to protect yourself in unexpected situations.

  10. Advanced Water Filtration: Upgrade your water filtration system to handle diverse water sources. Invest in a reliable water filter or purifier that can remove viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. This allows you to safely drink from streams, lakes, or other untreated water sources.

  11. Stealth Camping: Explore the world of stealth camping, which involves discreetly camping in non-designated areas. Learn how to find hidden spots, minimize your impact, and maintain a low profile to enjoy a unique camping experience.

  12. Primitive Skills: Delve into primitive skills such as fire making without matches, foraging for edible plants, or carving your own tools. Expanding your knowledge of traditional survival techniques can add depth to your camping adventures.

Remember, these tips are for experienced campers who are seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge. Always prioritize safety and responsible outdoor practices while enjoying your advanced camping experiences.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Sight in a Crossbow Scope

You can't really just give your crossbow to someone else and ask them to sight it in for you. It is an ongoing process so you really need to learn how to do it yourself so that you can continue the process. Thus it is really something you have to learn to do yourself.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to sight in a scope for a crossbow:

Step 1: Gather the necessary equipment

  • Crossbow
  • Scope
  • Crossbow bolts
  • Target
  • Allen wrenches, imperial (if required for adjusting the scope)

Step 2: Prepare the shooting range

  • Find a safe and suitable location for shooting your crossbow.
  • Set up a target at a reasonable distance. Start with a distance of around 20 yards (18 meters) for initial sighting in.

Step 3: Mount the scope

  • Attach the scope to the crossbow using the mounting hardware provided with the scope.
  • Ensure the scope is securely mounted and aligned with the rail of the crossbow.

Step 4: Rough sighting in

  • Take a few shots at the target without making any adjustments to get a sense of where the bolts are hitting.
  • Observe the impact point on the target.

Step 5: Adjust elevation

  • If the bolts are hitting consistently above the target, use the elevation adjustment knob on the scope to move the reticle downwards.
  • If the bolts are hitting consistently below the target, adjust the elevation knob to move the reticle upwards.
  • Make small adjustments at a time, test firing after each adjustment to gauge the changes.

Step 6: Adjust windage

  • If the bolts are hitting consistently to the left of the target, use the windage adjustment knob on the scope to move the reticle to the right.
  • If the bolts are hitting consistently to the right of the target, adjust the windage knob to move the reticle to the left.
  • Again, make small adjustments and test fire after each adjustment.

Step 7: Fine-tune adjustments

  • Continue making small adjustments to both elevation and windage until the bolts consistently hit the desired point of impact.
  • Keep track of the adjustments you make to keep a record of your sight-in process.

Step 8: Confirm and fine-tune at different distances

  • Once you have achieved satisfactory results at 20 yards, move the target to a longer distance, such as 30 or 40 yards (27 or 36 meters).
  • Repeat the sighting-in process, adjusting the scope as necessary for the new distance.
  • Test fire and make any additional adjustments until you are consistently hitting the target at the desired point of impact.

Step 9: Practice and validate

  • After the initial sighting-in, continue practicing with your crossbow regularly to confirm the accuracy and consistency of your scope.
  • Make further adjustments as needed, considering factors such as different bolt weights or changing environmental conditions.

Remember, it's essential to follow all safety precautions when handling and shooting a crossbow. Always be aware of your surroundings and ensure you have a safe backstop for your target.


12 Tips for Buying Real Estate in Northern Ontario

If you're considering buying real estate in Northern Ontario, here are some tips to help you make informed decisions:

  1. Research the Area: Conduct thorough research on the specific region in Northern Ontario where you're interested in purchasing property. Consider factors like the local economy, job market, amenities, recreational opportunities, and infrastructure development plans. This will give you a better understanding of the area's potential for growth and investment.

  2. Engage Local Experts: Work with a local real estate agent or broker who has in-depth knowledge of the Northern Ontario market. They can provide valuable insights, guide you through the buying process, and help you find properties that meet your criteria.

  3. Visit in Person: Whenever possible, visit the area in person before making a purchase. This allows you to experience the environment, explore the neighborhoods, and get a feel for the local community. It's important to ensure that the location aligns with your lifestyle preferences and needs.

  4. Consider Seasonal Factors: Take into account the seasonal changes and their impact on the property. Northern Ontario experiences harsh winters with heavy snowfall, so consider factors like accessibility, heating systems, and maintenance requirements during the colder months.

  5. Accessibility and Infrastructure: Assess the accessibility of the property in terms of roads, airports, and public transportation. Additionally, consider the availability of essential infrastructure such as healthcare facilities, schools, shopping centers, and recreational amenities in the vicinity.

  6. Land Use Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the local zoning and land use regulations. This will help you understand any restrictions or limitations on the type of property you can purchase, as well as any potential development plans or restrictions that may affect your investment.

  7. Property Inspections: Always conduct a thorough inspection of the property before making an offer. Hire a qualified home inspector to assess the condition of the house, including its structural integrity, plumbing, electrical systems, and any other potential issues. Inspections are crucial in ensuring you are aware of any hidden problems or maintenance requirements.

  8. Water and Septic Systems: If the property relies on well water and a septic system, ensure they are in good working order. Consider hiring specialists to inspect and evaluate the water quality and the septic system's condition to avoid costly surprises down the line.

  9. Financial Considerations: Evaluate your budget and financing options carefully. Determine how much you can afford and explore mortgage options specific to the Northern Ontario market. Consider additional costs such as property taxes, insurance, and ongoing maintenance expenses.

  10. Community Engagement: Get involved in the local community to better understand its dynamics and build connections. Attend community events, join local organizations, and engage with residents to gain insights and make the transition smoother.

  11. Future Development: Investigate any potential future development plans in the area that might impact property values or your quality of life. This could include infrastructure projects, industrial developments, or changes to zoning regulations.

  12. Legal Assistance: Consider hiring a real estate lawyer who specializes in Northern Ontario property transactions. They can review contracts, ensure proper documentation, and guide you through legal procedures, ensuring a smooth and secure transaction.

Remember, buying real estate is a significant investment, so take your time, do thorough research, and seek professional guidance to make informed decisions in the Northern Ontario market.

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