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horses at pastureHorseSense is very fortunate to have found a home here at beautiful Hy-View Farm. The boundless generosity of the Kiker family -- and a lot of hard work! -- keeps us moving slowly and carefully towards the finished farm we envision here. We're still developing the horsey side of Hy-View Farm, taking our time to set up the barn and manage our pastures in a way that makes the best use of the property.

Currently we're making the riding school our primary business here; click here to read about boarding options.

Here's what we've accomplished so far:



THE ARENA

arenaOur star attraction and the cornerstone of our business is a meticulously-designed 200 x 100' arena with state-of-the-art footing. Paul Jr supervised the arena construction -- "If we're going to do it, we're going to do it right!" -- with the expertise of consultant Jack Pollard from FutureTrack Footing. The result is a combination of wool carpet fiber and a proprietary river sand mixture that is soft and resilient underfoot, perfect for jumping on aging pony legs! Our arena also drains beautifully, making it usable in all but the heaviest downpours.

viewing terracesAdjacent to the arena -- and next to the farmhouse -- is a terraced viewing area with lots of room to set up chairs and canopies during shows and other events. At the top of the terraces is a picnic table under a large pine tree, the prime location for parents watching lessons, students cleaning tack, crafts and horsekeeping lessons during camp, and socializing during our epic barn parties.

On the opposite side of the arena is a large, flat expanse that will eventually contain a judge's stand; currently we use this space as a holding area for coaches and competitors during shows, and as a sunny additional viewing area for parents during lessons.



PARKING PLACES

parking lot behind the arenaAmple parking for our lesson students and camp shows is conveniently located between the arena and the barn. During large events -- like our two schooling shows -- we create an additional parking lot in the paddock on the north side of the farmhouse, leaving the graveled lot by the barn for horse trailers.

Temporary parking, for dropping off students and other quick visits, is available in front of the farmhouse ... but for all other parking, please use the big lot behind the arena.



THE BARN (PHASE II)Barn

Autumn of 2015 saw the completion of our new barn ... and makes us wonder how we ever functioned without it. (Thank you, Paul and Hollie!)

The design process included a few key elements: good airflow with Texas-style run-in sheds and stalls; a wide center aisle so that we can safely tack up at least six school horses at once; lots of natural light so the barn is comfortable for both horses and humans; ample storage space for the tack and equipment that goes with 12 horses; and reliable frost-free automatic waterers to keep horses hydrated on 20ยบ winter nights (with NO electricity required).

run-in shedsThis new structure is open and airy, with skylight panels in the high rooftop that let in plenty of sunlight.

 The 16-ft center aisle has multiple tie rings for tacking up -- very handy for camps, clinics, and barn parties!

On the east side of the barn is one big run-in shed, open to the barn aisle so we stay in close contact with the horses, and the horses can stay in close contact with their feed/treat supply.

On the western side of the barn, flanking the tack/feed room, is a smaller run-in shed and two run-in stalls. As required, the stalls can accomodate old ponies who need special feeding, horses on stall rest due to injury, or new arrivals being quarantined. Otherwise, our horses kept at pasture, which we all prefer.

feed/tack roomThe old tack/feedroom has been expanded to include tack lockers for owners' horses, a bathroom and utility sink, and a new addition just for riding school tack.

We currently have two outdoor wash racks, with plans to add a future hot-water wash rack inside the barn when we pave the barn aisle.



THE FARMHOUSE

farmhouseThe farmhouse is still an ongoing project. We're slowly updating interior finishes and exterior landscaping to reflect this old house's busy new lifestyle.

The house is where you'll find the educational and business centers of our riding school, including:

The Office: The place to drop off lesson payments; pick up newsletters; buy study guides and other Cool Stuff; check bulletin boards for upcoming events; meet for the introductory briefing that starts every camp or clinic; have an umounted horsekeeping lesson, or just hang out with horsey friends.

If she's not at the barn or in the arena, this is where you'll find Nikki. (However, do please remember that the farm -- and the office -- is closed on MONDAYS so the poor woman can rest occasionally.)

 The Bunkroom: We've ALWAYS had kids sleeping overnight with us for camps.  In the early days it was those fun-but-LOUD groups squeezed together like puppies on Dana's living room floor. Then it was equally fun and equally loud gatherings at the Fowler Farm bunk/treehouse. So we're happy to have a farmhouse bunkroom available here for sleepovers during camps and clinics.

The Library: We're also excited to have a room that serves as our HorseSense library: the place where students can browse through our extensive lending library of books, videos and horsey educational games. It takes a lot of STUFF to teach people about horses. It's nice to have a place to store it!

The Restroom: The farmhouse restroom is available for students during lessons, camps, and events; we also have a bathroom in the barn tack room.



THE PASTURES

we got lots of grass!This farmland was originally an apple orchard many moons ago, and it was home to grazing cattle for many moons after that. The soil here is rich and the mix of orchardgrass and fescue is LUSH! After years of managing too many horses on too little ground, we've found ourselves with the opposite problem: too much rich grass that must be managed carefully if the ponies are to have any working feet! NOTE: The unprecedented drought of 2016 may have taken care of this problem -- time will tell!

We've cautiously expanded their grazing with frost-free automatic waterers shared between paddocks of HorseGuard electric fencing (love this stuff!), a sturdy new hillside double run-in shed, and eventually will have the full 20-some acres of pasture in use on a rotational basis. This is tricky business with steep hillsides. But it allows us to maintain our horses on very little grain, with lots of room for them to wander around and exercise themselves as nature intended, with constant grazing.

grazing muzzles are a fashion statementYou will likely see most of our herd wearing grazing muzzles throughout the growing season to protect them from laminitis (equine foot disease caused by rich grass). They'd prefer not to wear them, of course, but seem to have adapted pretty well to the idea that grazing muzzles are required equipment around here. You'll also see them sporting mesh flymasks  during the warm months when flies are our uninvited guests.(That's Stormy styling her colorful flymask in the photo.)



CHICKENS AND COWS ARE OUR NEIGHBORS

chicken side of thingsThe chicken side of this farm has been much less noticeable than we expected, thanks in part to prevailing winds but mostly due to Paul's immaculate farming standards. Still, be prepared for the occasional pungent whiff that reminds us of this farm's main crop. (It helps to remember a common North Georgia saying, "Smells like money!")



Cow #61 on her daily strollWe don't share the farm with cows right now, but there's talk of running both cows and goats around the chicken houses in the future, which should make this farm a very productive place.