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Digital Subscriptions > Horse Illustrated > September 2019 > CONSTRUCTIVE ADVICE


It was a dream come true for author Heidi Nyland Melocco to finallly see her horse Q enjoy his first moment in the newly finished paddock on her property.

My horses now live in my 2-acre backyard, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. As I write, I can see my daughter’s white pony visiting his friends at the property line. My office window opens to the back of the house where I can see the barn, pastures and arena.

But I haven’t always had my horses at home. Just a few years ago, my husband, Jared, and I moved out of the suburbs to a home with enough land for horses. The previous owners had one gigantic back yard but never had horses. That meant we had land that was a blank slate for us to design the horse property we wanted.

We knew that my horse would move home from his boarding facility (and once he got here, he’d of course need a buddy). But first, we needed to plan for a barn, paddock, pastures and arena.

Here’s the story of how we planned for two horses to live at home on our small-acreage property. While every property is different and you’ll have your own unique vision for you and your horses, I hope my planning and building process can serve as a useful guide. I’ll help you avoid mistakes and provide ideas for a place that you and your horses will love to be.

The start of construction as viewed from the main house; only the poles are in place at the site where the barn will be.
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Horse Illustrated September 2019,