How To: Give your farm a facelift

Your farm doesn’t have to be fancy to look like a million bucks. Lila Gendal shares a few tips for sprucing things up on the cheap.

From Lila:

Everyone who has ever owned, managed or worked at a farm knows that it requires a tremendous amount of upkeep and the work never ends.

Between daily horse chores, riding and land management, how can we run these farms AND keep them looking beautiful–are there enough hours in one day? Here are some tips to consider when looking to make improvements on your farm:

  • 1)      Keep it neat!

You don’t have to have a million dollars or own a million-dollar horse facility in order to keep things looking great! Sweeping, cob-webbing, raking the front entrances and having places to store things like grain, hay, blankets, shavings, tools, wheelbarrows, etc. can go a long way. Sometime the nicest farms are the ones that have minimal clutter and look neat. A farm looks best when kept orderly and neat–and it costs nothing, or practically nothing, to keep a farm tidy!

THF main barn

  • 2)      Mowing and weed-whacking!

It literally amazes me how a farm can look deserted when the grass starts really growing and the weeds are out of control. It’s also amazing how a farm can go from a looking like a “3” to a “10” just from having the lawn mowed and the fields hayed! It’s great if you have people helping you, whether it’s your family or hired help. The more hands the better!

thf summer

  • 3)      Fix fence boards.

As beautiful as a farm might seem, broken fence boards can really detract from the overall look. Of course it is not always easy nor cheap to fix or replace fencing. Some people choose wire, some wood, some metal, some temporary. No matter what materials are used, keeping your fences maintained really goes a long way!

THF fall

  • 4)      Landscape!

This really boils down to preference. I am pretty spoiled because I basically live on Tamarack Hill Farm (owned by Denny and May Emerson) and this farm is gorgeous. Denny has put little stonewalls everywhere–around gardens, by the pond and around the main barn. These little touches really make the place look extra special in my opinion. There isn’t anything particularly glamorous about this farm, but the landscaping and the daily upkeep makes it stand out! Flowers and gardens can really spruce up a farm, too.

summer hacking at THF

Owning or working on a horse farm is no easy task. There’s always so much to be done and it always seems like there’s not enough time to do the things you need to do.

Whether you live on a tiny farm with one or two horses or you manage a huge facility, keeping any farm looking good requires time and dedication but will make you feel accomplished at the end of the day. Sometimes if you just keep puttering along and do a little bit of fixing up or tidying every single day, the days will start to add up and before you know it you will have a breathtaking farm to explore and enjoy!


About the Author

My name is Lila Gendal and I am 27 years old. I am from Vermont and have been riding horses since I was 6 years old. I have been eventing since I was 10. I have been riding and training with Denny Emerson for the last 7 years. My goal is to compete at the upper levels someday. I currently have a 2005 Holsteiner mare, “Valonia” (Contester X Parlona), who is currently going training level, and I am riding one of Denny Emerson’s horses, a 2005 Selle Luxemburg gelding, “Beaulieu’s Cool Skybreaker” (Beaulieu’s Coolman X Une Beaute by Heartbreaker) who will be moving up to training soon! When I am not on a horse or in the barn I am likely working in my office on what I like to call Equine Media… or social media for equestrians and equestrian websites.


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