You don't say which region of the country you're in, or even what country, and that influences the decison and the advice you'll receive.
I'm in the SE US, and in order to keep horses on such a small acreage, along with building a house, keep the following in mind:
- you don't have enough land for a paddock and a ring; you'll have to choose one or the other. Consider where you're going to ride; if you don't already have a van or truck and trailer, you'll need one.
- you will be feeding hay, 2/3 a bale per horse per day, year round, no exception, as you'll have no forage.
- you will have to turn your horses out for very limited periods, no more than 8 hrs. per day, to keep from turning it in to "mud farm." This translates to considerable bedding expense.
- even with limited turnout, you will have to pick or sweep the paddock for manure on a very regular basis.
- you will need to either compost the manure or pay to have it hauled away.
- if the area your lot is in does not have public sewer, you will need to plan on a septic tank and drain field. The area needed for your drain field needs to be separate from/subtracted from the area for house, barn and paddock.
- you will need very, very good fencing. Horses on larger acreage with good forage can get by with less rigorous fencing; horses on smaller acreage have a greater tendency to get bored/hungry and are more likely to challenge fence.
- you will most likely need to purchase a small tractor for mowing, dragging the paddock, hauling the manure, etc.
I am very, very sympathetic to the desire to have horses at home, under your own care. However, I do want to caution you, keeping horses on two acres might be considerably more expensive than boarding them on 80.
Last edited by maura; 06-23-2011 at 07:31 AM.