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Ideal size acreage?

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  • What size barn would work for one acre

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    11-08-2012, 11:57 PM
Around here, with clay-y soil but optimal weather conditions for growing grass, you need a VERY minimum of 3 acres per horse for grazing 24/7 all but 9 months of the year- other three months only a half day of grazing. That's with very careful management of fertilizing, rotating, and weed spraying.

Now.. are you thinking that one acre per horse will sustain a half day of grazing daily? I would re-think that, either get a bigger property or just have an acre dry-lot and a few small little grazing areas for a couple hours of grazing every day or two.
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    11-09-2012, 12:24 AM
I'm thinking the 5 acre lots are going to be what's affordable for us. Self-sustaining grazing would be nice, but isn't a must. I would be fine with a dry lot and feeding hay or doing something split where I can turn the horses out onto pasture every now and then. 10 horses on our property is an absolute maximum in my wildest dreams, but I think I could reasonably expect to have 5 at most. For now, there are only two and maybe a third one.
    11-09-2012, 12:25 AM
Oh, and and this property will be located in Oregon just south of the Tri-Cities area :) Just in case anyone was concerned about climate.
    11-09-2012, 12:36 AM
I'm right there with everyone that says more acreage. I've got 80 and I don't have enough.

With what you want on 5 acres:
The house is 1/2 acre
Yard 1/4 acre
Arena 100x200 1/2 acre
60' RP 1/4 acre
4 12x24 runs 1/4 acre (too small plus you'll want a drylot pen as well)
60x20 barn 1/4 acre
Leach field 1/4 acre (can't use it)
100' driveway to house and barns 10' wide 1/4 acre

You're already at 2 1/2 acres dedicated to the structures. That leaves you with 2 1 acre pastures. Your horses will also be right on you. You want a buffer between the house and the barn. You will have uncontrollable dust in the house otherwise. What about the neighbors? What if their horses are right outside your bedroom window? I wouldn't look at anything under 10 acres for 4 horses, 20 is better. It is true that less acres is a lot more work.
    11-09-2012, 02:22 AM
These are the lots we're looking at. This is really what our budget would allow. I did these to scale as best as possible :) All 5 are available for similar prices - I haven't really figured out something I like on the one to the far right.

As for more acreage, we don't have a lot of options, so I think I'm going to do what I can to make this work. Honestly, having more than 3 horses is wishful thinking, especially since it sounds like that's all this will support. Maybe 5 - which I realize would be more work, but this is what we can afford and I'll just have to limit the number of horses and livestock I have. My family successfully had this many horses on less than half this acreage, so I think that would be ok as long as I do due diligence managing it and feeding hay.
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    11-09-2012, 08:20 AM
If 5 acres is what you can do, then it's what you can do, so make the most of it. I would fence and cross fence on the 4 acres you have free, that way they can't run amok and destroy the whole thing all in 1 day (BTDT). When I lived in So. CA I had 1.5 acres and 6 horses on it. Of course, we were in the desert and there was no grass anyhow, so turn out was in my 150 X 300 arena. I had everyone in 24 X 24 corrals with shelters and they did fine. Obviously, I went through hay by the truckload but I made it work.

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