Keeping a horse on small acerage - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 02-28-2013, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Keeping a horse on small acerage

Hi we have about 3/4 of an acre fenced in and I was wondering if that would be good enough for my horse to graze in the daytime and at night be shut into his stall with hay to eat.
Would 3/4 of an acre be enough if I keep him in his stall at night?
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post #2 of 31 Old 02-28-2013, 10:56 AM
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What are your zoning laws concerning livestock?

If you CAN keep a horse on that small of an acreage, the grass will be gone within a month, even if you only let him graze 12 hours out of the day.
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post #3 of 31 Old 02-28-2013, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
What are your zoning laws concerning livestock?

If you CAN keep a horse on that small of an acreage, the grass will be gone within a month, even if you only let him graze 12 hours out of the day.
We have the option of fencing in more but I don't know when we can get around to it.
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post #4 of 31 Old 02-28-2013, 11:32 AM
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Check your local zoning first, of course.

Then check out Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage from the library or buy a copy from Amazon, it will answer most of your questions.

My general rule of thumb is that the smaller the acreage, the more labor intensive and more expensive it will be to keep horses on it. Keeping a horse in a 3/4 acre paddock may actually be more expensive that boarding at a place that has decent grass.

You will have to pick that paddock every day, as well as muck the stall, and you'll have to have a plan for disposing of the manure. You'll also need a place to store hay, bedding and feed.

And think about where you're going to ride - is there room for a ring or a round pen in that set up? What's the drainage like? After the grass is gone, will the footing allow to ride, or will it turn into a mud bog?
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post #5 of 31 Old 02-28-2013, 11:59 AM
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I second the Cherry Hill book it's very good despite it thinking that 5 acres is a small property. I also recommend checking out the publications by my local Conservation District. They have several good publications on mud, manure and pasture management for VERY small properties:

King Conservation District Publications
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post #6 of 31 Old 02-28-2013, 12:14 PM
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My horse in on about that much land now and is doing great! It definitely is a lot more labor intensive and expensive but still cheaper than boarding for me. They're right, the grass wont last long. There is zero grass in my mares field now so I give her hay sporadically throught the day and make sure she has a salt lick. I also get her out and about a lot though so she doesnt get bored in one place. Good luck, hope it works out! :)

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post #7 of 31 Old 02-28-2013, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Would one acre be enough for one horse for grazing? We have rich soil but summer here can get dry.
We have a HUGE yard but 50% is covered by trees and buildings. We have the option of fencing the back of our yard (about 2 more acres) but that's far to go and feed my horse every day because its in the very back. We don't have any laws for keeping animals(except elephants and lions and tigers....) as far as I know, because almost everyone here has a few beef cattle or a few horses.

Last edited by horsecrazygirl13; 02-28-2013 at 06:41 PM.
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post #8 of 31 Old 02-28-2013, 06:37 PM
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Define grazing. Do you mean for daily excersize and supplemental fiber or do you mean grazing as the primary feed source.

Yes to the former, no to the later.
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post #9 of 31 Old 02-28-2013, 06:48 PM
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If you always have hay available for them, you'll be fine. When the grass is short they go eat hay instead. If they don't have hay, they'll continue to eat the grass to the dirt and wind up killing it leaving you with just dirt/mud.
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post #10 of 31 Old 02-28-2013, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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I want to use the pasture for grazing enitrely so I guess I'll have to fence in more. How much pasture land does a horse need exactly, to live off the land? And is it ok if I have electrobraid fencing on one acre?
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