How much space does a horse need? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 26 Old 05-20-2013, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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How much space does a horse need?

How big should a turnout for one horse be? There is no grass, just a place for a horse to stretch it's legs and run around comfortably. What about four horses at once?

I heard the general rule is one acre per horse, but that is assuming the horse is pasture fed. I'm assuming it Is different with a large weatherproof hay bale laying in the desert pasture.
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post #2 of 26 Old 05-20-2013, 05:25 PM
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I have heard 100' X 100' is a decent size dry lot for one horse -- enough to allow them to stretch their legs and move around. I wouldn't think that you have to double or triple it with the addition of each horse, but you might consider adding another 20' per extra horse... or something like that.
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post #3 of 26 Old 05-20-2013, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eolith View Post
I have heard 100' X 100' is a decent size dry lot for one horse -- enough to allow them to stretch their legs and move around. I wouldn't think that you have to double or triple it with the addition of each horse, but you might consider adding another 20' per extra horse... or something like that.
That sounds way more reasonable.
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post #4 of 26 Old 05-20-2013, 05:56 PM
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I've got 3 horses living in a corral that is about 80 feet in diameter, although it isn't a perfect circle. They all seem healthy. The County building code here requires 400 sq feet per horse.

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post #5 of 26 Old 05-20-2013, 06:05 PM
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We can leave 4 mares in our 100'x200' ring comfortably, but I wouldn't call it "turn out".
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post #6 of 26 Old 05-20-2013, 06:40 PM
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With plenty of exercise and enrichment, you can keep them in a smaller area. If the horses begin acting aggressive or pushy towards one another you might want to add more space.
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post #7 of 26 Old 05-21-2013, 06:57 AM
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Yeah, agree with the above, esp honeysugar & PaintHorse. It depends. To a certain degree it's like saying a certain dog 'needs a big yard' when regardless of size, if it's not a motivating environment it doesn't matter. Horses need exercise but are largely lazy beasts when there's no reason to move, (generally) are far better in company, so I'd opt for keeping 2-3 horses in a yard/paddock of whatever size. If it's very limited, so long as they have adequate room to get away from one another they tend to get on. But in a small pen they will need a fair bit more exercise from you. They are made for open spaces, lots of movement & herd environment & I do think this is best, but whatever we may be stuck with, keeping that in mind & working for the most natural lifestyle we can will help.
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post #8 of 26 Old 05-21-2013, 07:46 AM
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You have to check with your local government. Many places have minimum per horse requirements.
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post #9 of 26 Old 05-21-2013, 08:10 AM
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Where I live the law in my town is 2 acres for one horse and 1 additional acre for every other horse. So if you have 2 horses you need 3 acres, etc..
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post #10 of 26 Old 05-21-2013, 08:23 AM
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You do need to check on zoning rules for your area first
Depending on how much daily exercise & attention/stimulation the horse gets you can keep a horse in a stable 24/7 and it will be fine - its how many racehorses, competition horses, working horses etc live but they aren't in that small space all the time and if you can't give them the work then their muscles will weaken and circulation not be so good - plus their mental attitude can change and bad habits being like food aggression,weaving, chewing and cribbing develop
If you're going to put a lot of horses into one small area they have to get on really well with each other as no room to avoid conflicts
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