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How much space does a horse need?

This is a discussion on How much space does a horse need? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        05-21-2013, 11:40 AM
      #11
    Green Broke
    Our paddocks are roughly 60x60, give or take on a few. 2-3 go in each and we always make sure they get along swimmingly because there is no room for really escaping. When they are fed we spread the hay and always leave one more pile then there is horses.
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        05-21-2013, 03:14 PM
      #12
    Yearling
    Our guys are in a few different size paddocks on 2.25 acres. The biggest is probably about an acre, with a group of three and a group of two rotated on it. Then we have a 48'x72' pen/riding area that has anywhere from 2-6 minis in it. Another small pen that is maybe 15'x72', usually has 2 minis but occasionally 3. Both of those pens can be opened up to the barn to give more room if necessary. The smaller pen is maybe 35'x40', give or take. It's a bit odd shaped, and it has 2 minis in it. The smallest is about 15'x20', and it has one mini in it.

    Our paddocks have little to no grass, so essentially dry lots. The horses get fed twice daily, and have had this routine for 15+ years. They used to be on straight sweet feed, but we have recently begun adding a 12% protein pellet(I forget the other ingredients/percentages), and our grain about 75/25 SF/pellets. They are given about 10lbs of hay per horse(5 lbs for the shetland, about 2 lbs each mini), per feeding. Never had an issue with colics, ulcers, bad attitudes, hot horses etc. that is associated with our routine. Is it ideal? No, absolutely not. But it has been tried and true for so long, that my grandmother is unwilling to make changes. I would prefer they were straight pasture kept, but there just isn't the room and our ground does not grow grass well, it is a slate base.
         
        05-21-2013, 03:23 PM
      #13
    Green Broke
    Anyone one looking to keep horses should be looking at the largest possible space, not the smallest. The bigger the better and the more turn out the better! We have 25 horses on 7 acres. Every little spaced has, and has to be, been optimize! 6 horses come in at night as per their owners request. And on pair is in during the day 7-4 and out all night. There is room for pretty much ALL there horses to be outside 24/7, if need be.
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        05-21-2013, 03:28 PM
      #14
    Yearling
    All of ours are out 24/7, except in winter they stay in if it's below 20*F, snowy or rainy. They all have room to get away from each other and are only turned out with someone they get along with. It's a very peaceable situation, for us. No real scuffles or anything like that, even with one breeding stallion, a former breeding stallion(now gelding), and two stud colts. The boys play rough, and my mares boss my gelding around, but nothing they can't handle.
         
        05-21-2013, 05:09 PM
      #15
    Trained
    Our horses have their own corrals that are about 20x20. We ride them often and they are turned out in 5 acres for most of the day unless it's raining.
         
        05-21-2013, 06:44 PM
      #16
    Banned
    My horses just got kicked out to pasture yesterday its 4 acers of lush grass. Their in hog heaven. Won't even come up for their dailey alfalfa pellets with supplements.

    Their paddocks are a 100 by 50 that's were they live in winter. Hardly ever have them in paddocks come summer they run on the 4 acers.

    Running out of hay so its pasture time full time now.
         
        05-23-2013, 05:01 PM
      #17
    Weanling
    Slidestop, is that 60x60 meters or feet?
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        05-23-2013, 07:39 PM
      #18
    Green Broke
    Feet
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        05-23-2013, 07:49 PM
      #19
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SlideStop    
    Anyone one looking to keep horses should be looking at the largest possible space, not the smallest.
    I'm sure just about everyone does, but I think OP is asking because reality means that the largest space *that's feasible for someone* may be vastly smaller than what might be ideal - such as your 60' pens(sorry, but can't bring myself to call that size a paddock!
         
        05-23-2013, 09:08 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SlideStop    
    Anyone one looking to keep horses should be looking at the largest possible space, not the smallest. The bigger the better and the more turn out the better!
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    I also don't completely agree with this. Not everyone who loves horses can afford a 100 acre home. I'm asking about the smallest a horse can comfortably live in, not "what is cheap and barely acceptable" haha. The horse does need to be comfortable, I agree with that, but a ton of space doesn't seem to be nessesary unless pasture is its only food sourse.
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