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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
  • How much corral space does a horse need
  • How much space to pack a horse

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    05-23-2013, 09:13 PM
  #21
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
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!
That's pretty standard on Long Island. There are larger ones then that, as well as a few smaller ones. There's not a lot of room and it may not be ideal, but our horses have the most we can provide for them, barring we pack up and move our facility or sell half our herd and cut back business. It's also better then A LOT of places I've seen.

What I meant was your smallest space should be the maximum amount you can provide. Sure, you can keep a horse in a 60x60 foot paddock, but is that because your A) to lazy/cheap to fence in the 10 acre pasture or is it B) because that's all the room you can possibly give them?
     
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    05-24-2013, 12:33 AM
  #22
Trained
Here is an aerial photo of my corral for 3 horses. Zoning restrictions on setbacks for horse corrals prevent expanding it much. It is about 70 feet top to bottom, and about 95 feet max across. A lot of the time, all 3 horses will be side-by-side under the double shade. If my neighbors didn't hate horses, I could expand it by about 30 additional feet...

     
    05-24-2013, 09:47 AM
  #23
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalter    
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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So much of the east coast is heavily trees that open land comes at a price, we are fortunate in having acreage that's actual grassland and even then its not a lot (just over 9 acres) compared to the open spaces in other parts of the country but I come from a country where it costs a lot of money to have grazing land so I'm used to keeping horses on small areas and managing those areas and the horses on them
There are some big barns around us that actually do have a lot of land but still keep the horses in small individual turn out pens (I can't call them paddocks either because its not what I think of as a paddock)
What you need to do is make sure the horses have sufficient fiber all the time to avoid dietary problems like colic and enough exercise and attention to keep their muscles and joints healthy and their minds stimulated
The British army and police horses are stabled 24/7 but they get a LOT of attention and work
     
    05-24-2013, 10:57 AM
  #24
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalter    
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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I totally agree. Not everyone can afford 100 rolling acres but I do think you should give them the most you can. Horses were made to move, it keeps them healthy physically and mentally. My friends property is two acres, her house is on one acre and the barn is on the other. Their "pens" are 30x60ish attached to the barn, then they get turned out in the riding arena or one gets the run of both pens and the other gets the arena. Is it ideal? No, but they get the most space my friend can give them.
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    05-24-2013, 12:22 PM
  #25
Trained
We fence as much as we can so there's less grass to mow. Saves me time and gas $$s.
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    06-01-2013, 05:15 PM
  #26
Started
My two horses are kept in a 100 ft long pen with half of it being 30 feet wide and the other half 70 feet wide, but only in winter to preserve pasture. I have 20 acres, but only 2.5 acres of open land - the rest is heavily forested and I can't trust Candy in a temporary fence which is the only thing we can use as we are logging it in 5 years. And you can bet every inch of the 2.5 acres is used for grazing (except for the house and garden!) , including my lawn. We get a lot of rain, 50+ inches so they can only be kept in a gravelled area safely, and I am not graveling one of my pastures!

As I live in Cali, I see a lot of horses kept in less then ideal situations. The biggest horse boarding spot here has 200 horses on 5 acres. Horses are kept in box stalls with one window, and if they are lucky they are let out a 12 by 30 pen each day. Every horse is miserable. Casey goes crazy if I ride her there because of all the horses with vices and running around in their tiny pens. Another place turns horses out in 12by 30 pens as well. I went to the bay area for a horse show, amazing facility. The horses had stalls with 50 foot runs. You could turn them out in a 20 by 100 pen if you wanted, but no more than 1.5 hours, and every horse there was happy! I saw no cribbers, chewers, pacers, etc, and every horse was regularly exercised. I wouldn't mind boarding there if it wasn't 50 feet off the freeway. It is all about the facility and the surrounding horses!
     

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