pasture size - The Horse Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 03-22-2011, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
• Horses: 0
pasture size

Im looking at buying a small ranch that is around 5-10 acres. My question is..is it enough land to hold 18 horses. I understand that I will have to supplement feed with hay because the pasture will be dirt in no time but is it healthy for that amount of horses to be confined in that amount of space. Thanks for your input.
hasky is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 Old 03-22-2011, 05:27 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,441
• Horses: 0
First of all, 5-10 acres is a pretty big span. If it's 5 acres, I would say no, but a 10-acre field should be okay, depending on your location, and if the horses are in full turnout or stalled some of the time so the pasture can be rotated. Also keep in mind that some states have laws regarding the amount of land required per horse. In a lot of states, 4 acres are required for your first horse, and 1 acre for each additional horse, so in those states, with your 18 horses, you would legally need 21 acres of pasture.
equiniphile is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 03-22-2011, 05:35 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,289
• Horses: 0
I would say no, depending on what part of the country you're in. You say the property is 5 - 10 acres, but you don't say how much land is inside fence, which is really the key consideration.

You also don't say how you plan on keeping the horses. 18 horses with 5 - 6 acres inside fence is possible if: 1.) horses are stalled at least 50% of the time 2.) you have an agressive program of picking up manure in the paddocks and harrowing them 3.) you use a daily dewormer product 4.) you have excellent, tight fences 5.) you supplement heavily with hay and grain. and 6.) you have a regulary scheduled manure pick up or disposal off the property. It's a very expensive and high maintenence way to keep horses.

You might also want to check local zoning ordinances as well for what the maximum is that they will allow. In my area, it's a zoning requirement that you have three acres for the first horse, and an additional acre for each subsequent. That's total land, not pasture inside fence, but under that guideline, you'd need 21 acres minimum for your 18 horse.

HTH.
maura is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 03-22-2011, 08:50 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,138
• Horses: 3
It depends on the terrain. If it's flat without a lot of trees, then you can cut up the land to make rotational pastures. I would want at least 8 acres of pasture for 18 horses. If you seed and fertilize the pastures and rotate the horses, then you should be able to keep grass in most of them. If you stall your horses for half-days then you could keep it even nicer, though I am not a fan of stalling personally.

If the terrain is hilly and/or full of trees, then you will have more of a challenge keeping it nice.

When you first move in, fence it the way you want, but don't do much to the land. The horses will show you where you need to improve drainage, add rock, seed, etc. Use electric to make rotational pastures, so you can move around fence lines as needed.

Good luck!
luvs2ride1979 is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 03-23-2011, 07:49 AM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southwest Missouri
Posts: 924
• Horses: 1
If there are no zoning rules/laws where your located the general amount of acreage per horse is no less than 2 acres. However, with the already suggested rotational program of pasture management it could possibly work out okay. Although, the pasture would eventually become more a drylot than pasture. Which wouldn't be a totally bad thing as long your horses do get free choice hay 24/7. As an example, our pasture/field is about 3 1/2 acres and we have had up to 4 horses on it 24/7. We had to feed hay free choice and we fed a grain supplement twice daily even at times with occasional light excercise to keep them in good flesh condition.

Most of the other issues have been covered already those being, regular worming schedule, current vaccinations, manure management, etc.
candandy49 is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 03-23-2011, 10:47 AM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,138
• Horses: 3
One of the barns I boarded at in San Diego (San Marcos to be exact) back in the 90s had over 80 horses on 8-9 acres. Nearly all were stalled. We had a big jumping arena, and smaller schooling arena with jumps, and big turnout round pen, and two full size regulation Dressage arenas. You could pay for 1-2 hours of turnout in the round pen (was really a big oval), but most horses were just stalled 24/7. They were fed hay three times a day, feed twice a day if needed) and their stalls were cleaned twice daily. Lesson horses were in one of two "pastures" which were just big dry lots, probably about 1/4 to 1/3 acre each with 6-8 horses in each one. There was a BIG boarders barn that held something like 50 horses. There was a long "mare-motel" outside stalls that were 12x24'. There were uncovered 12x16 "stalls" and two rows of 12x24' outdoor pens that had three sided shelters at the back (about 12x8' shelters). There was also a small "lesson barn" that had 4 stalls and a big office/tack room.

The place was kept very clean by a fleet of hispanic workers that lived on the property. Hay came in regularly by the semi-load as did shavings. Manure was picked up in big dumpsters twice a week.

So, lots of horses on small property can be done, but it's always more expensive and a lot more work.
luvs2ride1979 is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 03-23-2011, 10:52 AM
mls
Trained
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MN
Posts: 5,464
• Horses: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by hasky View Post
Im looking at buying a small ranch that is around 5-10 acres. My question is..is it enough land to hold 18 horses. I understand that I will have to supplement feed with hay because the pasture will be dirt in no time but is it healthy for that amount of horses to be confined in that amount of space. Thanks for your input.
The pasture will be trash in no time IF you don't fence a sacrifice area and control the turnout.

We have pasture May- October. We keep the horses off for a day or so after a rain to keep them from tearing up the roots. They are on dry lot at night so that the pasture has time to rest. We have hay in the dry lot at all times so the horses are not 'starved' when they go onto pasture.

Good pasture management goes a long way.
mls is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 03-25-2011, 04:42 AM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Orleans, Indiana
Posts: 651
• Horses: 2
My .02 cents: I have about 2 acres +/- and up until last week, had one horse who had been here a month. I now have 2 horses. And we are almost outta grass. I feed hay twice daily and grain and still - our grass is being depleted quickly.

Horses are foragers. Take away eating and you're gonna have some surly animals pretty quickly. 18 horses on even 10 acres seems a bit much IMO. In a county we were looking at, they had a minimum of 5 acres for the first horse and 3 horses per every 5. I think that is a fair assessment.

Michele
"Not evil, dear. Wicked." - Once Upon A Time.
Chele11 is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 03-25-2011, 10:29 AM
Started
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Colesville, NJ
Posts: 1,729
• Horses: 0
it can work if you are good at managing pastures, can rotate pastures, and can keep horses in small enough groups. 15 horses in one field will all mill about the same area doing more damage than 5 horses each in 3 fields. also having one field to rotate with is a huge help so that you chance turn outs every other month - allowing each paddock a 2 month rest period. it - like others said - also depends on how you manage the pasutres, how much of the acreage you have actually as pasture, as well as the terrain. that will be a lot harder if it is hilly, wodded, or rocky compared to cleared, level, grassy. it also depends on ground water. if there is a high ground water level then the fields will be muddy much faster with fewer horses. all things to take into consideration.

Life Without a Paddle...a blog about life out here, and great for a laugh!
TLC Stables & East/West Arabians
www.ewa-tlcstables.com
Are you getting the most out of your horse?
Equi-Eval.com
CJ82Sky is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HELP! WEEDY pasture! (or Pasture Management ?) devildogtigress Horse Nutrition 9 10-30-2010 11:05 PM
What size western saddle is a good size? kmcole30 Horse Tack and Equipment 1 06-17-2010 01:37 AM
Size Small Winter Hoods & Various Size Sheets. LearnToFly Tack and Equipment Classifieds 4 11-20-2009 01:21 PM
Wanted: pony size and/or horse size with pad(s) apc11196 Tack and Equipment Classifieds 4 10-02-2009 04:11 PM
English Girth size, convert to Western Cinch Size...Help! Equina Horse Tack and Equipment 10 01-16-2009 06:18 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome