Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: British Columbia
Five acres for one horse is an unrealistic expectation, I don't know any area that has that kind of requirement. I believe here the suggestion is one acre for the first horse, with a half acre per additional horse added on. I have three, soon to be four on just under three acres. A few summers ago I had five on just under three acres and they did well. Of course they were fed additional hay and the property itself is very dry, but it was enough space for them.
IMO the number of horses she has on her property isn't ideal BUT if they're fed and watered it isn't abuse. If they get along, if they get exercise, all is well and good. Mud happens and it's going to happen whether you have one, four or ten horses and so long as their feet are taken care of it shouldn't be a problem.