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Keeping Horses on a Small Amount of Land

This is a discussion on Keeping Horses on a Small Amount of Land within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Keeping a horse on half an acre
  • Can you keep a horse on half an acre

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    10-07-2012, 11:31 PM
  #11
Yearling
Okay, here's the picture. The green lines are the approximate property lines. The solid red line is definate pasture. The dashed red line is "maybe" pasture.

ETA: The building inside the fence is a large run-in type barn/shed that we could potentially put stalls or runs in. The building next to it, but outside of the fence is a smaller enclosed pole shed that could potentially be turned into a stall barn unless my boyfriend would want it for his toys.
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    10-08-2012, 12:58 AM
  #12
Foal
My neighbors have two horses. We have 2 acres, they have alittle less. They feed them a round bale and two scoops of grain, plus whatever they can graze on. (Not much.) They're in good shape too, but not ridden much.
     
    10-08-2012, 07:07 AM
  #13
Banned
Yes, it's possible to do, and possible to do well. However, as a general rule of thumb, the smaller the property, the more expensive and labor intensive the horse keeping.

Here's some things to consider -

You absolutely must have a way to haul manure away and dispose of it off property. If, like bsms, a local refuse company will handle it for you, that's ideal.

You will have to manure pick your paddocks on a regular basis.

You will want to be pretty agressive about fly control as there will be no separation between the stable and the house.

You will have to have some limited storage for hay and bedding; it would be wise to secure a relaible source for the hay and bedding and set up a delivery schedule.

As mentioned by other posters - you will have to feed 2X a day, no matter what. Breaking up your area into at least 2 and possibly three separate grazing areas that you can rotate is ideal. Having a small "sacrifice" area, usually around the barn, that the horse can go into when it's too wet to turn out on grass is a great plan, otherwise you're stuck keeping them up in a stall.

Consider where you will ride, and how you will exercise the horse - tough to set up a separate lunging or riding area on that small a property.

I would definitely recommend a small companion animal - a goat or a mini.

ETA: Are you on municipal sewer or do you have a septic tank? If the later, do you know where your drain field is? You do not want the paddock to include the drain field.
     
    10-08-2012, 07:26 AM
  #14
Yearling
I keep a horse on a half acre (it is 1 1/2 acre lot but 1/2 acre is for a large barn, and outdoor storage, a 25 foot stripe is for the goats (3), and 1/2 acre for the horse, the rest is the house, gardens, lawn). Spice gets grazing when the ground isn't a soggy mess, but other wise she has the "dry lot" with her run in, trees, and good footing (sand and small gravel). I pick up manure almost daily, and I "rent" a barn off site to store a years worth of hay, and pick up more and fill my baby barn. I also keep bedding off site, and bring it when I need it. Manure is put in the garden to compost over winter, spread on the pasture, or we have other people come pick it up for free. Flies are bad but nothing we can do because we live next to swamps and they just happen. Fly spray, fly sheets, and traps.

She eats hay daily regardless if she is grazing, just a little less.
     
    10-08-2012, 07:47 AM
  #15
Green Broke
I used to have 5 horses.. on 2 acres. I believe its very possible.. If you are willing. Now we didnt have to 'haul' away are poo.. we put in in a pile on the back corner of the property:) haha..
     
    10-08-2012, 07:59 AM
  #16
Banned
On second and third thought, you could pit compost the manure if you have a place you could put one or two manure pits.

If you have really well composted horse manure it's usually no trouble getting a gardener or nursery to haul it away.

Barrel,

I live in Virginia, and we frequently get temps of over 100 degrees for days on end in the summer, and horse flies that have to file a flight plan with the local radar tower. I can't imagine living on 2 acres with an open manure pile here, but I suspect with a different climate, it might be managable.

You might also consider doing the feed through fly control for the summer, or ordering the fly predators.
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    10-08-2012, 09:13 AM
  #17
Weanling
Just to add if the OP hasn't heard of fly predators. They are awesome! At home with 4 horses and 2 cows and 40ish acres of pasture. We no longer have the large biting stable flies, just the small "stall" flies (If anyone wants to PM the correct term for those I would be grateful).
     
    10-08-2012, 09:17 AM
  #18
Yearling
I have heard of fly predators and will be looking into it. We use then at the barn where I board and we have virtually no flies. Thanks for all the suggestions. Also, having the pastures as shown would keep them away from the septic system. As far as riding, I only trail ride and there's tons of room for that :)
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    10-08-2012, 09:19 AM
  #19
Yearling
Oh also, I was thinking of building some kind of hay storage area in part of the large barn as well as a tack/feed room. I need to look into the best ways to store hay long-teem. Im think round bails would be best with the limited amount of grass.
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    10-08-2012, 10:13 AM
  #20
Green Broke
We had 5 horses on just under 3 acres at one point. If you poo pick every day and bring in at night then you can have all year turnout.
With 3 horses on just under 3 acres we have 24/7 turnout all year round
     

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