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1 acre for one horse?
I am in the process of buying a new horse (had horses a couple years ago but had to sale due to broken arm & became nervous with the horse). I am back in the business and I was wondering if one acre is enough for one horse (will end most likely in time get a pony too)? We have two acres, but we were going to fence it into two sections, a acre each. That way we can let one pasture grow, while the horses are in the other one. Would this be okay?
Besides this, how much hay/feed should I supply the horse?
You need to check your local laws concerning what livestock requirements are as far as acreage. 2 acres may not be enough, or it could be fine.
In MD where I used to live, in order to have horses you were required to have a minimum of 3 acres to house the first horse, and 1/2 acre thereafter for each additional animal.
When I moved to VA I stuck by that rule, although it's not required because I'm in an agricultural area with a heavy concentration of beef cattle. I can have up to 3 horses per acre here. I have 5 acres, but there's no way I'd put 15 horses on 5 acres of pasturage.
How much hay/feed should you give a horse? It depends. The breed of horse, the health of the animal, the quality of hay, the quantity and quality of your pasture, and what kind of exercise your animal gets will all play into the equation. There's no cut and dried answer.
Yeah, zoning wise it's a local issue. As far as eating down grass, you need 2 acres for one horse to have have it completely eaten down in a matter of weeks. You'd be better off putting both horses on the same side and move them back and forth to let the other pasture recover. Also a dirt "sacrifice" paddock is a great thing to have in case you have a lot of rain or something and don't want the horses to tear up a wet muddy pasture.
Speed Racer- where did you use to live in MD? Just out of curiousity...
I'm in MD and have 3 horses. Our property is 5 acres, but the horses are only on 2 because the other 3 acres is wooded. We have a large field with plenty of grass and a smaller sacrifice paddock with has minimal grass.
They're only on grass from May-September/October at night from about 10-8. During the day they're either in the sacrifice with plenty of hay or in their stalls with fans when it's really hot outside.
Haven't had many problems with the grass so far using this system :)
So, yes, like Puck said, if you can section off a little area as sacrifice it will help immensely. I would also graze them how she said - both on the same side and alternate to let grass recover. Since they're smaller paddocks you could probably run a sprinkler out to the resting one to help it along.
Also, picking manure daily will help the grass grow.
My Beau, I lived in Charles and St. Mary's counties. For the first 8 years I lived in Charles, and the last 9 I lived in St. Mary's.
Even with only 2 acres of pasture you're still in the clear with the horses, since you have 5 acres. The law doesn't care if your acreage is in pasture or not, just that you're required to have a minimum in order to house horses.
I see you're in Anne Arundel county. Whereabouts? I have several friends who still live in that area, and I'm pretty familiar with the parts of Maryland that are below D.C.
I do miss Maryland sometimes, especially Annapolis, during the warm weather months. I used to call Solomons Island 'little Annapolis'. :-P
I love Virginia and adore being out among the cattle and crops, but have a twinge of nostalgia now and again for the BSO, Annapolis, the Inner Harbor, Solomons Island, crabbing out in the Chesapeake Bay, etc.
Not to mention that some of the finest seafood restaurants anywhere are located between Annapolis and Solomons Island. I'm a seafood junkie, so could happily eat my way down the Rte. 2/4 corrider! :wink:
Yes, do check local zoning. Where I live you are required to have five acres to even have horses and on that you are allowed to have three I think and for each additional horse above that you need an additional acre.
If your entire plot is 2 acres you will not really have two one acre pastures either. With the house, yard, driveway, barn you will probably be cutting about half an acre out of your lot.
The entire plot isnt two acres, we live on 5 acres. I have talked to my dad about it, and we cant fence in the front yard. What land we have that we can fence, is just a little over two acres. Sorry I wasnt precise the first time, lol. Thanks for the answers guys!
I'm about 1/2 way between Baltimore and Annapolis, in Millersville (near Severn/Crofton) area. Our house is actually about 5 minutes from the old Naval Academy Dairy Farm where they proposed putting in the HUGE horse park. It would have been SO awesome if it went in! The surrounding residents didn't want all the traffic in the area and they didn't think it would generate that much income. Pfffft! If they don't want traffic they should get rid of route 3 ;)
Got to agree with you about Annapolis in the summer! Pretty much every sunday after church my friends and I head down there for lunch and walk around the city dock. It gets crowded, but it's so picturesque :) I've only eaten at a few of the seafood restaurants down there... maybe we'll start doing that more since they're so good!
I keep 2 horses in a 2 acre pasture and suppliment with hay all but maybe 2-3 months. I keep giving hay until they quit eating it and then I start up again when the are at the fence looking hungry. I don't know if it is worth seperating it in 2 when it is that small??? Although sometimes it would be nice for when I spray. I don't partition mine off because of my shelter and auto water wouldn't be able to be used for both. Not sure how your place is laid out but if you have the room I would get 2.5-3 acres for the horses. Tell your dad that is less yard for him to mow. The picture is a horse at teh fence looking hungry.
I didn't think Maryland had specific laws regaurding acerage. I remember that I looked it up because a barn I rode at a few times had 10+ horses on not even one acre. I don't remember exactly what I read I just know I found there was nothing I could do about it... Maybe it was because they actually had more property than what they were keeping the horses on... But I really don't think it was anywhere near enough for the number of horses they have.
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