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be patient 06-22-2011 06:27 PM

Is 2 acres enough?
I currently have my 2 horses boarded on an 80 acre horse farm. They've been there for over 10 years now and well taken care of with all the riding amenities you could want.

However, I want my horses closer: in case they need special care, boarding is really, really difficult - let alone not being able to bond as well with your horse.

I am considering moving closer to the property. I have found 2 acres of land only 5 miles from the boarding area. However, I am allowed to have horses on the property. I don't want to start a "mud" farm if you know what I mean. So my question is: Has anyone in this forum successfully built a nice-looking barn and pasture out of two acres? (I'm talking ONLY two horses and small home and barn).


ponyboy 06-22-2011 06:46 PM

May I suggest getting the book Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage by Cherry Hill. It's considered a classic and it contains everything you need to know for setting up your own property.

maura 06-22-2011 06:48 PM

It's possible, but it's 1.) expensive and 2.) labor intensive.

I would strongly suggest looking for larger acreage.

be patient 06-22-2011 06:53 PM

Thank you, I will ! I've seen some people do it, but I want to be fair to both myself and the horse. If anything, at least I'd be only four miles from the facility instead of 24 if we buy it !

be patient 06-22-2011 06:54 PM

I know, I would if we could, trust me!

Hidalgo13 06-22-2011 07:11 PM

Well if you manage the space well it would be ok. :)

maura 06-22-2011 07:18 PM

You don't say which region of the country you're in, or even what country, and that influences the decison and the advice you'll receive.

I'm in the SE US, and in order to keep horses on such a small acreage, along with building a house, keep the following in mind:

- you don't have enough land for a paddock and a ring; you'll have to choose one or the other. Consider where you're going to ride; if you don't already have a van or truck and trailer, you'll need one.
- you will be feeding hay, 2/3 a bale per horse per day, year round, no exception, as you'll have no forage.
- you will have to turn your horses out for very limited periods, no more than 8 hrs. per day, to keep from turning it in to "mud farm." This translates to considerable bedding expense.
- even with limited turnout, you will have to pick or sweep the paddock for manure on a very regular basis.
- you will need to either compost the manure or pay to have it hauled away.
- if the area your lot is in does not have public sewer, you will need to plan on a septic tank and drain field. The area needed for your drain field needs to be separate from/subtracted from the area for house, barn and paddock.
- you will need very, very good fencing. Horses on larger acreage with good forage can get by with less rigorous fencing; horses on smaller acreage have a greater tendency to get bored/hungry and are more likely to challenge fence.
- you will most likely need to purchase a small tractor for mowing, dragging the paddock, hauling the manure, etc.

I am very, very sympathetic to the desire to have horses at home, under your own care. However, I do want to caution you, keeping horses on two acres might be considerably more expensive than boarding them on 80.

be patient 06-22-2011 07:24 PM

Thank you so much... You are SO right about much of this and thank you for pointing out the cost factors "hidden" in such a small property. Where I board is extremely reasonable and such a nice farm, it might be best afterall. Susan.

maura 06-23-2011 06:30 AM

Thank you for being receptive to advice that probably wasn't what you wanted to hear.

Hope you continue to post and explore the forum!

And really hoping you happen upon a larger property!

be patient 06-24-2011 05:48 PM

We bought the two acres
Well we purchased the two acres! We tried for the larger parcel of 6, but the owners wouldn't come down enough on their asking price.

After consideration, I will still be putting up amenities for my horses to "visit" or stay-over at our property, esp. when I take my w/end trail rides. But I have chose that for most of the time, to continue to have them boarded at the stables which is only four miles away. Either way, it gives me the opportunity to keep them on hand at intervals during summer months or in case Lane (my horse in my profile photo) needs TLC. My board is only $250.00 per month and well worth it I suppose.

Is this a crazy notion or what? Has anyone else done this?
If so pls. share!!!

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