Acres for Horses - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 25 Old 01-09-2013, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Stroudsburg, Pa
Posts: 992
• Horses: 4
We have 16 horses(9 are minis) on 2.25 acres. There is no pasture, just dry lot, so we give them hay 2-3 times a day(usually enough to last almost until next feeding). Manure is kept on the opposite side of the property and gets removed yearly, sometimes twice a year. We have one paddock that's almost an acre, one that's about a half an acre, the 48' x 72' ring/mini pen, and a smaller pen. Three go in each of the big paddocks, the pen gets six minis. Two of the minis get a run that's an 8 x 24' stall with an outdoor section. One mini gets an 8 x 24' section, and the pony colt gets an 8 x 24' section. They all get turnout for a few hour a day at least. While it isn't ideal, it works until a few can get sold. Three of them(two minis and the pony colt) were pretty much dumped on us, it was either we take them or they get set loose/shot. Anybody want a pony? Lol
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post #22 of 25 Old 01-09-2013, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 17
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Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons View Post
How many horses your land will support will have many variables. Climate, rainfall, irrigation, soil type, variety of grasses... so not really knowing where you are these are just basic guidelines.

For pasture, count on at least 1 acre per horse. This will support the horse for most of the growing season but once it goes dormant, you will need to supplement with hay. Most is always better as it requires less management, the horses are easier on the land and fences, gives you more options to rest and regrow, as well as divide the group up into smaller herds. I like to run mares and geldings separate. If you have hard keepers and air ferns that's another good way to divide the group.

For hay production, one acre of grass will product approximately 3T of hay provided you have irrigation water (over 2 cutting). If you don't have water, you can't harvest hay unless you have adequate rainfall. I plan on a little over 3T of hay per horse per year with pasture. The other part of this is who's going to harvest the hay? It's not worth the work for most farmers to come in to cut and bale 5 or fewer acres. Does the farmer want a % of the crop as payment? Now you're short hay or need more land in production. You could put up your own hay but expect to pay $10-20K for used equipment.

An average 100X200 arena, 60' RP, 60' barn with attached runs and a dry lot area will cover about 1 acre.

A house with garage, a work shop (a must have), a yard, leech field, driveways and a little bit of a buffer from the horses is another acre.

The biggest part of a small hobby farms success is irrigation water. Is there any available? In my area, having water rights can double or triple the price of the land but if you don't have them, you have nothing more than a bare dusty piece of land.

Thanks for the very detailed response. It gives me a lot to think about and consider before we buy our property. We may put this off a bit so I'm more familiar with these things before the money(loan) is spent on a property.
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post #23 of 25 Old 01-09-2013, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 17
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Second what others have said about it very much depending on the local climate/conditions, and the way you want to keep them.

I would also suggest thinking about the number of horses you want to have. I honestly don't think having just one horse is a good idea. They are herd animals, and need company. Likewise, 9 horses is probably too many, at least if you are just riding for recreation and not e.g. giving lessons. I'd say 3-5 is a reasonable number, 2 for you and your spouse as main riding horses, a couple others as spare/in training/retired.
Yes we want them for recreational reasons. I also know it'll be a lot of work but I would really like to be able to have my family ride with me, all of us together, which we could work out with 9 horses. Not so much with 5. It's just one reason of a list of reason's why I want a big herd.
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post #24 of 25 Old 01-09-2013, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Originally Posted by stevenson View Post
where I live it is 1/4 acre per Hooved animal. You will need to feed hay. Manure must be removed weekly. I have 10 acres, 7 in pasture and have 18 horses. Some are in 18' x 30' pens, some are on pasture, some are in 30 x 60 ' shared pen . Depends on the local laws or codes, and what you want ei barns pasture etc.
Originally Posted by TurnNBurn144 View Post
when we buy our house were looking to buy a minimum of 25 acres. im taking 5 acres for 3 horses. im fencing in 3 acres of pasture, then my 3 stall barn and then a covered arena.
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Originally Posted by SlideStop View Post
We keep 20 horses on 7.75 acres, but we are on Long Island where there is NO room. Typically houses on are 1/2 or 1/3 acres. We have all dirt paddocks and EVERYTHING is fit together like a puzzle piece so there is no wasted space. We also have 3 riding areas, a grazing area, two round pens, a classroom, a large office. You also need to check your zoning laws. A friend of mine can have two horses per half acre, she is on 1 1/2 acres so TECHNICALLY she can have 6 horses. Now whether you want that kind of living for your horses is up to you.
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These examples are very helpful. Thanks guys!
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post #25 of 25 Old 01-12-2013, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 17
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Originally Posted by Northernstar View Post
Welcome to the forum! I'll have to say that you may have a lot of large expectations as a brand new horse owner, and some downsizing (for your own self) may help you. I have 2 mares, do all the work myself, and am very fulfilled with having only 2. The very first thing I did before bringing my horse home was buy a priceless book from Amazon (only a few dollars) titled, "Horsekeeping On A Small Acreage" by Cherry Hill. It will become invaluable to you! Just my personal opinion on a few things - I would buy the 17 acres, but I would not keep that amount of horses on it that you're thinking of if you're also going to do your own hay. Especially as a new horse owner. You'll find it to be very hard work (in all weather conditions, 365 days/yr) in just the daily care/feed/up-keep, etc., (this coming from someone who's worked @ some huge stables too!) but if you're a very hardy great-outdoors person, willing to learn a lot about what their needs are, you'll find it to be immensely rewarding!!! The very best of luck to you, and keep us posted! :)
Thanks for recommending this book. I'm going to buy it.
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