Missouri acerage question - The Horse Forum
 5Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 Old 06-17-2014, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 18
• Horses: 0
Missouri acerage question

Hello. I may have the opportunity (fingers crossed) to buy a home in Missouri. Right now I'm in Colorado where feeding hay year round has always been the norm for me and I'd like to be able to provide grazing in all but the winter months instead. I've seen acreage questions pop up from time to time and have seen the usual 1 acre per horse to up to 10 acres per horse recommendation. I won't be rotating pastures so for two horses what is the minimum acreage of grazing land that they should have to sustain them for the rest of their lives without me having to reseed the pasture at all? I'm looking at places with an average of over 44 inches of rain. Thank you for any tips. Its an exciting and also scary concept to think about purchasing my own ranch and I know there will be plenty of work that needs to go into it but before I even begin to think down that road I want to have some idea of just how much land I'll need to begin my search somewhere. The pasture land will be in addition to the ten acres I'm going to be keeping for the house, pond, goats, chickens, orchard, greenhouse, and vegetable garden.
JandO is offline  
post #2 of 13 Old 06-17-2014, 12:59 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Central MS
Posts: 1,380
• Horses: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by JandO View Post
Hello. I may have the opportunity (fingers crossed) to buy a home in Missouri. Right now I'm in Colorado where feeding hay year round has always been the norm for me and I'd like to be able to provide grazing in all but the winter months instead. I've seen acreage questions pop up from time to time and have seen the usual 1 acre per horse to up to 10 acres per horse recommendation. I won't be rotating pastures so for two horses what is the minimum acreage of grazing land that they should have to sustain them for the rest of their lives without me having to reseed the pasture at all?

I'm looking at places with an average of over 44 inches of rain. Thank you for any tips. Its an exciting and also scary concept to think about purchasing my own ranch and I know there will be plenty of work that needs to go into it but before I even begin to think down that road I want to have some idea of just how much land I'll need to begin my search somewhere.

The pasture land will be in addition to the ten acres I'm going to be keeping for the house, pond, goats, chickens, orchard, greenhouse, and vegetable garden.
that's quite a list, mine is similar (minus the goats, pond, and greenhouse)
I am just starting year 2 -- i have 6 fruit tree's, a vegetable garden, and 3 horses --- i might get bee's in a few weeks, or i might start working on chicken coop and yard.

things cost money -- lots of money -- only real way to save a little bit of money is to do them yourself ... doing things takes time --- lots of time

the only tip i have is ... 1 thing at a time from start to finish
if you try to do more than 1 thing at a time or move from one project to another, none of them will ever get completely done -- and you will wear yourself out
QtrBel and ZombieHorseChick like this.
jmike is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 06-17-2014, 01:00 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,774
• Horses: 0
My response is somewhat uninformed as I'm not familiar with the Missouri landscape. For a self-sustaining pasture, you'll need enough room that portions of the pasture grass is left untouched and can go to seed; you'll need sufficient space that the horses do not tramp down vegetation by repeating their steps looking for grass to eat (tramping is a good way to help the weeds grow and if that happens you'll need a riding mower or something to be able to keep those spots cut until you can do a bit of reseeding); you'll need to organize your shelter and water setups to minimize damage to the pasture; you'll need to check with ag reps/agencies in the area(s) you're looking to buy into and see what they recommend for hardy grasses and what the growth rate of these grasses might be. After that, plus also factoring in soil type, drainage, geography (rocks, hills, trees, etc.) on top of the high rain fall, I suspect you'd probably be happy with ten acres of pasture for two horses.

My husband and I have lived on our own place for many years now and you're right that it is hard work but you'll hardly notice it (it does, however, cut into your riding time sometimes because when certain things need to be done they need to be done).

Good luck with the property search and let us know how it turns out for you.
jmike likes this.
Chevaux is offline  
post #4 of 13 Old 06-17-2014, 02:02 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Missouri
Posts: 707
• Horses: 3
Depending on the part of Missouri, it's really rocky and the topsoil can be thin, so the grass quality may not be so good, or will require maintenance. I have about 3 acres of grass and 3 acres of wooded land in the Ozarks (very rocky), and it will only graze an animal from April-maybe July without supplementation. If I feed and rotate, I can get through most of the warm season with some grazing. That would point to 3 acres/horse not being enough in some areas.

The barn I board at has more topsoil and better quality pasture and they probably have about 3-4 acres/horse and are able to use grass as the sole forage through most of the warm season. They do, however, rotate, fertilize, and reseed as necessary. I think they spend quite a bit of money on the pastures, honestly, and are lucky to be in a really good spot.

To be on the safe side, I would recommend 20 acres for two horses here. The rule of thumb is less, but I don't think you can realistically not feed at all AND not rotate turnouts or do pasture maintenance with less. You'll still at least have to bush hog to control weeds, too.

Tug on anything at all and you'll find it connected to everything else in the universe.~John Muir
Viranh is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 06-17-2014, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 18
• Horses: 0
Thank you for that. Have you kept horses in other states? Where would you suggest for the ideal place for pasture grazing almost all the way through the year?
JandO is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 06-17-2014, 02:31 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Central MS
Posts: 1,380
• Horses: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by JandO View Post
Thank you for that. Have you kept horses in other states? Where would you suggest for the ideal place for pasture grazing almost all the way through the year?
i am in central Mississippi

i have 3 full sized horses and a mini on 24 acres --- only about 7-8 of that is pasture/grazing --- the forest part of it was clear cut a few years ago -- so they are still going down there to eat whatever they want

i haven't seeded or done anything to it other than run over some weeds with the lawn-mower

but it looks like i will probably need to seed it this coming spring

i start putting out round bales in October/November and stop around April
jmike is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 06-17-2014, 02:57 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Missouri
Posts: 707
• Horses: 3
I've had horses in Georgia and Montana also. We grazed almost year round in GA and needed less acreage, although we actually had plenty there since we were also running cattle. In MT it depends on whether you have irrigation or not. If you do, you don't need much acreage, but you don't have a super long grazing season either.

There are pros and cons to all three places I've been in. I guess you have to decide which problems you can deal with and which ones you can't. I LOVED Montana, but irrigation is a lot of work, and you have to be ok with riding in subzero temps. Missouri is true four season, so we get a little of everything. It's cheap to buy land here, and cheap to live here. OMG the bugs and soil quality, though. (You can find property with better soil if you look, just be aware of it) I was little when we were in GA, and I haven't been back since 2000-ish, so I'm not sure I have much intelligent to say, other than that land is expensive and it's HOT.

Tug on anything at all and you'll find it connected to everything else in the universe.~John Muir
Viranh is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 06-17-2014, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 18
• Horses: 0
The price of land and milder winters are what makes Missouri attractive to me, along with all the greenery and tall trees, neither of which I really get here in Colorado.
JandO is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 06-17-2014, 03:41 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 5,323
• Horses: 1
I board my horses so don't have first hand experience, but I hope to one day buy my own property and have asked some of the more experienced horsepeople around me. I've been told that 2 acres per horse is sufficient for horses living off pasture for my area (Portland, OR area). I assume that involves some level of pasture rotation and maintenance, however. The climate here is relatively mild and wet most of the year, which is great for growing grass. The biggest challenge is keeping fields from being torn up by hoof traffic.

It's very green, lots of forests and rivers. And a surprisingly low insect population. Maybe you should move here instead of Missouri

“The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” - Buck Brannaman
"Nothing forced can ever be beautiful." - Xenophon
verona1016 is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 06-17-2014, 03:45 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 10,068
• Horses: 12
The further south the more grazing time you will have unless you are experiencing drought conditions and don't irrigate. We graze year round in lower Alabama but do have to over seed for winter grass and in drought years supplement hay in summer or irrigate. We supplement hay even with over seeding and feed grains based on age and activity level of the horse. If you are in an area with snow cover then your animals are foraging when quantity and quality are low. I think it is too idealistic to go into this thinking you would find a property where you never had to do maintenance or feed at some point. That said the larger the property the more likely you would be able to meet that. Here it would be (with over seeding and no other input and no drought) 5 acres per horse. Our rainfall is much higher than 44inches.
jmike likes this.
QtrBel is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New here from Missouri Ike Welcome! Introduce yourself here! 3 09-02-2013 10:17 PM
Keeping a horse on small acerage horsecrazygirl13 Barn Maintenance 30 03-16-2013 09:08 AM
Missouri Fox Trotter Registry Question Newby32 Gaited Horses 24 01-25-2012 02:07 PM
SMALL ACERAGE?? cory-boy Horse Training 7 10-30-2007 01:14 PM
Hi from Missouri bthny158 Welcome! Introduce yourself here! 1 07-01-2007 05:41 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome