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Discussion Starter #1
So i've been reading a lot about acreage and laws regarding horse per acre.

I'm going to be moving to Lake Park, GA in late February, and i'm going to have one acre of land. Is that going to be suitable for one horse? I'll also have 20+ acres of land to ride.
I'll be living on family property, but as of right now, we're only fencing off one acre.
If anyone can help me out here, that would be great! :)
 

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Regardless of how many acres you need, will your horse be okay alone?

If that's not an issue, one acre might work if you're talking dry lot. If you're going to attempt to keep it as a nice grassy pasture, it will be quickly eaten and worn down. I'm picturing a horse covered in Georgia clay. I think the rule of thumb is 2 acres per horse if you plan to have it be pasture.
 

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We're looking to get it a smaller pasture mate. Like a donkey or a mule.
But for the first 5ish months or so, I'll be with the horse a lot so it won't be lonely.
the horse would only have to stay in the 1 acre pasture for maybe the first 5-6 months. Then I'll fence off maybe another half acre.
I'm just trying to make sure I don't bump heads with any laws.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks a bunch. :)


Also, could you recommend a good grass seed for me to seed my pasture with?
 

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By all means check your LOCAL zoning laws first.

When I lived in NW PA the zoning laws varied from township to township, but for the most part in my county the minimum acreage for any sort of livestock (including goats or sheep) was five acres.

Growing up, five acres per piece of livestock was the Rule of Thumb. Now that I am retired and living south of the Mason-Dixon, I called my Ag Guy to see if things have changed. His reply was five acres per piece of livestock is still the healthy Rule of Thumb; anything less and the Owner really needs to learn how to micro-manage the land to keep the horse healthy.

You could almost be asking for trouble to put a horse and even a small companion on one acre.

There are books that tell how to manage a horse on small acreage; I have seen them in Tractor Supply and if you Google "managing horses on small acreage", I'm sure you will get a few hits.

One thing you have to be prepared to do is to hay the horse 365 days/yr. One acre of grass might last a month and then he's down to eating dirt.
 

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Misa unless you are planning on camping out you can't be with him 24 hrs. It's not about lonliness it's about security. Grazing animals look out for each other with one keeping an eye out for a predator. You can go to the expense of seeding the pasture but it will be eaten down to the roots in no time as grass is always preferred to hay. Talk to people with similar soil to find out which pasture grass to seed. Timothy will grow well in my clay soil yet a few mi away it will barely catch.
 

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One acer isnt going to provide grass for long it will be to dirt in no time. I have 3 acers of pasture for 3 horses. They arent out on it 24/7 they get up too 8 hours a day if we have enough rain to keep it growing. In our county its 2 acers a horse but iv gotten by with only 3 but it is well managed. My horses dont go out if its too wet and i keep them off it once it grazed down to a inch and a half tall. Plus we do weed control also its never ending work to keep it nice. Plus we mow it twice a year and keep the poop picked up.
 

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Its possible, I have my two horses on 1 1/2 acres. (Not ideal, working on getting my entire 20 acres fenced in) But I do it, and I keep the pasture healthy and fairly decent length, until winter that is.
Every spring I cut down any weeds that they won't eat and every season I pick up all the poo and put it in a compost.

I often will close the gate to one side of the pasture and let it grow back a bit, for a week or so, and then do the same for the other side.

It is more work than just putting them in the pasture, but if you take the time and work I'm confident you can do it. :)

Granted, my horses get a lot of exercise. I frequently go on 15+ mile rides so you want to make sure they have room to burn off energy if you wont' be messing with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
One acer isnt going to provide grass for long it will be to dirt in no time. I have 3 acers of pasture for 3 horses. They arent out on it 24/7 they get up too 8 hours a day if we have enough rain to keep it growing. In our county its 2 acers a horse but iv gotten by with only 3 but it is well managed. My horses dont go out if its too wet and i keep them off it once it grazed down to a inch and a half tall. Plus we do weed control also its never ending work to keep it nice. Plus we mow it twice a year and keep the poop picked up.
That is exactly how I plan to care for the land! I'll have a good 5 months or so before I get my horse, so I'll begin seeding on the 3rd month to ensure GOOD grazing land before I get my horse. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Its possible, I have my two horses on 1 1/2 acres. (Not ideal, working on getting my entire 20 acres fenced in) But I do it, and I keep the pasture healthy and fairly decent length, until winter that is.
Every spring I cut down any weeds that they won't eat and every season I pick up all the poo and put it in a compost.

I often will close the gate to one side of the pasture and let it grow back a bit, for a week or so, and then do the same for the other side.

It is more work than just putting them in the pasture, but if you take the time and work I'm confident you can do it. :)

Granted, my horses get a lot of exercise. I frequently go on 15+ mile rides so you want to make sure they have room to burn off energy if you wont' be messing with them.


Thanks a bunch! I'll be riding for a few hours almost every day, and the days I'M not riding my dad will lol.

I have 20+ acres free to ride on, I can only fence off an acre and a half, though.
I'm a 19 year old girl doing some home studying for college and won't have friends after I move, so I'll have plenty of time to care for my horse and the land! Lol.
But in all seriousness, I've been planning ans budgeting EVERYTHING imaginable for this horse for the past 3 years of my life. I'm just trying to get outside opinions to ensure i can provide my horse with the BEST life I can provide. C:
 

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Where I live, the requirement varies depending on the exact zoning. For my lot, the county allows 1 horse per 10,000 sq ft, or about 4 horses per acre. Since I live in southern Arizona, it is assumed the horses will be fed hay...otherwise it would be measured in sq MILES per horse.

However, the original CC&Rs here were drawn up in 1960, and they limited it to 2 horses/acre. The guy who developed the area 40 years later rewrote them and removed that restriction. And happily, our HOA has voted to disband! With luck, all the lots will be released from all the CC&Rs within the next month.

Not every place has CC&Rs, but I've seen them pop up in places that I would have sworn wouldn't have them, so it is good to check.
 

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Where I live, NEPA, you have to have 2 acres. Not per horse, just 2 acres. We have 9 minis and 8 big horses on 2.25 acres. The paddocks are each about 3/4 and 1 acre, with a 48'x72' pen. Our horses are healthy, kept with as much hay as we can manage, and happy. Everybody just gets rotated to a different paddock regularly and the manure is kept on the opposite side of the property, also taken away by a local farm every spring. Is it ideal? No, but three of them got dumped on us, and three others are for sale. But as long as everyone's happy and healthy that's really all that matters.
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Just some food for thought - generally, maintaining a good pasture is often more expensive than just buying the hay. I grew up with our horses having 1 acre of pasture, but they were almost never on it. They were usually turned out into the arena with gates open to go into stalls. Not ideal, due to the sand, but that's just me. I think my dad spent more time spraying for weeds, fixing the irrigation, fertilizing, etc than the horses ever spent on it. AND he didn't take the time to pick up manure or properly compost it.

My two horses are currently on an acre (maybe a tad smaller) dry lot. They get hay and supplements. Honestly, it's not bad, and like I said, it's probably cheaper than having to try and maintain a pasture, which would be impossible anyway because it's not irrigated.
 
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