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Hi there!
So I was talking to my husband and father-in-law today, and they got me excited. My husband and I own the property directly behind my in-law's house (about 1/2 an acre) and my father-in-law was saying we could probably acquire the adjacent property (another 1/2 acre) for a few hundred dollars. Immediately, I thought about putting up a pasture there. :)

Honestly, I'm thinking (even though I would kill to own a horse) that it's not going to work, but I'd like some opinions. The property is about 20 minutes from my house, and even though it's behind my in-law's, I really am not sure if they'd be able to help or even if I would want them to, as far as feeding/blanketing etc goes. There are some trails up in the mountains, but I don't know if there's enough room to have a bit of pasture, a stable/run-in and some sort of round pen/arena to work them in. I'm assuming, of course, that I would need to get two so they don't get lonely. Father-in-law is in love with minis, so maybe I could get a horse for myself and a mini. Would they work well together? Basically my big question is, is it enough room? Thanks in advance!
 

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It probably won't be enough land..... not for grazing purposes. If you were willing to feed a minimal of once per day and OR keep a round bale out at all times....You could probably make it work... for one horse.
 

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one acre for one horse and a mini would probably do okay. Personally I'd like more room, but you could make it work.

You should check with your town or county to see if they have guidelines or rules that you must adhere to. In one town I lived in you had to have one acre per horse to keep them on your property.
 

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I think here it's 3 acres for the first horse and then 1 acre for each additional horse...

BUT if you have a barn and a stall for each horse then it's considered a paddock and you don't need as much land.
 

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In Florida the law is a 1/2 acre per head, so just consider that. Unless you have an absolutely PACKED schedule, you should be able to make it work. My barn is 15 minutes away and I am out there every single day, at least 5 times a week. This includes a part time job (30 hours a week) and part time school (two classes Tuesday and Wednesday, thats like 4 hours a week including commute) We have a 60 foot round pen that takes up exactly that...60 feet. You could make a combo run-in feed/tack shed (the side of the shed acts as one side of the run-in) and depending on how big you want that.....so, if you made a LARGE run-in your horse would still have 3/4 of an acre to graze on.

Think of it this way....can you fit everything that you want on there, and the horse, on a football field without everything being cramped?
 

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It would work fine, but not as a pasture...that grass will be gone in no time at all and you'll just have dirt. If you don't care about that and are willing to feed hay, that's fine...many folks keep perfectly happy, healthy horses on small dry lots.
 

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Our two horses are now in a paddock much smaller than that. We keep a round bale at all times and have a big (for 2 horses) barn with stalls that we leave open so they can come and go as they please. We have a lot of land, but very little of it is flat and reasonable to fence (kinda sucks, all that land and most of it is useless), but we're surround by lots of trails that we can ride them on so they still get some exercise.

Anyway, the grass would be gone very quickly - that's why it wouldn't really be a pasture - but 3/4 acre or so would be a heck of a paddock for one horse. You would just have to buy hay, which really wouldn't cost that much (at least here it doesn't) for one horse.

Unless you have a really easier keeper and would need to control their hay portions, you could easily leave a small round bale out at all times and you wouldn't have to worry if you couldn't get there every day (assuming you don't need to feed much else for a lightly worked horse). I don't know how much trouble you'd have with hay getting moldy in the middle or anything since it would take 1 horse quite a while to eat up even a smaller round bale. It takes our 2 medium sized horses almost 2 weeks. We have a huge livestock tank for water - we check on it daily, but if we couldn't for a day or two they'd be fine. I think you'd be fine if you could get there every other day and have the in-laws check in on them.
 

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Oh, I just reread your post and saw the part about the mini. Check out the post "Mini with a full sized horse" on the mini section. Its sounds pretty reasonable as long as they get along and the full sized horse has a gentle disposition (I want a mini too, but can't talk DH into it.). The bigger issue would be feeding. From what I've read, the minis tend to get fat and need portion control so it could be tough to leave out a round bale for the full sized one and not have the mini get obese.

The other thing to keep in mind is how well you and your in-laws get along and how similar your attitudes about animal care are. We had our horses at the neighbor's for 6 months - we provided feed and hay for ours and theirs, they were supposed to do the feeding,etc. He's unemployed and should have had plenty of time. I can't tell you how many times I found the water completely empty and 4 horses desperate for water! It was fine for the first few months when school was out and his 7 year old could do the work for him, but once the kid got busy with school, they never got fed, watered, etc., except by me. There were other issues there I won't get into, but just be careful. Make everything very clear about whose responsibility everything is, since you'll both have a horse in there. Can he call the vet on your behalf? Who handles cleaning out manure? How much hay would you pay for vs. the inlaws? Try to think about every detail of care and who will do what.

Good luck!
 

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One more thing (I guess I'm feeling talkative today), depending on where you're located, I don't think you'd have to blanket. We don't clip down the winter coat (since we don't ride them that hard or that often) and they have the barn to get into. It doesn't get that cold here most of the time anyway. So that might be another thing you wouldn't really have to worry about.
 

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Wow, I just reread my post-- my apologies for being so ramble-y! I was in a rush, I guess.

Thank you, everyone, for all your responses. I guess my first step would be to figure out what my county regulations are about it.

I don't really have a problem feeding hay all the time, actually hay seems to be pretty cheap around here atm. $2/$3 a bale. Well, I guess that's cheap, I'm not really sure.

I think I'd be on my own in caring for them, though. My in-laws have no horse experience whatsoever, and although he said he'd help me care for them if I got a mini, I'm not sure how long it would last once he sees how much work it is. :) I'll have to think about it some more, and see what the regulations are.. plus how much it's going to cost to fence the area, raise a barn, etc.

Thanks again for all the help!
 

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Sounds like you got your questions answered. I want to add something to think about. If your in-laws are retired, it may be really good for them to have an animal to care for. It would give a purpose so to speak and what better animal than a horse!? :D Its also a grand idea for you or your husband to have an excuse to check on them daily
 

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It would be nice to see them pretty much every day, it's true. :) But actually, they aren't retired yet. My father-in-law runs an auto body shop underneath his house.

Unfortunately, I think it's a moot point. I looked up the zoning act for the township they live in, and like Farmpony.. I need 3 acres for the first horse and 1 acre for each additional horse. :(

Ah, well. Again, thanks everyone for your help!
 

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We have our two horses on about an acre. It used to be just one horse so there was some pasture, but with two in there now it's quickly turning to a drylot. We feed hay (2 bails a day). We keep them up to their eyeballs in it, so grazing is not needed (they get out to graze on the lawn now and then). It costs about $75 a month to feed my horse. He gets a bail a day at $2.50 a bail. It is cheaper to get one big round bail (they're about $30 around here) and just leave it out there. It'll last like, 3 weeks or so depending on the size.

EDIT: Ahh, well... Nevermind. Looks like I should read all the posts before I answer. haha
 
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