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Hey guys, I have recently moved houses, into an old country town. However we only moved into 1.4acre block. We have a small paddock behind the house (its our property) and there are around about 4 1/3acre paddocks next to each other, (including ours). My next door neighbour has 2 horses, and we all leave our gates open so the horses can just run freely through different paddocks. I would love to get a horse, and my parents want one to, (1 for me) but they think that all the paddocks aren't enough land for a horse. There is a pony club around the corner from our house, and behind our house is a big farm with heaps of spare paddocks, and we are quite close with the owners, so there would be plenty of exercise for a horse. Can someone please tell me if it is a good idea to get a horse, and how to look after it and things like that? I would be riding it a lot, and I have wanted one for ever. Please help..
 

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Personally I wouldn't buy my own horse yet. I'd try and get a bit more experience in horse care and learn about management. I would try and find a local livery yard and ask if anyone needs any help with their own horses so you can learn about potential problems and how to deal with them.
What would I know though? I had a horse given to me when I was still too green to handle my own horse. I have a trainer coming once a week now for lessons and help in managing my headstrong cob.
 

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That is very true, my neighbours horses that I have only known for a short period of time are quite good with me. They come to my fence every night at 8:30 and every morning, quite early also. This may sound quite weird but I just feel like I have a connection with these horses. Today even though I really shouldn't have (as I have only known the horses for not very long at all) I fed them through the fence, then I went into the paddock and stood with them, and played with them. I was speaking to their owner and he said they wouldn't hurt and neither of them have been known to kick or bite. And I really shouldn't have but it all went good. I know that sounds silly but I really want to know what it's like to own and have a friend for life. I love horses and have done plenty of research on them, I am thinking of asking the neighbours if they need any help with the horses, so then I can learn to care for one. Thanks for your feedback :)
 

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Altogether there is only just over an acre with all the paddocks, and that is hardly enough for two horses let alone three.
The facts that you are friendly with neighbours who have more land does not mean that they will let you keep a horse there and if they do then they would nrrd payment for it.

You do not say how much riding you have done and what experience you have in caring for a horse. From what you write I can tell that it is no where near enough.


Owning a horse is not like owning a rabbit, they are wonderful animals but can be dangerous if they are not handled correctly and that is not with love and being gentle. They need to be given boundaries and those adhered to which, if you are a novice, you would not be able to do.

Go get lessons and learn how to handle a horse correctly.

Oh, majority of horses do not intend to hurt anyone but, they can be unpredictable to the inexperienced and even the quietest can cause damage.
 

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I jumped into horses without much knowledge on them, and it was a pretty bad choice. Study a lot of horse health, and try taking some riding lessons before you get a horse. If you do want to get a horse regardless, find someone who does know a lot about horses come to look at potential horses with you. No offense, but you probably do not know what to look for in a horse (it depends on how much experience you have, I could be very wrong! ;)). Brining someone along can help a LOT. Horses are very expensive too, make sure you're aware of that so you don't end up with a starving horse. The pasture doesn't sound quite big enough so you might have to end up buying hay even when there is grass. Good luck and message me if you want to talk more about it! :)
 

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Fox is quite right, a horse will push and push you if you don't nip things in the bud and you will not know what you are looking for until it's too late. I know this because I've fallen into that exact trap because I didn't understand the importance of never allowing a horse to make me step away from him and he thought that made him the boss. Now he steps out of MY space when I tell him to and reinforce it with his hoof pick if he decides to be sassy! Seemingly small things like this can escalate before you even know what's happened when you don't know. Helping someone else before you consider a horse of your own will give you some idea of the things you will need to be aware of.

I hope the owner of the other horses gave you permission to feed them? I'd be really unhappy if someone fed my horse without asking me first!
 

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The general rule I follow for the required space for a horse is 2 acres for the first horse, and then add an acre for each additional horse.

Now of course some people have horses on much less space, especially where that kind of land isn't available. But I wouldn't really choose to.
 

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It sounds like you really like horses and enjoy seeing your neighbor's two. Can you take lessons somewhere? Learning to care for and ride properly takes a long time (think months and years) and the commitment that comes with owning a horse is even longer. The best thing you can do is start working with a trainer, taking lessons and doing horse care, so you can start learning and practicing the skills you will need if you are to one day own a horse. Making sure you know what YOU need to do properly will help you a) make sure it really is for you and b) know and find the right horse for your temperament and abilities. Having a good relationship with a trainer can help you and your future horse a lot, because you will have a horse-knowledgeable friend to help out when (not if) problems arise.
 

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Is the property your parents own/lease one and a quarter acres ? or is that the combined property with the neighbors ? You can keep one horse on a quarter of an acre in a dry lot pen with a cover , depending on the zoning laws in your area.You will need supply hay . You will need to clean the manure and remove it from the property. If there are already two horses, they may not a ccept a thrid horse and you may have to seperate the third horse for the horses safety. It sounds like your neighbor may teach you and let you help with thier horses. Maybe you could take some riding lessons first.
 

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Thanks all for your feedback.
My neighbour told me I can feed the horses, he said to feed them carrots and that he will help me earn more about them. My land on its own is over 1 acre, and then there are a 3 paddocks next to it. I would probably separate my horse from the other two as they seem a lot older, and I wouldn't want to mix them together straight away. The people that own the land behind us are horse lovers, and we are also very good friends with them, I am going to ask to help out with the horses soon.. I have a lot of time for horses, I only play netball and I can still easily do my homework in other spare time. Just to let you guys know, if I ever got one I would be riding it daily. My brother and dad are both builders so they can build me a pen. :)
 

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I reccomend taking lessons and learning about horses. They're not your buddy, nor your friend for life. They're animals that only care about their own safety, and eating. That's the honest truth. It's very easy to spoil a horse and have them turn pushy and dangerous by having this attitude or just simply not knowing.
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Yeah, I am going to try and get my mum to organise some lessons for me! :)
I know that they shouldn't be treated as friends because they will start to get pushy, so I will have to learn how to not spoil them straight away!!
 

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Personally I wouldn't buy my own horse yet. I'd try and get a bit more experience in horse care and learn about management. I would try and find a local livery yard and ask if anyone needs any help with their own horses so you can learn about potential problems and how to deal with them.
What would I know though? I had a horse given to me when I was still too green to handle my own horse. I have a trainer coming once a week now for lessons and help in managing my headstrong cob.

My horse can be a little bit of a head budder sometimes when it comes to putting her bridle on, so I've learned to wear a helmet before I tack her up. She takes the bit well, just sometimes I have wait a minute or two.
It's a good give/take relationship, lol.
 

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It's very possible, but not ideal. On Long Island, in horse zoned areas, you only need 1/2 acre to keep 2 horses. I wouldn't recommend it, nor would I want that for my horses, but that's the minimum amount of space required by law. If its all you have you make it work. You will need to have hay 24/7 and make sure its stocked up. Manure will need to be hauled away. Your horse should get as much exercise as possible. If your going to have a riding arena, make it also safe for turn out. The paddocks at my friend place also open up to give one horse a larger area while the other one is in the larger riding rings. Also, you horses my not get along with theirs, so don't count keeping them together. Even if they did get along God forbid your horses injure theirs, or visa versa, ... Then what??

That being said, horses aren't just something you get into and learn along the way. Riding and caring for them can be difficult and dangerous. Look around for barns, take lessons and lease. Stick around here and read through the threads, you can learn a lot BUT this shouldn't be your only source of experience/info!! Don't only take riding lessons, but ground lessons too. Also, volunteer at a riding stable! You can pick up hands on experience for free, or in exchange for lessons. Also, horses are VERY expensive, especially if you don't have pasture for them (hay and manure removal tack in extra $$$ easily)! You don't do anyone a favor (you, your family or the horse) by jumping into horse ownership then discovering you cannot afford one horse, let alone two.
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Sarah, most of these posters are experienced horsepeople and they do not want you to make a costly or dangerous mistake. Their advice is good about taking lessons first, etc. But don't let warnings keep you from pursuing your dream -- we all started somewhere, including the posters. Keep your goal firmly in mind, go about it in a smart way, and you'll soon have a great experience with your first horse. Good for you!
 

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I read this whole thread and felt your too much in the mind that this horse is going to be your long life friend, its going to do everything you ask and be the perfect riding horse. I reccomend you completely forget owning your own horse at this stage and go and get riding lessons first. I did riding lesson for 2 years before I even looked into getting a horse, then I bought one who smashed my confidence to pieces, then sold him, got another who to this day is still a handful. I think had I not gotten an instructor to help me I would have given up horses but if I could I would go back to riding lessons every weekend to learn more first but i do not have the finances for my horse, lessons on my horse and to get lessons on another horse. My best suggestion forget about buying a horse at this stage, go find somewhere that is certified to teach you how to handle horse safely on both the ground and in the saddle. Horses are not dogs, they are very dangerous animals but can be a very rewarding experience. A good safe horse that is well trained will set you back about 7-10 thousand where I live.
 

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You're right there Tayz!
The only trouble with riding lessons is you're riding schooled horses who are already trained to behave a certain way so it looks ALOT easier than it is - this is probably one of the reasons why people jump into horse ownership without realising what they're taking on.
The hands on experience on the ground is even more important than the lessons. It's this experience that will help Sarah learn to manage horses and observe/deal with the problems they will present.
 

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I'm a new horse person, so I don't have a lot of experience to offer.. but, I did want to offer my opinion. I think it's wonderful that you want to spend time with horses! I read an amazing article not long ago about the beauty of a horse/girl relationship. Amazing! I can tell you that based on my own experience I agree with the others about waiting to make the plunge into ownership; however, I would definitely encourage you to make friends with your neighbors and or local horse farms and follow someone around for awhile. My mentor was happy to "allow" me to help muck stalls every Saturday for a year - I learned so much just by watching her and the discussions we had while mucking :) - then she gave me my first horse ! Best wishes to you!
 
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