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how much land does a horse need
Last Post 12 Jun 2006 07:42 PM by Anonymous. 16 Replies.
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miles3061User is Offline
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11 Jun 2006 08:37 PM
    my girl's grandparents are moving and there giving her this horse.she is 9 years old and loves horses.me i dont know anything about them.what i need to know is what care a horse needs.we have about 1.5 acers i can fence in,is that going to be alright.what kind of shelter does one need.
    apeck05User is Offline
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    11 Jun 2006 09:09 PM
    Does your girl know anything about horses?

    1.5 acres for 1 horse should be enough room but most horses enjoy having a buddy. There are certain plants that are dangerous for horses so you need to be careful what is growing where you fence in a paddock. You need to make sure they have at least run in shed for cover. It looks like an unfinished box. There are 3 sides and a roof- the unfinished side is for the horse to run into to in case of rain, snow, or to get some shade. You can also get a barn built with stalls and an area to keep hay, grain, any tack you have for the horse.

    Horses need to be fed twice a day. Depending on the horse, they need a certain amount of hay and grain. Many horses also enjoy grass. If it is the grandparents horse, I'm sure they can give you the information on what it eats and how much.

    Horses also should be ridden at least 3 days a week if possible. Is this horse trained? Does she know how to ride?

    THey also need to see a farrier to get shoes on or their
    hooves trimmed about every 6 six weeks.
    A vet will also be an important person for you and the horse. They are needed if theres any sort of emergency and routine care such as shots and dental work.

    My suggestion would be to get the horse boarded at a stable if you are unfamiliar with the needs of horses. It would also be a good idea to get your girl lessons with a trainer to insure the safety of the horse and her. I know that after over 10 years of riding and being a "barn brat" I still dont know everything there is to know about horses and what to do in certain situations. After having the horse at a boarding facility for awhile and learning the ins and outs of ownership, you could move the horse to your house if you really wanted to. I would re-post this under the gettings started thread. There more people can give you advice.

    Good luck!
    908338User is Offline
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    11 Jun 2006 09:11 PM
    I highly reccomend boarding, if you don't much know about horses. READ, Learn, READ! I think 2 acres is enough. 1.5 for a pony or mini. I lean to with a wall to the wind. I still think that boarding would be your best bet. Also, ask questions on here and to other horse people, read and good luck!
    SpottedPony_horseUser is Offline
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    11 Jun 2006 09:23 PM
    For now, your best bet would be to board the horse at a facility where both you and your girlfriend will have people who can teach you about proper horse care. Not knowing how to care for a horse and not having anyone to help you out, is an accident looking for a place to happen.

    Though if your girlfriend does have the experence to get you started, you may be able to keep a horse on the amount of land you have, check your local zoning laws first. With that small of area, you won't have any grazing and will have to feed hay year round. So you'll need a small barn with a stall for the horse, a grain/tack room and a place to store hay or a run in shed with a place to store hay and grain. You'll need a source of water year round. Either run a water line out to the barn so you don't have to carry water or arrange so that the water bucket/stock tank is close to the house so that you can run a hose from the house to the watering tank.

    As for fencing, DO NOT use barbed wire. If you go for wire fencing, get a proper stock charger, DO NOT even think of hooking a wire fence up to your house current.

    Good luck.

    Spotted Pony
    twister0302User is Offline
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    12 Jun 2006 08:43 AM
    I like 1.5 acres per pony, 2 acres per regular horse and 3 acres per draft. I board my horses on a 40 acre pasture well two of them get to enjoy it the other one is in a paddock (or in "jail" as the BO calls it Which it is jail!!) for bitting all the other horses. I recomend boarding the horse somewhere for a while, that way you don't end up in a bad situation where your not sure what to do. Has your girl taken lessons or read lots of horsey books? If not I recomend she starts now. Horses are a TON of fun but they require a LOT of work and up keep!

    Have fun!! Grin
    654494User is Offline
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    12 Jun 2006 10:04 AM
    Some horses are kept in very small paddocks like 20 x 20 some on 100's of acres and some everything in between. There is no set amount of space they need, theres also no set rule about farrier work, vet work, etc. There each an individual animal and there needs can vary a great deal. I never feed horses at any set time of day when its conveinent for me is when I do it but IMO horses should hay hay or grass 24/7 every day of the year. Grain is not important at all unless there hard to keep weight on, young stock, or lactating mares. Horses digestive systems were never designed for grain to start with thats something people decided they needed. In reality there a forage animal with a stomach that can only hold about a gallon therefore for best health they need to eat a number of small meals a day so theres always something in their digestive tract.

    Many many horses have no building to go into if you have a grove of trees they do just fine with that go out west and see how many herds of 100's have buildings again its something people decided a horse has to have. Fact is their a flight animal they prefer to be outside not in.

    Many horses need regular farrier work and many don't. I've had horses that needed trimming every 8 weeks and I've got a mare here thats 22 and hasn't had her feet touched since she was 5 that look perfect all depends on the horse. Some peopole think they have to have shoes on but fact is there the exception not the rule. If they have bad feet, an injury, your riding on rocky ground then they very well may need them. Even most show horses do not need shoes again peoples idea but no reason to except things like sliding plates for reiners also I beleive some gaited shows require them. I ride western performance so don't know other disciplines but for roping, cutting, etc shoes are not reqiuired and I've won alot of points and money with barefoot horses. Many times if people stuck as much into training their horse as they do shoes and tack they'd be way ahead.

    I see and hear alot of people make raising and working with horses sound like rocket science work. Fact is its very easy if you just use a little common sense a freind got into horses a few years back and worried she'd never figure it out. I told her " you raised 4 kids and did a great job, just how hard do you think a horse can be"? And expect to make lots of mistakes if you don't your never going to learn anything

    Good luck
    654494User is Offline
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    12 Jun 2006 10:10 AM
    Do not use barbed wire? Why not I've got over 50 horses on 100's of acres of barbed wire pasture. Nothing wrong with it if installed and used properly just like anything thing else.
    Wolfy&VictorUser is Offline
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    12 Jun 2006 10:53 AM
    You are lucky that you don't have problems with barbed wire.
    I would never use the stuff. We had a horse when I first moved to canada, he was in a field with barbed wire as the fence, got hung up on it, cut his leg to pieces and broke his leg being hung up in it.
    A horse came to the barn I keep my horses at this weekend, he had got hung up on barbed wire and ripped his leg to shreads, down to the ligaments, when I saw him he was banaged up so didn't see the wound, but he could hardly work the few feet back into the stall. he was in rough shape, all from being hung up on barbed wire. IMO barbed wire is evil stuff. I am sure people have had bad experiences with other fences, but I can't see that legs etc can get as ripped up as much as barbed wire. But as I said you are lucky you don't have those problems.
    654494User is Offline
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    12 Jun 2006 11:00 AM
    After 40 years and 100's of horses I don't think luck has anything to do with it. Its totally using common sense, knowing the horses housed in those fences, and maintaning them properly.

    Luck would be buying the winning Powerball ticket.
    644351User is Offline
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    12 Jun 2006 11:45 AM
    I have always had my babies and broodmares in barbed-wire pastures. Sure, sometimes we have had to deal with cuts but horses can also get stuck under solid fences and die because owners are unable to get the horse from under it - at least with barbed wire you can cut your horse free.

    I have steel fences for the paddocks around my barn. They are a pain, too. The horses will kick at their neighbors and get swollen/sore legs.

    There are pros and cons to every fencing system.
    walkinthewalkUser is Offline
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    12 Jun 2006 11:48 AM
    As others have suggested, boarding would be better since you are all novices, but if that's not affordable, your property can be made to work.

    After you take away the land your house is sitting on and your yard, plus room for some sort of shelter, you've probably got about one acre. Not ideal but manageable and the horse will have to be hayed year round.

    Not enough room for two horse, maybe get a nanny goat to keep it company. I prefer nannys to billy's because billy's can head-butt your family jewels right off of you.

    Also, with two horses on one acre, there's the matter of manure disposal. One acre isn't much to clean every day. I have a one acre and a three acre pasture, plus my big pasture. The smaller pastures are for emergencies and get cleaned as needed.

    If you decide to keep the horse at home. My first phone call would be the local Ag Center to get the name(s) of a GOOD horse 4-H club. Not all 4-H clubs are created equal. Some are downright snobbish and legends in their own minds. Hopefully you could find a 4-H leader willing to help you. Another thought would be to ask the Ag Center for the names of ethical trainers in the area to help you along with your horse.

    I agree, as others have suggested, to read, read, read, and become very familiar with this message board. You will find a lot of experienced, qualified folks willing to help you.

    Of prime importance is your common sense --- LOTS of it. Horses are not dogs, even though most of us tend to treat them that way. If something doesn't seem right to you, ask the question BEFORE the horse or your daughter gets hurt, or the horse gets sick.

    Horse ownership can be daunting and overwhelming to the new person -- especially when no help is close at hand. Take it one common sense heartbeat at a time and you will do fine.

    Regarding the shelter: I don't know where you live. Depending on climate, anything from a three-sided loafing shed, to a shed-row type barn with allowance for some hay storage will work.

    Regarding feed, others may have a different opinion, but mine is to keep the horse on a good quality mixed grass hay and a small amount of grain that does not have a lot of molasses in it.

    It will only be on one acre, it doesn't need hays and grains with a lot of starch and carbohydrates that will only serve to "amp" it up. Kind of like what too many Hershey bars and Hi-C does to a child that is hyper-active.

    Hope this helps some.

    Again, don't be afraid to ask any question. Nothing is stupid to ask when it comes to horse and people safety.
    ramsey_horseUser is Offline
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    12 Jun 2006 01:31 PM
    The best advice I got when I bought my first horse was to board it at a reputable stable with a good trainer. You learn so much of what and what not to do. Also, even though you have an 1 1/2 acres have you read your covenants. Large livestock may or may not be allowed. We just went through a new home and land puchace, built a new barn, putting in pasture, and we are working on fencing.

    My ADVICE is Board until you know for sure you want to take on the total responsibility of taking care of this very large animal, who eats alot, poops and pees alot, and many other needs. These animals, even though they have been around a long time have very touchy digestive systems and respiratory systems.

    I love my horses , I made sure that before I made the investment of bringing them home. I read and learned everything I could learn about taking care of these animals.
    There is a very good publication out there on figuring out the finacial end of owning a horse. I think if you do a search on equisearch you will find it.

    Best of Luck
    SpottedPony_horseUser is Offline
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    12 Jun 2006 03:16 PM
    My feeling is that barbed wire would be more dangerous when used for such a small pasture. A panicked horse with not much room, I'd think, would be more likely to tear through the fence and get hurt than one in a large pasture like yours fenced in barbed wire. A horse in a large pasture would be able to put some distance between itself and whatever is scaring it and stop before hitting the fence.

    Oh, and congradulations on the wedding. May you have many happy years together.

    Spotted Pony
    654494User is Offline
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    12 Jun 2006 03:20 PM
    Oh for sure I'd not use barbed wire in paddocks or small areas but in pastures it works really well.
    miles3061User is Offline
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    12 Jun 2006 06:46 PM
    thanks for all the help but boarding the horse would be to much.we live in north eastern alabama and dont have much of a winter.we live way out in the country,so there arent any laws.my father in law has a cattle farm up the road with about 200 head,so hay sould not be a problem,i help them do hay in the afternoon after work.but didnt know any thing about the grain.i always thout a horse just ate grass out of the field all sommer,and then you feed them hay in the winter.we have about 6 acers of good land but i was hoping to get by with 1.5 to 2.i was also planing to use a 2 stran elec fence.i have ordered a few books on horse but still need all the help i can get,i dont want to get the horse or my little girl hurt.
    AnonymousUser is Offline
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    12 Jun 2006 07:42 PM
    Very good.. I would suggest you use the 6 acres or most of it. Make 2 pastures of 2-3 acres each. Much will depend on the quality of your pasture grass. IF it is rich grass you may need to be able to shut the horse off of it part of the time if she/he gets too fat on the grass. If it is a bit sparse then it will benefit from being rotated b/f on a 2 week cycle.

    You do not have to feed grain. Only supplement with hard feed etc IF the horse needs it. Most do not.. I would assume a 9 yr old isn't going to ride a horse into the ground so.. should be fine on grass.

    If possible have the shelter inbetween them with a paddock/drylot area.. Like a run in or small barn where you can store hay and have a horse shelter side also. A 3 sided loafing shed(run in) divided with a hay storage area on one side and horse area would be nice..

    Be sure this horse is safe for a child to ride.. Read lots of books and websites also. IF you need advice with how to handle horses etc this board is a good resource as it the Equisearch site itself..

    Be sure to keep up with vaccinations and hoof care.. Shoeing may not be necessary, but trimming is.

    Good luck with your new hobby.. Laugh
    hunterjumper4everUser is Offline
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    14 Jun 2006 04:22 PM
    1.5 acres should be fine for one horse but make sure you have somebody that knows about horses because horses are very delicate creatures and need lots of care but are a pleasure to have. We have a weather shelter for our horses wich is just an open front building with walls and a roof that they can get under in case of bad weather (they actually just prefer to stand out in it) we also have stalls that we keep them in some of the time.
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