If you're trying to figure out how much acreage you need for a horse, a decent rule of thumb is 1-1/2 to 2 acres of open, intensively maintained area per horse. If maintained appropriately, two acres should supply enough food in the form of pasture and/or hay land. Horses need exercise too, and a place where they can roam free if not tied up during times when they are being ridden. This may include a field or two within their owner's property but it could also be an adjacent public park.
The best way to estimate how much land you will need is by taking your horse's height along with his or her weight and dividing it by 0.9. That is the average percentage of body fat for horses. Then multiply that number by the estimated amount of feet from head to foot.
For example, if your horse is 15 hands tall and weighs 1500 pounds, then he needs about 16 acres of land. Multiply that by 0.9 to get an estimate of how much land you will need.
This calculation assumes that you will be feeding and caring for your horse only with natural resources and that you will be able to maintain this amount of land yourself. If you plan to supplement your horse's diet with grain, then you will need more acreage.
The state, county, and city in which you live might also have an impact on how much property you require. There are "stocking rates" in several states. For example, Colorado mandates a minimum of 5 acres for one horse. Tennessee mandates two acres for each horse. You should check with your local government to make sure you're not violating any regulations by keeping horses on such a small parcel of land.
In general, you need enough space to allow for a healthy lifestyle while still being able to walk through your land with a clear mind. If you want to be able to ride out into the woods on a warm afternoon, for example, you'll need more acreage than someone who wants to go to the gym once a week.
There are of course exceptions; maybe you live in a town where housing prices are high and you can't afford to purchase enough land to meet the five-acre requirement. In this case, you could pay someone else to allow you to have your own private stable. There are many horse owners who work with trainers or boarding facilities to keep their horses safe and sound. This way, you don't have to worry about building the necessary infrastructure on your own land.
The amount of land required for keeping horses is very dependent on the type of riding that you want to do. Whether you're looking at purchasing land or not, try to include plenty of trails for riding bikes and hiking too.
In general, with good management, one horse may be kept on as little as 0.4 hectares of land (one acre). With one horse on 0.8 hectares, life will be a lot easier (two acres). When running horses together, an owner would be doing extraordinarily well if he or she maintained a ratio of one horse per 0.4 hectare (one acre). > span class="icon-check" /> Generally speaking, a farmer should be able to keep one horse per acre of land.
The best quality pasture makes a difference here: high-quality forage allows horses to maintain their body weight without starving or overgrazing. In other words, they don't get sick or die from lack of food or water. The amount of high-quality forage needed depends on the size of the horse and how much it is being fed each day. An average-size horse that is getting 30 percent of its body weight in food each day needs about 1,000 grams of high-quality forage such as alfalfa, clover, or grasses every day in cold weather, more in warm weather.
Pasture also affects the environment. For example, keeping one horse per acre reduces your state's carbon dioxide emissions by 17 million pounds per year. That's like removing 17 cars from the road for an entire year!
Finally, pasturing helps keep livestock diseases under control. Horses are very vulnerable to illness because they don't have natural immunity like humans do.
You must ensure that you have adequate space (most counties and towns demand at least 5 acres of grazing land), that you can fence the area, and that you leave enough room for the number of horses you have (many areas require one acre per horse). Some cities may have regulations about the number of horses that can be kept on private property.
In most cases, horses are allowed on private property as long as someone is responsible for them. This could be done by renting out part of their yard or by leaving their care up to a neighbor's discretion. Horses are also allowed in public parks but they must be controlled with a headstall and reins. They are not permitted in nature preserves or wildlife management areas without a permit from the U.S. Forest Service or Fish and Wildlife Service.
Horses are considered livestock and so they are required by law to be given free range over large tracts of land. This means that you should not be liable for any injuries/deaths that may occur due to your horse being out in the wilderness without you around. If this happens then you will want to make sure that you file for the proper papers/licenses/tags etc. and that you do not hold anyone responsible.
Florida laws allow homeowners to create small pasture-like areas on their properties for use by farm animals such as horses.