Hi All, Would love some advice here please. We are looking to buy a property that has a 1.75 acre plot. Around .75 acres has a drive and garden and then there is a 1 acre field (probably slightly less taking into account house and garage). I would LOVE to get a pony for my daughter (8) and a horse (cob) for myself. I realise that the paddock might be too small for all year turnout so was considering using this from May-Oct only and then putting them in livery from Oct_May. We haven't owned horses before but from what I understand rule of thumb is one acre for one horse. Would small acreage work if it was only for half the year and can you find a livery that does winter only? Thanks so much for your time reading this Fiona xx
I think it would be too tight tbh. Would you have provision for muck storage/removal? To keep the paddock as good condition as possible for health and grazing, you'd need to poo-pick every day, which is at least a barrow a day for two. Is there anywhere to ride near the property? A manege to hire? Good hacking? If you ended up having to school in your own paddock that would cut it up even more.
1 acre for two horses is very tight and you would struggle if you had a bad summer with a lot of rain. You'd also need to think about having a mud free area for tacking up, and for the farrier, what would happen if either horse needed box resting, would you also be riding in the field and how that would work out if you only wanted to ride one of the two. What is livery like in your area? Would you be able to find two boxes just for the winter and then leave each summer?
Also just to add that going from never having owned horses before to having two at home is a huge step. In a good livery yard there would be people around to help, e.g. a set of eyes to help with whether the pony is lame or not, someone else to notice the symptoms of colic, a trainer who offers lessons, etc. The first year of horse ownership is an incredible learning curve and it's better to have someone experienced to guide you.
I think it's tight. We have 7 1/2 acres for 3 in the summer (4 for a few months in the Winter) but they are stabled in the evenings from November until now. In the Summer we have to constantly rotate them with electric tape and to be honest our fields wouldn't have been enough and we've had to rent another 2 acre field until our 4 acre "Summer" field can be strip grazed from May.
Trouble with 1 acre is that it would be fine for starvation turn out but not as a long term proposition. You'd need to fertilise it, poo pick it every night and what would happen if you needed somewhere to box rest them etc - would you put a mobile field shelter in?
I would suggest you keep them at livery all year round but maybe bring them back for a few weeks when your DD is on her Summer holidays so that she has easy access to them..