Not everyone can have a huge horse farm with dozens of rolling acres. The vast majority must settle with a smaller setup. It is possible to effectively keep your horses on a small plot, if you take the time to plan carefully. Those limited on land should be well informed on how to manage what they have. With a little bit more effort, horsekeeping on small acreage isn’t that hard.
First, determine the amount of turnout you want for your horse. If you want him out most of the day and night, than invest in a dry lot made of good material. This space will allow your pastures to recover. Whether you decide to built a dry lot or stall to keep your horse, expect to provide the necessary amount of hay. You’ll also need to dedicate time to pick up manure daily, as well.
Your pastures should maintain a 70% ground cover at all times. Grazing in rotation will allow the grass to regrow during rest periods. Don’t let the grass get too low. You should also test your soil each year to determine if you need lime or fertilizer. Weeds should be removed through mowing or selective sprays.
Manure can pile up quickly on small farms. Create manure compost bins to allow it time to decompose. Farmers and local gardeners may be interested in removing the manure for free. You might also have to pay to have it removed. It is a good idea to drag your fields with a harrow rake, which will break up the manure piles.
Plan, plan, plan! Expect to provide more hay and spend more time picking up manure. Ensure your horse doesn’t destroy the fields through overgrazing. With a solid turnout, grazing, and manure management system in place, your small farm will function just fine!