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Micro Florida Horse Farm

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  • Micro Florida Horse Farm

    We’re moving to south Florida and just found what we consider to be the perfect house in the perfect location. Unfortunately its only a 2.5 acre lot with at most 1.5 acres left for a small 3 stall barn and paddocks.

    Is it possible/humane to keep 2 horses and a donkey on 1 acre? Right now we only have one acre for the horses and its been fine. But NY grass is not the same as Florida grass. I do feed hay year round and we haven’t had any issues.

    We plan on setting up easy rotational grazing. Probably 3-4 paddocks with a large sacrifice paddock. Is this possible? Do we sacrifice land size for a house we love thats actually in our budget or hold out for a 5 acre lot in a location further away with a house that is just “meh”?
    Hudson Valley's Premier Tack Shop www.argentoeq.com/

    Life is happening for us not to us

  • #2
    Get the meh house if you are serious about staying in the horse game, you can always expand and redo stuff to a house. Once you buy small land, youre stuck with it unless you move or somehow have insane luck and buy some of your neighbors land down the road!! Plus 5 acres vs 1.5 usable means hopefully less hay, more turnout, less pent up energy, less time in stalls, less bedding costs, and larger fenced areas which actually usually means less damage to fence, and more rotational options!!!

    All of those 'lesses' means more moolah to put into paying the house off faster and more to put towards fixer upper plans!!! Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      IIWM, I'd perimeter-fence as much acreage as possible for pastures. Leave 1/4ac or less for house, lawn, gardens.
      I'd rather have a house surrounded by pasture than a large area of landscaped yard.
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
        IIWM, I'd perimeter-fence as much acreage as possible for pastures. Leave 1/4ac or less for house, lawn, gardens.
        I'd rather have a house surrounded by pasture than a large area of landscaped yard.
        Between existing house, pool, driveway and pond it leaves about 1.5 acres. That’s taking up every inch of space possible. So I’m thinking 1/2 acre for barn and dry lot then 2 smallish paddocks and 2 medium size paddocks making up the other available acre. I mean I see the paddock sizes that boarded horses get turned out in in south Florida and they are SMALL. So it won’t be as bad as that
        Hudson Valley's Premier Tack Shop www.argentoeq.com/

        Life is happening for us not to us

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        • #5
          my first Florida home only had total of 2.5 acres. Daily, I dreamed of having just 5 ac. It would have been heaven as 2.5 ac. is very difficult to do realistically. You're constantly rationing turnout time on a little grass pasture. You're constantly rotating horses. Lots of hand leading to and from. You're constantly monitoring them tearing up the pastures.
          I would not do it again, honestly.
          I'd do with less house for more pasture. Just my experience. You can always improve the house but you can't add onto
          the land.
          "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

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          • #6
            The answer will depend on your management.

            There are places where people make it work without any pasture at all.
            Horses are kept up and/or in small pens 24/7.

            Will you ride so horses are exercised regularly and properly, haul them to other places?

            As pasture ornaments, they may need more land to move around.

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            • #7
              I don't think that is nearly enough land. And, with the volatility in the markets this month, I would hold off a bit on buying and you may very well find that prices come down this year.
              Roseknoll Sporthorses
              www.roseknoll.net

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              • #8
                It is doable, but will be difficult and tedious and annoying.
                I agree with the others, hold out for a “meh” house. You can always do improvements on a house.

                Comment


                • #9
                  We do it now. Three horses, three minis and one pony on just over 2.5 acres.... been doing this for thirty years. it is doable... horses adjust easily Sure, it is not a turn them loose into the wilds and not see them for days at a time but they are handled daily, stalled at night or in bad weather or hot afternoons. (But well tell you Bay horses disappear into shadows and you can not find them even on small acreage.)

                  To control things we have four interconnecting paddocks which makes life easier.... just route which ever to where ever.(five paddocks if adding in the backyard which is grazed also).

                  We have a separated stand alone twenty meter round pen in the Big Pasture that at times to introduce a new guy to the others.

                  The "Big Pasture" is about 1.2 acres .... plenty of room to run, buck, jump up and down

                  We do not have nor ever want a pond (well, it would be called a Tank here) or swimming pool.... horses are enough of an attractive nuisance without having a pond and swimming pool to add into the insurance risks

                  Double fenced on the public sides to keep the neighbor kids away

                  Major plus is the land has increased in value to the point that now its valued by the square foot rather than by the section

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                  • #10
                    Well if you happily did it in ny you should be able to do it in florida! I'd be tempted to fill the pond to get more pasture!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That size property sounds difficult to me, but if you are already used to managing under those constraints you may be able to make it work.

                      Personally I agree with those who point out that you can always improve a house - I am in the middle of updating the "meh" rancher we bought because the horse facilities were awesome, and although of course there are the usual hassles, I actually really like getting to renovate things to my own taste.
                      **********
                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                      -PaulaEdwina

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                      • #12
                        I would wait and go with more land. That is such a small piece and would require a lot more maintenance. We have 10 acres total, but only about 1.7 fenced right now. There is about 1/4 acre sectioned off for a sacrifice area that they live in during the day (but 24/7 during the summer). So that leaves less than 1.5 acres for grazing. We also have another 1 acre pasture that's un-fenced that I use for hand grazing to rest the larger pasture. With only 2 horses it's tough. Our large grass area we let rest for about 2 months, and then they grazed it for almost 2 months, just 2 hours a day. It's pretty eaten down and we are resting it again. It would be hard if I didn't have that extra grass area for hand grazing. And I'm only doing this short term! I can't imagine that being all I had to work with.

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                        • #13
                          Can you fill in the pond or is it a swampy place where the water will still leech up? We looked at a place that was 2.5 acres but it was pretty much no yard and the entire back was dedicated to turn out. The barn a shed row, was to the side of the house against the property line, small paddocks opened to each other and out to the pasture (dry lot in this case). I would consider just one large pasture and only small paddocks of each stall, so horses have plenty of room to get out and run around. Grass grows pretty much year round, I don't think 3 horses will eat it down or ruin it. The pond would be a no go for me, attracts snakes, gators and bugs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Is it a horsey enough area that there are plentiful options for hacking out, ring access, and manure disposal?

                            Being able to hack 15 minutes down a calm road to a nice arena is very different than trying to ride in one sacrifice paddock.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's doable but man it'll be tight...

                              I looked at a 2.5 acre property. I used Google's area calculator map (daftlogic.com) and plotted out house, barn, actually a combined house and barn (barn apartment), small arena, paddocks, really no yard that wasn't just "dog turnout" and garden, and it was tiiiiight. With no pond or pool or anything, the whole bit side to side and corner to corner in use except a 20' belt of trees and brush as a buffer for the road behind it. Doable. But tight. It would be no grass after a short time too.
                              COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                              "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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                              • #16
                                The very next night we found an even better property just a few miles away. 3 acres of perfect horse land. No pond. Huge driveway for trailer. They would have had a full 2.5 acres of paddock space that would have been very easy to set up so they could find their way to the paddock that was open for that day.

                                We booked flights to go see it Friday. I told my realtor Monday we wanted to put an offer on it afraid it might get sold before Friday. She said to wait until Friday and would have all paperwork ready for an offer. And found out today its sold. To say I’m devastated is an understatement.
                                Hudson Valley's Premier Tack Shop www.argentoeq.com/

                                Life is happening for us not to us

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  OMG I'm so sorry! Sounds like you need a new realtor

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My former property was a 1.25 acre lot with 2 horses. Very minimal grass. Right now I have 3 acres and 4 horses.

                                    Smaller properties require intensive manure management. All my horses are drylotted during the winter, and only out at night during the summer. If you are willing to muck daily (and i mean daily), then you will do okay with a property that small.

                                    Since you have a smaller property, you will need to manage scrap hay. Coastal hay tends to leave scraps or shafty small pieces with dust- all that goes in the compost.

                                    Large properties are so much easier! Less mucking, more turnout time. The horses do not need as much consistent riding time because they are on turnout.

                                    Keep in mind that small pond will probably triple in size during the rainy season. If this is South FL, your paddocks will probably flood for 6 months of the year. Look very closely at the neighbors properties and where the water is going to drain too. If the barn isn't on a hill, the barn will flood too.

                                    You should probably budget for several loads of fill to build up the property. South FL is notorious for flooding. If you think the property is high enough, think again! Plan on installing a drain on low lying areas, but you will need to drain the water somewhere.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by btswass View Post
                                      The very next night we found an even better property just a few miles away. 3 acres of perfect horse land. No pond. Huge driveway for trailer. They would have had a full 2.5 acres of paddock space that would have been very easy to set up so they could find their way to the paddock that was open for that day.

                                      We booked flights to go see it Friday. I told my realtor Monday we wanted to put an offer on it afraid it might get sold before Friday. She said to wait until Friday and would have all paperwork ready for an offer. And found out today its sold. To say I’m devastated is an understatement.
                                      Sold or pending? We looked at several properties that were listed as pending and then they came back on the market as the financing fell through. Have your agent keep an eye on it. My property we bought a year ago went pending for 2 weeks and it fell through then we made an offer, argued for almost 60 days and finally closed.
                                      http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post

                                        Sold or pending? We looked at several properties that were listed as pending and then they came back on the market as the financing fell through. Have your agent keep an eye on it. My property we bought a year ago went pending for 2 weeks and it fell through then we made an offer, argued for almost 60 days and finally closed.
                                        Or see if the listing allows second offers, and offer more. I can't remember the term but my Chief lost a house this way, and have countered another had he known.
                                        COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                        "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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