How Much Land per Horse?
The following guidelines are suggested in the hope that you will have a better understanding and be able to make the best use of this valuable resource.
What is an Optimum stock rate?
Each horse requires an area 64mtrs x 64mtrs (70yrds x 70yrds) of fence or hedge line, this is equivalent to very slightly more than one square acre. There are however some variable factors:-
Most land used for horse and ponies is of relatively poor quality and will only support one horse per 2.4 acres (one hectare). The grass can be improved with good management, and the average paddock will then support two horses per 2.4 acres (one hectare), this allows 1.2 acres per horse. At this stock rate, it is possible to section up the paddock into three areas one for maintenance and treatments, one for use and one for resting after maintenance has been completed to allow the grass to grow.
Overstocking has serious disadvantages, if the pasture deteriorates, it will fail in it's main function, which is to feed your horse or pony. If the concentration of horses is excessive the likelihood is that parasitic infections will build up to epidemic proportions. It is important that both horse owners and landlords be aware of the need for moderation is the number of horses per acre, then the paddock will not become just an exercise area and make it necessary to purchase food for the horse or pony to eat.