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Old 08-16-2017, 06:48 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: CA
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Need Advice, small property, adding an equine

Hi there!
So, an opportunity has popped up where I am seriously considering getting a horse. I need your input, because one of my concerns is the size of my land. As per zoning I'm allowed up to four 'quadrapeds', my property is one acre in size. I currently have two donkeys on about 1/3rd of that property. The rest is the house, yard and an additional 1/3rd I use for grazing (I could fence that in as well). My donkeys are large standards ( I have posted on this forum before). In your opinion is that just too many equines for such a small property? My BF suggested I wait until I have more land. (but I'm not sure if that will be in the next 5 years or 20years!) We are planning to eventually move to Montana, where we are looking to purchase 20 acres minimum.

any input would be appreciated.

Right now the whole thing is a dry lot (I feed pellets year round), so I'm not concerned too much with grazing or having 'nice' pasture. There is one loafing shed that is 12x24, and I'm in the middle of building a new shed (aka donkey dome).

the horse I might get, is an icelandic, so she will be almost the same stature of the donkeys.

Thank You in advance!!!
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:37 AM   #2
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Hi there Akyramoto! I remember you with your donkeys and some great photos and videos too, right? Glad to see you back on here, and how exciting that you've got an opportunity to get a horse.

I'm super new to actual land ownership (like 10 weeks new to ownership and 4 weeks new to having the horses at home, so NEW NEW NEW). However, I don't think I would want to do a horse in the space you've described. The smaller your space, the more work you have to do to keep the manure under control and might have to be creative about your fencing and feeding times.

But then again, you are in California, and you said it's mostly dry lot, so I suppose maybe you won't have as many challenges with rains and resulting mud as I do here in the midwest.

This may be a situation where heart and head diverge a little bit ... you want the horse (heart) but your head says you're not sure you should. So perhaps we throw in a little of a financial aspect to it. Let's SAY just for the sake of argument, that something goes very wrong. Like the critters don't get along and are always damaging your fencing, or the poop management is more than you can handle given the rest of your life responsibilities, etc. So in this argument, what would your next step be? Could you afford to move the horse to another facility? Do you have friends/family with property you could move it to, or would you be having to hunt for a formal boarding operation? Would you be looking to sell the horse?

So I guess this sums up my advice ... I would say no, it's better to wait, but that if you do go ahead with it, just be prepared with some kind of Plan B action.

And side note, if you weren't aware, Icelandics commonly take a custom saddle, or a saddle made for the breed. I think it's a narrow shoulder but with the panels cut back a bit so that they can do their big-action "tolting" gait. (Said the saddle addict.)
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:50 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. The sale fell through the gal is going to sell her to her best friend.

I was planning on dividing the current pen or converting the grazing open to another dry lot for the horse. My donkeys have an automatic feeder as well so I was unsure how that was going to work, other than be purchasing another feeder. I didn't want the donks to get too much of her share, and I didn't want the horse to bully them off their feed as well.

Poo upkeep would increase for sure, I pick the donks up every other day. Mud last year was awful but typically it's not too crazy like other states.

My 2nd step would have been making a pasture at my neighbors, they have a half acre not in use. After that I would consider boarding, but it would be a stretch financially.

I think you are right though, it would be better to wait until I have more land.

Ya I knew iceys would be difficult to saddle, I do have two wintecs with the changeable gullets, but that might not be enough.

So maybe it is for the better right now to not buy one. 😔

Last edited by akyramoto; 08-17-2017 at 08:53 AM.
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