How much space do minis REALLY need?/Am I crazy for even considering it?

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Canteringgallop432

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So, I'm thinking about trying to keep a miniature horse on my property. The issue now is where to keep it. I like on a small residential property(teeny in terms of horse-friendliness, only about 8000 square feet, and 5600 square feet of yard that could potentially be pasture), there aren't any specific "horse" laws for my town. The only reason I'm even considering it is because I know two very healthy, happy minis that live in a dry pen that's about 2100 square feet. They get lots of exercise outside of the "paddock" and occasionally take toddlers for rides. They also do lots of therapy work.
See, my backyard's already split into two(ish), so I was thinking of making two small paddocks/pens so that one side can be a dry "sacrifice" area, and the other grass for when it's alright to let them onto that for a little bit(ie not muddy, wet, snowy, etc. Probably mostly at the end of the summer when the grass isn't so lush). There's an area with very good drainage(one of two places we were considering putting a utility shed - wouldn't be able to use that for stabling though as it's full of landscaping stuff and not the right design anyway) that I would build a stall, hay storage, and small tack/grain room(for harness and such, I'm interested in eventually driving) (this area isn't included in the 5600 ft of "paddock" so I wouldn't have to worry about taking away from the paddock area by building it).
Anyway, I'm looking at a few minis(one is 28", the other is 33"), does anyone think it would be possible to keep one on my property? There are lots of woods that allow horses that I already walk in almost daily, so I would take it out for a few hours just for a change of scenery(if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them haha!!)
Thanks:)
PS yeah I know this probably won't work out but I figured it was at least worth a shot.
 

Abby P

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I mean I think it would be fine for the minis, most of them are better off without a lot of grass anyway, as long as they have room to run around a bit if they want to. Out west a lot of big horses are kept 24/7 in a 12x12' stall with a 12x24' run attached! My concern would be issues with your neighbors - i.e. there will be manure produced with accompanying smells and flies, etc. Things could get nasty fast if you have neighbors that are bothered by this. If you have a place to compost the manure or a means to have it removed frequently, that might help. It might be worth sounding out your nearest neighbors at least. Also, would you be having just one, alone? Some horses do OK totally alone but most are much happier with at least one buddy so that's something to think of also.
 

Taz

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I agree, one might be OK but most are happier with company. You can absolutely keep them in a small area. I would think about putting a track in around the space you have and then using the rest(inside the track) as rotatable grass and/or a dry lot/mud area for when that's needed. A stall at night, 2 can be closed in together as long as it's big enough, can be left open during the day as a run in.
 

chandab

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My 4 geldings' dry lot is about 2500 square feet; they seem comfortable in that space, they have another lot about that size that we use in summer (it'll have some grass for part of the year, but mostly ends up dirt). And, then I move portable panels around the unfenced grass yard for their grazing. [We have more land, but only so much is set up for the horses.]
 

Pitter Patter

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Double check zoning regulations in your area. If it is deemed "Residential" then this could be a potential problem down the road and your local authorities could force you to relocate them. For instance, I live in an 'Agricultural" zone. I had a neighbor that moved from a large city that complained about my rooster crowing in the mornings to the township and they told him he has no right to a formal complaint based on sight, smell, noise of farm animals. I agree with everyone else. All horses are herd animals and need companionship.
 

GraceandPoppy

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I think it would be fine as long they get lots of exercise and a place to run. I also agree with Pitter Patter to just double check your zoning laws so no unexpected unfortunate things happen! I also agree with everyone else on the idea of you should get two instead of just one. Many horses do live alone including mine and she does just fine. However, if you can have two then really try to. I also am out A LOT with my mini to keep her company! :)
 

JFNM miniatures

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I agree with everyone. Very important to find out if your neighbors would be ok with having minis on your property, even better, to double check zoning laws.

If you have enough space for a mini, then you have enough for two minis. Before we moved to our new property, I had my two girls in a 15' x 15' paddock with a 8x10 shelter, plus a stall in the barn that they shared in case of bad weather.

I think my previous setup would not have worked out now that I have 4 minis, but it worked very well for just the first two ones I had. Now, I have two 20'x20' paddocks plus a approx. 2000 square feet pasture. I plan on making the pasture bigger eventually so I can rotate grazing sections.
 
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Canteringgallop432

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Thanks so much everyone! I went onto Google Earth(I'm sitting in my kitchen and I could just go outside and use a measuring tape, but, let's face it, why would I do that??) to get exact measurements of possible "paddocks", and I have one area that's about 30x15', and another that's about 20x23', with space near both to make a simple shelter and a 11x25 foot area that I was thinking about constructing the barn(two stalls and a tack/feed room, I just watched an Elise Blair video and lovvvvved her barn so I'm going to try to do something kind of like that). I was thinking about letting them out in the mornings when sugars in the grass are lowest(probably with a grazing muzzle to try to limit grass intake)
 
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