Pasture horse questions!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by hebertchick12, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. hebertchick12

    hebertchick12 Chirping

    Jul 2, 2014
    Raceland, LA
    Hi guys... My husband and I are currently looking at buying land. We have always talked about having a horse. This wouldn't be for a couple of years at least, but I am trying to research all I can. I grew up helping my best friend with her horses, and my father-in-law has raised some.

    This is what we were planning: To find an older, maybe retired, small horse or large pony. I am 5'5 and 105 lbs and have a one-year-old that I would like to grow up learning to ride. It would be out in a (at the least) 1-acre pasture split in 2 sections (rotated so the grass may continue to grow) with a run-in shelter. Supplemented with hay as needed. It would only be used for trail riding around the property and pleasure as a pet.

    Is this practical? Any suggestions?

    We are in south Louisiana, if that helps any.
  2. ShaylaFox

    ShaylaFox Chirping

    Jul 5, 2014
    I own horses and for pasture I would not to put the horse(s) on johnson grass. When then weather gets dry and hot the grass gets a waxy layer on the plant that kills horses if eaten. Our paster has some johnson grass and has to be mowed frequently to try and kill it. This will take along time but its better than a dead horse. We don't want to spray because it would kill the other grass. You are going to need more than an acer of grass even if it is good grass land. Rotating is good we do that with our five horses with three different large pastures. I would not get a large pony, this is just my opinion but ponies are mean and not trust worthy. My sister when we where 8 got kicked by a large pony and had to go the to hospital for a ruptured spleen. This pony had been ours for years all three of us (me her and cousin) rode the pony before it began to buck. Then we just lead it around. This horse was just mean. Nothing could be done. We where always nice, feeding it treats and petting it all the time. For trail riding I would get a horse around the age of 9 ish not to young. You don't want a horse that is to old, it will have trouble on the trail. Up and down hills. For a smooth ride, get a gaited horse. Very comfortable that is what my grandparents ride.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  3. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Songster

    Sep 19, 2010
    Oooh, LA, I so badly want to go there and visit! Do you have a lot of experience riding and caring for them? What did helping your friend consist of?
  4. PluckyClucker99

    PluckyClucker99 Chirping

    Mar 1, 2014
    I think an acre would be okay for just one horse, as long as you fence off two different half acre sections so you can rotate and let some grass regrow after they eat it. My mom and my grandparents and I own five Quarter Horses on a 60 acre plot that is split into a one acre paddock, two 25 acre pastures and a 10 acre pasture which we rotate around every two months. We live about 3 miles from a small town. It is better to have two or more horses/ponies, also. Horses are herd animals, and need companionship. If this isn't possible due to costs or space, try to find a stable or barn where you could board your horse that has ample room for grazing. One thing, don't ever use barbed wire for fencing. It can and will seriously injure your horse. Two popular options are electric fencing (we use it and it works great) for larger plots of land, or wooden fencing for smaller ones (such as yours). Wooden fencing looks great, but requires more upkeep than electric fencing. I agree to not get a pony, you may get lucky and find one with a perfect temperment, but it's not likely. My mom got my 8 year old sister one, and it ended up being a nightmare. If you want my opinion, I'd say your best bet would be to go with a well broke trail/pleasure/all around horse that is good with kids. I recommend the Quarter Horse, though not a pony, they can be small, and are very even-tempered if you get them from a good breeder. Go for an semi-older one, 10-15+ years would be best. Don't get any that are under 4 or a stallion, these are very high-strung and the stallions can be aggressive. If you need more information, don't be afraid to shoot me a PM and we can talk ;) Welcome to the horse lifestyle!
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  5. ShaylaFox

    ShaylaFox Chirping

    Jul 5, 2014
    I am not trying to be a smarty pants or a know it all. I was recommending not getting an older horse because of first hand experience. My sister was stubborn and did not want to give up her older horse. Well one time she went with us on a trail ride and her 15+ horse was having the toughest time keeping up with even my grandmothers Quarter Horse. We all felt sorry for it, his name is Red. She ended up getting off and walking the poor thing half the way. We had only gone about two miles and had to turn around because he could not do it. This horse was healthy and feed grain every day (the other horses always got mad they did not get any). But because of his age he just simply could not do it all of those hills where to hard on him. When we got back to camp, he was feed and while he was getting brushed he feel asleep which was a typical Red :) After that we got her a younger horse, we gave him to an elderly couple with grandkids under the age of 7 who was beginning to learn to ride. Once in a while we will call and ask about him. He gets to walk all the time and trot when he wants. Again I am not trying to argue or start a fight, I am just giving her advice like you are.
  6. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    Just a comment. Fifteen is not all that old for a horse. While age could be a contributing factor, if that 15-year-old horse could not keep up there was something going on with him besides his age. All of my horses have remained sound and useful well into their twenties, and my horses were by no means exceptional animals.
  7. Stacykins

    Stacykins Crowing

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    Aye, fifteen is not old for a horse. The horse was unsound for another reason. For a beginner, an experienced horse is best. They're more likely to be calm and bombproof.

    Herbertchick, if you haven't already, invest in some riding lessons before bringing home the horse. If you have ridden before, but it has been a while, think of it as a refresher. If you've never ridden before, then it is critical to learn how to ride safely, and how they behave in and out of the saddle. In fact, your instructor could likely help you get started in the horse world. When you feel ready to purchase your first, it is quite possible they could help you find a horse to fit your experience level and needs.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    x2! Riding lessons first!!! If you are an experienced horse person, don't mean to offend, but otherwise, get those lessons! One horse is the wrong number; they are social animals who need at least one friend, and three are actually a good group. They can be ponies or whatever, but definitely not just one. Mary
  9. hebertchick12

    hebertchick12 Chirping

    Jul 2, 2014
    Raceland, LA
    Thanks everyone for your input! I can definitely get a refresher course from my friend! I am going to talk with her soon about maybe helping out at her barn in exchange for lessons! :) She currently has 10 horses, most of which are Quarter Horses. She pole bends and barrel races, was actually World Champion of pole bending a few years back! I would love to get her input and have her shop for a horse with me when we are ready, I am just worried she would be looking more to fit her needs than mine. I just want a laid back small horse. Our land will be flat, a few trees. Will be a little over 9 acres that we are splitting with a close friend, so each 4.5 acres to live on, and will be able to trail ride throughout the entire area. There are maybe 5 houses in the vicinity, the rest cattle pasture. We will most likely be using wood for the fence. Does a companion HAVE to be another horse? I am a stay at home mom, so plan on spending plenty time with our horse. Wouldn't be against a goat or something....
  10. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Agreed 1000 times over - on all points.

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