Making the Most of Small Horse Properties

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Making the Most of Small Horse PropertiesAfter purchasing 9 acres on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to be used as a small sport horse breeding farm, Yolanda Mayers discovered many of the land’s existing trees could not be cleared for pastures. And while the property proved otherwise ideal for her needs, this finding was problematic because it ultimately left her with roughly 5 acres on which to keep her six horses.

The reason for the restriction? Some of the land had been part of a reforestation project, meaning the existing trees held protected status.

With encroaching development, the need to live near workplaces, and rising property values, horse owners are housing their animals on increasingly smaller and more urban properties. This poses obvious challenges: limited grazing, minimal room for manure storage, close neighbors, and more. But by adopting key planning and management strategies, owners can keep horses successfully on small properties—as Mayers has done.

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Freelance journalist Natalie DeFee Mendik is a multiple American Horse Publications editorial and graphics awards winner specializing in equestrian media. She holds an MA in English from Colorado State University and an International Federation of Journalists’ International press card, and is a member of the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists. With over three decades of horse experience, Natalie’s main equine interests are dressage and vaulting. Having lived and ridden in England, Switzerland, and various parts of the United States, Natalie currently resides in Colorado with her husband and two girls.

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