After 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.