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Can I Have a Horse on My Property?

Can I Have a Horse on My Property?

Here’s a picture of every horse lover’s fantasy…

Looking out your window in the morning and seeing your horses grazing outside. A thrilling experience, isn’t it? You have the opportunity to see your horse whenever you want because they are at home right with you.

But do you know if it’s proper to have a horse on your property? As if that’s not enough, do you know the responsibility that comes with keeping a horse?

These questions will be answered in this post

So, let’s get down to it.

Is It Legal To Keep a Horse in the Backyard?

If yes or no?

It depends. If you’re a property owner and you want to keep your horse as a horse lover. How legal it is depends on where you reside and if your property is zoned appropriately for the possession of a horse.

So, what should you do?

It’s your responsibility to check the legality of this by simply contacting your local council.

You may also talk to an official in the zoning or planning department of your city before building any structure for your horse (e.g. stables or pens).

Why go through all these?

There may be different requirements for different jurisdictions as to keeping a horse or building a structure for a horse. For example, you may need to pay fees, sign paperwork, or an inspection may be may also be as simple as giving a command to proceed.

Once more, it’s all a matter of your local authorities and there can be large differences between even neighboring jurisdictions.

It’s not rare to see horses stabled in back gardens in the countryside areas outside of town, or even in suburban areas.

Having a horse in urban areas at this present time can be possible. However, It’s not recommended owing to its preparation and maintenance which takes a lot of time and resources.

Can I Keep a Pony in My Backyard?

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a horse and a pony?

Most times when we hear the word pony we think of small horses. It’s common for people to believe that a pony is a young horse that’s not mature.

The truth, though, is that horse and pony are completely different. Although they are similar and kind of related, pony and horse are not the stages of development of a single animal. A striking difference is that ponies remain small even when they are fully grown.

Now, the main difference between a horse and a pony is height. A horse is commonly considered to be four feet ten inches tall, a pony on the other hand is less than four feet ten inches in height.

Although some horses are less than four feet ten inches in height and ponies who are above this in height. This is to prove that there are other differences aside from this:

-They are different in their bone structure, muscles, and overall body structure. Ponies tend to be sturdy and tough( for their size).

-They can survive more in cold weather.

Since a horse is quite different and larger than a pony. You might ask, “can I keep a pony in my backyard?

Fortunately, yes, you can. In most states, ponies are allowed for backyard keeping. They are wonderful creatures to have around and need less space and grazing fields.

They have a lovely temperament with humans just like pet dogs. Therefore humans keep them as companion animals.

In fact, ponies are easy to train even indoors. In most states, a pony can be kept in the courtyard without any issues. Advisably, it’s better to check your local ordinance and zoning laws before deciding on getting a pony.

How Much Space Do I Need To Keep a Horse?

Horses need a lot of space.

However, little research has been done on the space requirements of horses.

They need a lot of space for grazing and exercise.

For most states that allow horse keeping on a property, an important consideration is the land space.

A horse should be in a stress-free environment that’s why most of the laws ensure its welfare. For one horse, it is recommended that at least two acres of land should be allotted. Each additional horse can have one acre to itself.

If two acres are managed suitably, it should provide sufficient fodder in the form of pasture.

This amount of space not only avoids overgrazing of pasture but also ensures that the land is well managed. If you depend on the land for exercise rather than feeding. Assuming your horse gets hay each day, then a smaller area will be adequate.

The space to keep a horse depends on your locality. Make sure you check your state’s agricultural status because states have different amounts of land required for livestock.

Can You Have a Horse in Residential Zoning?

The simple answer is Yes.

States often have zoning laws or decrees that speak to the keeping of horses, and most residential properties benefit from the “horse privileges,” within definite parameters. Commercial stables cannot be permitted as a dwelling profession on residential property.

What are residential zones?

Residential zones are commonly single-family residences, suburban homesteads, and other residential areas such as apartments, trailer parks, and duplexes.

So, what is the zoning for horses?

For single-family residential zoning districts horses must be kept in a stockade located in the backyard, set back at least 40 feet from all lot lines, and must contain 1,200 SQ feet of the place for each horse kept in it.

Finding the zoning for your property is a short and simple process. All you have to do is go to the local zoning office or city hall and ask for a copy of your local ordinance. Any property owner will get a copy by request since it’s a public record.

Can I Ride a Horse in a Neighborhood?

Feeding, grooming, and taking care of a horse as they graze around your land is not all about keeping a horse. These are the main responsibilities of a horse owner. But you should take out time to let them out or ride them, it’s very important.

If your land space is limited, you must ride your horse in your locality. This exercise will keep them in proper shape and make them stronger. But the question is, is it legal to ride a horse in your locality?

Riding a horse within the locality may be viewed as inappropriate by some people, they may even ask if it’s lawful or not.

But the fact is most states don’t have regulations limiting horse owners from riding their horses in public places.

However, you should avoid busy streets and highways and keep low-speed roads. What the local authorities want is for your horse to be clean.

Just in case you don’t know any public riding streets within your city, you can verify through your city regulations. Also, note that horse riding is not permitted on interstates due to specific reasons.

As mentioned earlier, for a horse to maintain excellent health all around and to stay in proper shape, exercise should be a regular thing. Without adequate exercise, a horse can suffer from various ailments. Some of them are poor circulation, digestive issues, psychological issues, boredom, and diseases.

Can I Have Farm Animals on My Property?

Sad to say. This question has no answer.

Each state and locality controls farming in its way.

To be candid, the answer depends on your property zoning. if it is zoned as “residential” or “agricultural.”

Residential zones do not require the usual domestic pets(dogs, birds, cats) to be regulated as animal keepers. But when it comes to farm animals( cow, chicken, pig, horse), this same thing cannot be said. This is because they are subject to certain requirements and different farm animals are regulated frequently.

Yes, you think everything has been settled in terms of money, structure, and resources in keeping your farm animal; but there is another box on our list we need to examine. Even if it’s lawful to keep farm animals, if a neighbor accuses you, issues may arise.

Before you keep any farm animal, ensure you notify or speak with your neighbors to avoid complaints that could result in you being forced to stop keeping the animals or to pay fines.


Keeping your horse at home is a thrilling experience, but it comes with a lot of responsibility. It involves investing a huge amount of money, physical labor, resources, and commitment.

If your local authorities deem it lawful, your neighbors don’t have issues with a horse on the property, and you have the time, money, access, and resources, then by all means get your horse.

If you commit to exercising your horse, you’ve got the means to the area to ride the horse, and the grazing area is large enough, you will be able to keep a horse on your property.