Can You Keep a Horse in Your Backyard Legally?

horse-in-backyard

Horse property owners should know the legitimate obligations attached to keeping horses within your property. 

Many people have unreserved love for horses, especially children. We’ve heard people complain about how their pets are hard to maintain. But horses are never hard to keep since they eat almost anything. 

Nearly every state has endorsed laws protecting complaints from people posting the necessary posters in many public places.

The public areas can be any entrance to your home, anywhere within your compound, or the path leading to your garden. 

If your state necessitates signposting, everyone must put up a sign with precise language dictated by your state. The signs can sometimes be more than one, and in most cases, at least three are recommended.

The signs are not a guarantee that you won’t be liable should someone be hurt within your property. But they will help you big time with your case! You can always get the vital signs at your track store or local store.

The laws dictate the color, letter sizes, and signs should be posted in some states. The states also determine the number of wording used on posts. 

For ideal legal protection, ensure your sign has the exact wording as stipulated by the law. Below are the questions revolving around horse keeping.

Can You Have a Horse on Your Property?

Yes, you can have a horse on your property. However, having a horse in your courtyard comes with a massive responsibility since you’ll be thinking about pasture, food, and many other things. Additionally, You’ll be required to meet general requirements from the government.

Horses and humans have lived together for eternity. Just like some communities keep dogs for pets, there also exists a community of horse lovers. 

A study reveals that approximately two million people own horses in the United States. Having a horse within your property will be a thrilling experience. But wait, is it even endorsed? 

Can You Have a Horse in Your Backyard in Texas?

Yes, you can have a horse in your backyard in Texas. 

Texas is the state with the most horses; believed that there are more than one million horses. If you are pondering about horse keeping in this state, then yes, you can have a horse in your backyard; as long as you provide enough space.

In Texas, horse keepers are only allowed to keep one horse per acre, but in some cities like Fort Worth, every large animal requires 10,000 square feet of land. You also need to keep the animal 50 feet away from any regulated structure.

However, the above rule does not apply to horse riding in public due to personal security issues, animal security issues, and vehicle security issues. All you have to do is ensure you don’t cause any traffic or public obstruction; otherwise, you will be fined.

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Can You Keep a Pony in Your Backyard?

Yes, you can keep a pony in your backyard – after all, a Pony is a small horse. Owning a pony means you will save on more space and keep your expenses low as a horse keeper. 

Generally, a pony is just a minuscule horse and is a wonderfully incredible animal. They are lovely creatures to have around and require lesser space and grazing fields since they are smaller than horses.

You can easily keep a pony in the courtyard without any issues in most states, provided that you dedicate 1/3 acre of your land for exercise and grazing. It is always advisable to check your local rules and zoning laws before deciding on having a pony.

Can You Keep a Horse Outside All Year?

Most horses are relatively healthy and can stay in open-air throughout the year as long as they have a good coat and can access shelter. The rugs offer extra protection to the clipped horses or those that are not strong. 

When you decide to rug-up your horse, there are some factors to be considered. The factors include age, condition, category, and workload for a specific horse. These factors are also applicable when choosing the right type of rug.

Assuming that the horse is ridden regularly, then using a lightweight waterproof rug will keep the horse clean and dry. It will also minimize drying and grooming time. Fine coated horses may require a considerably thicker rug during severe weather.

The rugs should be good-fitting with buckles and security straps. Usually, many rugs should be lighter weight during autumn and spring but thicker during winter. You should also have spare rugs to allow you to repair, clean, and dry the carpets.

Ensure the Well-Being of Your Horses

Apart from offering a secure and well-kept field surrounding, every horse owner must ensure that the animal gets adequate nutrition, care, supervision, and exercise.

The field should always be visited at least twice a day to check the horse and examine the area.

  • You should always remove the animals from the shelters and field-a at least once a week. When the wastes pile, they smell and turn into breezing zones for bacteria.
  • Ensure you have good pasture management. Leave some part of your land uncultivated to allow new grass to grow. You can try out dividing the land or practice strip grazing for better results. 
  • Avoid grooming if the horse is not rugged. This will let the grease in the coat to offer some natural body protection.
  • Always ensure that rugs are removed daily such that they don’t slip back and cause rubbing or sores. Worn-out rugs expose the animal’s skin to harsh environments like scorching sun.
  • Horses benefit a lot from regular contact and treatment. Spend some time relaxing with your horse and let the animal enjoy the happiness of being caught. Share some light moments with your horse and allow the animal to get used to you.
  •  A qualified farrier should check the feet after every six weeks. You should also conduct a daily check on the feet.
  • Always avail fresh and clean drinking water. Water troughs must forever remain full. The gutters should be free of ice during cold weather.
  • Horses under restricted grazing to regulate their weight; steady toys can keep them busy. The toys should be interchanged frequently to uphold innovation as an interest.
  • Has your horse microchipped? You have to value your animal’s security by always keeping the gates locked. Horse owners must never be left wearing the head collar when grazing.
  • Horses are herd animals; therefore, you need a compatible equine company.
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How Much Space Do You Need to Keep a Horse?

The total land required to keep a horse is 1 – 1/2 acres of open exceptionally managed land for one horse. If you properly manage two acres, then you should produce enough fodder, hay, and pasture.

However, this depends on the location. In a case where you chose to use the land for exercise instead of nutritional needs like a daily supply of hay, then a smaller area may be enough. 

It would be best if you also remembered to check your state’s agricultural statuses or country since livestock’s land requirements vary in different states.

The land is a very critical concern in many states that permit horse keeping in a property. Most horse-owning rules safeguard the animal’s wellbeing as it should never be exposed to a stressful environment.

According to experts, one horse should have at least two acres of land, while the other acre should be allocated to any extra horse. The reason behind having this space is to evade overgrazing while ensuring the land is well managed.

In a case whereby your primary purpose of additional land is for your horse to get space for exercise instead of nutritional needs, then a smaller piece of land may serve the purpose.

All these will still depend on your locality. For example, in Colorado, each horse owner must have five acres of land to keep one horse. In Texas, the rule is one acre per horse. The set standards in your state define the amount of land you need for your horse.

Can You Ride a Horse in a Neighborhood?

Keeping a horse is not just all about feeding, grooming, and treating them as they trot around your land. However, these are imperative responsibilities of a horse owner. But it would help if you also tried letting them out or riding them.

It is important to ride your horse in the locality, especially when your land space is limited. Through this, your horse will fight boredom, and the exercise will make them stronger. But the big question is it lawful to ride your horse within your locality?

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Some people may view riding a horse within a locality as improper. They may even wonder whether it’s legal. But the reality is many states generally don’t have regulations restricting horse owners from riding their horses in public areas. However, it is advisable to keep to low-speed roads and avoid the highways and busy streets.

The local authorities will only require you to ensure that your horse is clean. You should note that horse riding is not allowed on interstates for well-known safety reasons. In case you don’t know public riding streets within your area, you must check your city regulations to verify.

Is It Right to Keep a Horse in The City?

At times you may think horses are just rural affairs and should not be in the city. But horses are allowed in the town, although the laws vary from one city to another.

Although keeping livestock is generally forbidden, there are some exceptions, and you can tag along with your horsy friend. Livestock like horses’ can be controlled in uptown zones in the city provided you meet the following necessities:

Horses should be enclosed – you should have an excellent enclosure to prevent them from breaking out. Conduct regular maintenance and repair more often. Remember, your horse can break out into a neighbor’s property.

Horse owners should, therefore, appropriately maintained in perfect condition without interfering with the surrounding. It should also not pose a health hazard to the residents.

At times, the locals may not welcome your move. You will deal with neighbors who will complain about the horse poop within the estate. Some people also may not stand the presence of a large animal. People may not like the frequent neighs, which they may find irritating.

By adhering to the above conditions, you can have your horse with you in the city.

Bottom Line

If you plan to keep a horse in your home, you must be ready to dedicate some time to attend to it. You can enjoy the ride on your equine friend as you move around within the area. Having a horse in your courtyard is legal, provided you adhere to the rules set by the authorities.

Horse riding within a locality is also allowed. Therefore, if you don’t have enough space on your land to ride your horse, you can ride it within your locality. Every horse should get time for exercising and avoid boredom. Your horse can be very dull and lazy if it doesn’t have exercises.

Keep in touch with the local Livestock Department for regular checkups and treatment, where necessary. Always clean your horse clean and well-groomed to avoid some diseases.

A point to note is that horse keeping rules changes with time. It would help if you always abode the set rules and standards to avoid rubbing the authorities’ shoulders. Check with the local council concerning zoning laws and regulations for keeping a horse in your courtyard. Enjoy living with your equine friend.

About Sarah Walker

Sarah is a homemaker and is passionate about fixing little things in and around her house. She loves to do DIY hacks and keeps on writing about those things in her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her twins Cathy and Mickey.