Can You Keep a Horse in Your Backyard Legally? (2023)

Backyard chickens, dogs and horses are a popular trend. However, the legality of keeping livestock in your backyard is unclear. Should you be allowed to have a horse? What about another animal? Experts say the answer depends on where you live and if it’s an agricultural area or not.

The “can i keep horses on my property” is a question that many people have. The answer to the question is yes, but it depends on your city and state laws.

Horse owners should be aware of their legal requirements while maintaining horses on their property.

Many individuals, particularly youngsters, have an unconditional affection for horses. We’ve heard folks moan about how difficult it is to care for their dogs. Horses, on the other hand, are easy to maintain since they eat nearly everything.

Nearly every state has passed legislation protecting anyone who display the required placards in public locations.

Any entrance to your house, anyplace inside your complex, or the walk leading to your garden are examples of public places.

If your state requires signposting, everyone must put up a sign with the exact phrase that your state requires. There may be several indicators, and in most circumstances, at least three are suggested.

The signs do not ensure that you will not be held accountable if someone is injured on your property. However, they will be of great assistance to you in your situation! Vital indicators are always available at your local or track shop.

In certain places, rules specify the color, text size, and location of signs. The quantity of words used on posters is likewise determined by the states.

Make sure your sign contains the precise language required by law for maximum legal protection. The following are some horse-related questions.

(Video) I tried putting a horse in my backyard

Is it Legal to Keep a Horse on Your Property?

Yes, you are permitted to have a horse on your property. Having a horse in your courtyard, though, comes with a lot of responsibility since you’ll have to consider about pasture, food, and a lot of other things. You’ll also have to comply with the government’s general criteria.

Horses and humans have coexisted for millennia. A community of horse lovers exists in the same way that certain communities keep dogs as pets.

According to a research, roughly two million individuals in the United States own horses. It will be a great experience to have a horse on your property. Is it, however, even endorsed?

In Texas, can you have a horse in your backyard?

In Texas, yes, you can have a horse in your backyard.

Texas is the state with the most horses, with an estimated population of over one million. If you’re thinking of keeping a horse in your backyard in this state, you may do so as long as you have adequate room.

Horse owners in Texas are limited to one horse per acre, while certain localities, such as Fort Worth, need 10,000 square feet of space for each huge animal. Keep the animal at least 50 feet away from any controlled building.

However, because of personal, animal, and vehicular security concerns, the aforementioned restriction does not apply to horseback riding in public. All you have to do is make sure you don’t hinder traffic or the public, or you’ll be punished.

Is it Legal to Have a Pony in Your Backyard?

After all, a pony is a tiny horse, so you can keep one in your backyard. As a horse owner, owning a pony allows you to conserve room and keep your costs down.

A pony is a little horse that is a great and magnificent creature. They are delightful animals to have around, and since they are smaller than horses, they need less land and grazing areas.

(Video) How much does it cost to have a horse? feat Stephanie Moratto | Guest Vlog

Most states allow you to have a pony in your courtyard as long as you set aside 1/3 acre of your property for exercise and grazing. It’s usually a good idea to double-check your local bylaws and zoning requirements before getting a pony.

Is it Possible to Keep a Horse Outside All Year?

Most horses are generally healthy and can be outside all year if they have a strong coat and have access to shelter. The rugs provide additional protection for clipped horses and weak horses.

There are a few things to consider before deciding to rug up your horse. A horse’s age, health, category, and workload are all elements to consider. These considerations are equally relevant while selecting a rug.

If the horse is ridden on a frequent basis, a lightweight waterproof rug will keep the horse clean and dry. It also cuts down on drying and grooming time. During harsh weather, fine-coated horses may demand a much thicker rug.

Buckles and security straps should be included on the carpets. During the fall and spring, many carpets should be less weight, but thicker during the winter. You should also keep extra rugs on hand in case the carpets need to be repaired, cleaned, or dried.

Make Sure Your Horses Are Healthy

Aside from providing a safe and well-kept area, horse owners must ensure that their animals get appropriate diet, care, supervision, and exercise.

At least twice a day, go to the field to check on the horse and inspect the surroundings.

  • At least once a week, you should take the animals from the shelters and field-a. When garbage builds up, it stinks and becomes a breeding ground for germs.
  • Make sure your pastures are well-managed. Allow portion of your property to be uncultivated so that fresh grass may grow. For improved outcomes, consider separating the field or practicing strip grazing.
  • If the horse isn’t tough, don’t groom it. This will allow the oil in the coat to protect the body naturally.
  • Make careful to remove rugs on a regular basis so they don’t slide back and create friction or blisters. The animal’s skin is exposed to hostile surroundings such as the sun when the rug is worn out.
  • Regular interaction and therapy help horses greatly. Allow your horse to savor the delight of being captured by spending some time resting with him. Allow your horse to become acclimated to you by sharing some enjoyable moments with him.
  • Every six weeks, a certified farrier should inspect the feet. You should also inspect your feet on a daily basis.
  • Always have access to clean and fresh drinking water. Water troughs must always be filled. During cold weather, the gutters should be clear of ice.
  • Horses on limited pasture might be entertained with steady toys to keep them occupied. To keep the desire in invention alive, the toys should be swapped out often.
  • Does your horse have a microchip? You must regard your animal’s safety by keeping the gates shut at all times. When grazing, horse owners must never leave the head collar on.
  • Horses are herd creatures, therefore you’ll need to choose an equestrian firm that shares your values.

How Much Room Is Required to Keep a Horse?

For one horse, 1 – 1/2 acres of open, excellently kept land is necessary. If you manage two acres effectively, you should be able to generate adequate feed, hay, and pasture.

This, however, is conditional on the location. A lesser area may be sufficient if you want to utilize the field for exercise rather than nutritional demands such as a daily supply of hay.

(Video) Yard Act - The Overload

It would be ideal if you also remembered to examine the agricultural condition of your state or nation, since livestock land needs vary by state.

In many jurisdictions that allow horsekeeping on private property, land is a major challenge. The majority of horse-ownership restrictions protect the animal’s health by ensuring that it is never exposed to a stressful environment.

Experts recommend that each horse have at least two acres of land, with the remaining acre going to any additional horses. The purpose of having this area is to avoid overgrazing while maintaining good land management.

If the main objective of the extra land is to provide room for your horse to exercise rather than to meet nutritional demands, a smaller piece of land may suffice.

All of this will be determined by your location. In Colorado, for example, each horse owner needs five acres of property to maintain one horse. The regulation in Texas is one acre per horse. The quantity of acreage you require for your horse is determined by state regulations.

Can You Ride a Horse in a Residential Area?

It’s not only about feeding, grooming, and pampering your horse while they gallop about your property. These are, nonetheless, necessary obligations for a horse owner. However, letting them out or riding them might be beneficial.

Riding your horse in the neighborhood is crucial, particularly if your land area is restricted. Your horse will be less bored as a result of this, and the exercise will strengthen them. But the key issue is: is it legal to ride your horse in your neighborhood?

Riding a horse inside a community may be considered inappropriate by some. They may even question whether or not it is lawful. However, many states do not have legislation prohibiting horse owners from riding their horses in public spaces. However, it is best to stick to low-speed routes and avoid motorways and congested areas.

The only thing the local authorities will want you to do is make sure your horse is clean. Horseback riding is not permitted on interstate highways for obvious safety reasons. If you are unsure about local public riding streets, you should check your city’s rules.

(Video) Buying a HORSE for the FIRST Time? Watch this FIRST!

Is Keeping a Horse in the City Legal?

You may believe that horses belong in the countryside and should not be allowed in the city. Horses, on the other hand, are permitted in the town, however the restrictions differ from city to city.

Although raising animals is normally prohibited, there are few instances where you may accompany your equine companion. Horses and other livestock may be managed in the city’s uptown zones if the following conditions are met:

Horses should be contained; you should have a good enclosure to keep them from escaping. Increase the frequency of maintenance and repair. Keep in mind that your horse may wander into a neighbor’s property.

As a result, horse owners should keep their animals in top shape without interfering with the environment. It should also not endanger the occupants’ health.

Locals may not always welcome your arrival. You’ll have to deal with neighbors who are upset about the horse excrement on the estate. Some folks cannot bear being around a huge animal. People may object to the frequent neighs, which they may find annoying.

You may keep your horse in the city if you follow the aforementioned guidelines.


If you want to keep a horse at home, you must be willing to devote time to caring for it. As you walk across the neighborhood, you may enjoy the ride on your horse companion. It is permissible to have a horse in your courtyard if you follow the guidelines specified by the government.

Horseback riding is permitted inside a community. As a result, if you don’t have enough area to ride your horse, you may ride it inside your neighborhood. To combat boredom, every horse should be given time to exercise. If you don’t give your horse any workouts, it will become dull and sluggish.

Keep in contact with your local Livestock Department for regular examinations and, if required, treatment. To prevent infections, keep your horse clean and well-groomed at all times.

(Video) Lewis Black's Rantcast #89 - Is A Fetus A Passenger?

It’s worth noting that horse-keeping laws evolve throughout time. To prevent rubbing the authorities’ shoulders, you should always follow the established regulations and standards. If you want to keep a horse in your courtyard, check with the local council about zoning rules and restrictions. Enjoy your time with your horse.

The “can you have horses in residential zoning” is a question that has been asked many times. The answer to this question is no, you cannot legally keep horses in your backyard.

Related Tags

  • is my property zoned for horses
  • keeping horse in backyard
  • horses in residential neighborhoods
  • can i have farm animals on my property
  • what zoning is required for horses


Can I keep a horse in my garage? ›

A single-car garage will probably only be large enough to house one horse or cow, while a two-car garage may house two or three animals, depending on the dimensions. Ensure adequate ventilation. Animals need windows and a good source of airflow; cars do not. Many garages have very limited airflow.

Can a pony live in my backyard? ›

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.

Can you have a horse in your backyard in California? ›

Housing structure. Horses should be housed in an appropriate housing structure no closer than 40 feet from any property line and 100 feet from a principal structure of a neighboring property. Necessary property. A minimum of 80,000 square feet of area shall be provided for the maintenance and keeping of a horse.

Can you keep a horse inside? ›

They wander around the house like a dog and will curl up in the dog basket, or have a lie down in the kitchen. They have the most amazing temperament - ours will lie on the children's laps. But they can't actually live in a house. They are a grazing animal and they need plenty of hay to keep their teeth in good shape.

Can a horse live in my garden? ›

Unless you've got land. A normal sized garden will be no-where close to the space and grazing a horse needs, plus they'd be on their own, which isn't good!! As well as the problems of space and companionship, the chances are the "grazing" wouldn't be suitable.

Where can I keep my horse? ›

Boarding arrangements for a monthly fee can be as simple as keeping your horse in someone's pasture, where he has access to water and shelter, or as elaborate as full-service stables, where your horse has his own stall and is handled daily by barn workers.

How much space do you need to own a horse? ›

Horses will need at least 1/10th of an acre of space per horse for an adequate turnout or dry lot. This provides them with enough space to move about freely and get some exercise.

Can you have a stable in your garden? ›

If you have the land available, putting a stable or paddock in your back garden can be an excellent option for horse ownership and many a horse lovers dream scenario.

Can mini horses live in your house? ›

Because of their small size, miniature horses have a low need for calories. Owners may mistakenly overfeed them, which easily can lead to obesity. Housing requirements for miniature horses are smaller than that of a full-sized horse. However, they still require a pasture for adequate living space.

Can you keep a horse in the backyard? ›

At a bare minimum, you'll need to fence the turnout area. And you need to fence it appropriately. Barbed wire is for cattle, not horses. Large, heavy-duty fences with large openings can cause one of these animals to get their head stuck.

How many acres do you need to own a horse in California? ›

However, experts agree that around two acres is a good minimum, though in some cases horses might do well with one acre of land. The variables include: How much hay horses receive and how often it is given. If the land is used mainly for exercise rather than as a nutritional source.

How many acres do you need for a mini horse? ›

Mini horses don't need as much space as standard horses, but it is typically recommended to have ¼ of an acre per mini horse. However, it's also important to keep in mind that minis LOVE to run.

Can horses be left outside? ›

Many horses (and particularly ponies) are fairly hardy and will be able to live outdoors without a rug all year round, provided that they have a good natural coat and access to shelter.

Can you keep a horse on 2 acres? ›

If you are attempting to figure the carrying capacity of land for a horse, then a good rule of thumb is 1-1/2 to 2 acres of open intensely managed land per horse. Two acres, if managed properly, should provide adequate forage in the form of pasture and/or hay ground. But this is highly variable depending on location.

Can horses stay outside at night? ›

Whether or not you should leave your horse out at night depends on the unique needs of your horse and the facilities where you'll be keeping them. If your horse has no serious health conditions and your facilities provide the necessary safety and amenities, then it is perfectly fine to leave your horse out at night.

Do you need planning permission to keep horses in your garden? ›

The short answer is yes. Planning permission will be required where there is a 'material change' in the use of the land from agriculture to the keeping of horses for leisure purposes.

Can horses live outside without shelter? ›

Domestic horses also require shelter to be provided for them in inclement weather. A healthy horse can cope with low temperatures without any problem but, when it is raining, a horse will usually seek out shelter.

Can I build stables without planning permission? ›

Generally, if you want to build stables on your property, you will need planning permission from your Local Planning Authority (LPA). However, the laws are rather complex and there are exceptions for private leisure stables.

Can I keep a horse on 1 acre? ›

Often, one horse per acre is used as a starting point. In some cases, two acres is recommended for the first horse and one additional acre for each additional horse is suggested to prevent over-grazing of pastures.

What do you need to keep a horse at home? ›

When caring for your horse or pony, you'll want to make sure they have a suitable place to live. Horses need plenty of room to exercise outside as well as access to shelter. They also need dry areas to stand or lie down in to help ensure that they remain happy and healthy.

What do I need to keep a horse? ›

Here are some general horse care considerations:
  1. Routine horse care is a significant and ongoing expense. ...
  2. Horses need a regular supply of food and water. ...
  3. Horses need hoof maintenance. ...
  4. Horses need veterinary care. ...
  5. Be aware of parasites. ...
  6. Don't forget about shelter. ...
  7. Horses need exercise.

How much land do 2 horses need? ›

In general, professionals recommend two acres for the first horse and an additional acre for each additional horse (e.g., five acres for four horses). And, of course, more land is always better depending on the foraging quality of your particular property (70% vegetative cover is recommended).

How many acres of grass does a horse need? ›

In general, you need 2 to 4 acres per horse if you want them to be out all the time and not overgraze a pasture. Most farm owners don't have this much space, but with more intensive grazing management, you can maintain horses on fewer acres and still have great pastures.

How much does a horse cost per year? ›

Responses to a horse-ownership survey from the University of Maine found that the average annual cost of horse ownership is $3,876 per horse, while the median cost is $2,419. That puts the average monthly expense anywhere from $200 to $325 – on par with a car payment.

Do you need planning permission for a horse shelter? ›

So there it is, from that day back in August 2001, planning law was set on the subject of Mobile Field Shelters. They do not require planning permission and you not need to apply for a change of use for your horses to graze the land on fields with mobile field shelters in.

Do you need planning permission for a horse walker? ›

Full planning consent will be required for any new permanent equine development including: horse walkers.

Can equestrian land be built on? ›

Yes, however planning permission is required for a permanent property featuring equestrian benefits such as stables, an arena and/or field shelters.

Can horses be potty trained? ›

Horses cannot be potty trained in the same sense that a dog can be potty trained.

How long does a horse live? ›

The average horse lives for 25 to 30 years. However, in rare cases, domestic horses have lived into their 50s or 60s. There are many factors that affect the lifespan of a horse including: Nutrition.

How much does a horse cost? ›

To buy a horse, you can expect to pay between $100 – $10,000, depending on the horse breed's pedigree, how you are planning to use the horse, and your location. The average cost of a hobby-horse is about $3,000. According to Seriously Equestrian, the most expensive horse breeds can cost up to $250,000.

How do you keep a horse in a small area? ›

A general rule is to allow approximately 300–400 square feet per horse. A small paddock the size of a generous box stall (16 x 16 feet) could be adequate for some horses. A larger area that allows for running and playing might be 20–30 feet wide by as much as 100 feet long. Footing is a crucial part of a paddock.

Do horses need a barn? ›

Horses don't need a barn, but having access to one is extremely useful. For example, barns help restrict injured horses' mobility, control their eating, and separate them from others. Horses are resilient, but they rely on us to provide them with the necessities of life.

How do you prepare land for a horse? ›

Prepare your Pasture for the Growing Season
  1. Keep horses off pasture when ground is wet/muddy.
  2. Fence off a “sacrifice area” for turnout during drought or mud season when horses may damage pasture.
  3. Take a soil test every 2 to 3 years to determine if nutrients are needed.
  4. Fertilize according to soil test when necessary.
Mar 10, 2014

Do you need a license to own a horse in California? ›

If you buy a horse at a public sale or auction, you need not have a license.

How much room does a horse need in a stable? ›

The standard stall size for an average-sized horse is twelve feet by twelve feet. Large horses, stallions and broodmares need larger stalls. If a horse is over sixteen hands they need a stall fourteen by fourteen feet. Draft horses, stallions, and broodmares often require stalls sixteen by sixteen.

How much does it cost to own a horse? ›

Costs to Keep a Horse
Average CostMedian Cost
Hay* and grain**$1,211$1,000
Pasture Maintenance$194$194
Veterinary and Medicine$485$300
5 more rows

How do I convert my garage into a horse barn? ›

How to Transform Your Garage Into a Stable
  1. Measure Your Garage. ...
  2. Take Out the Garage Door. ...
  3. Make Sure Adequate Ventilation Is In Place. ...
  4. Add lighting Fixtures (If Needed) ...
  5. Add Plumbing (If Needed) ...
  6. Build the Stalls. ...
  7. Add the Gates. ...
  8. Install Livestock Supplies.
Mar 8, 2021

Do horses have to have a stable? ›

Not all horses will need a stable/housing. Some breeds with thick coats are capable of living outdoors throughout the year, provided they can get shelter from the prevailing winds, summer sun and flies. As donkeys do not have waterproof coats they will always need shelter from the rain.

Is it cheaper to board a horse or keep it at home? ›

If you have the space and facility to keep your equines at home, it's more cost effective and offers a number of advantages that boarding does not.

Can you keep a horse in your backyard Australia? ›

It is your legal responsibility to make sure your horse is provided with the basic requirements to keep it healthy and happy. Horse owners running horses on their own property and owners of properties where horses are agisted must also have a Property Identification Code (PIC).


1. Last to leave Giant LEGO Fort wins iPhone 11!
2. How To Get Land FOR FREE! (UK)
(Kerrbear Adventures)
3. LIVE REPORT: Dreadhead Cowboy rides horse on Dan Ryan Expressway
(ABC 7 Chicago)
4. Dubai Photos That Will Make You Think Twice
(Facts Verse)
5. [LIVE] HUGE NEWS: Tilray & HEXO Deal Officially Complete! Bring On CPG Partner News... (JULY 12TH)
(POW Group)
6. How to Legally Build Anything with Rough Cut Lumber
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Trent Wehner

Last Updated: 31/05/2023

Views: 6306

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Trent Wehner

Birthday: 1993-03-14

Address: 872 Kevin Squares, New Codyville, AK 01785-0416

Phone: +18698800304764

Job: Senior Farming Developer

Hobby: Paintball, Calligraphy, Hunting, Flying disc, Lapidary, Rafting, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Trent Wehner, I am a talented, brainy, zealous, light, funny, gleaming, attractive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.