How many acres are needed to keep a horse in Florida?

Real Estate Agent with First Coast Sotheby’s International Realty

 As an equestrian real estate specialist in Florida, I am often asked how many acres are needed to keep a horse. The answer is, unfortunately, not always easy. On the legal side, individual counties and even subdivisions may have varying zoning regulations and normally the more restrictive will supersede the less restrictive. I have seen

In evaluating your choices for horse happy real estate, make sure that the property you like is zoned to allow horses, don't assume that a property that currently has horses and/or a barn is LEGALLY Ok for them.

For practical horsekeeping, check with your local UF extension office to see what they suggest for making sure you maximize your pasture grass to ensure healthy happy horses. You can also have your soil tested to help evaluate your soil to see how you might be able to improve your forage as well.

Once you determine how many horses are your legal maximum, careful study and evaluation of what you have to work with regarding land and resources can help you maximize your equestrian experience. Barn and pasture layout and management are vital to your success, especially on small acreage. I have seen 10 acre parcels wasted and 2 acre parcels running exceptionally efficiently. Do your homework, work with an equestrian real estate specialist and your horses will thank you for it!!

photo courtesy of efleming

Janie Coffey, Broker, GRI, TRC

Papillon Real Estate, LLC


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Brian Luce
Weidel Realtors New Hope / Lambertville - New Hope, PA
Associate Broker

Great post.

I'm here in Historic Bucks County PA and of course, we have a lot of open space, farms, horses and you name it.  Everything ranges from area to area.  In my area it's generally 3-5 acres (usually 5) for the 1st horse and 1 acre per horse thereafter.

That being said, there are some farms that are grandfathered that have 20+ horses on less than 5 acres and "switching" between 2 or 3 other places.  (really not fair to the horses).


Mar 13, 2008 01:53 PM #1
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Once again, I envy you the ability to combine your passions 24/7!  Great post!

Mar 13, 2008 02:49 PM #2
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services
Janie- In Loxahatchee you can have one horse per acre. I see some horses right up by the front door, now I think that is just a bit close.
Mar 13, 2008 04:43 PM #3
Sara Homan
Coldwell Banker Ellison Realty 352-209-4044 - Ocala, FL
Realtor, Homes, Farms & 55+


You're absolutely right!  1 horse per acre is not necessarily the best factor to gauge a purchase by.  There are lots of factors to consider.  Here in Ocala I have learned quite a bit about soils which make it either good or bad terraine for horses.  Very interesting.


Mar 15, 2008 02:16 PM #4
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

Janie, it's interesting that many areas have restrictions like this.  Minnesota counties have fewer rules and regulations regarding horses.  And, you don't have to live very far out to own a hobby farm.

Great post. 

Mar 17, 2008 03:04 AM #5


I think the acreage is pretty much town specific, it is here in NY.  I really believe that pasture management is extremely important, especially if you hope to cut back on hay and have the horses eating on pasture...

Mar 23, 2008 05:33 AM #6
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Janie Coffey

Uniting Extraordinary Homes w/ Extraordinary Lives
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