The amount of land isn't as important as
the level of management.
If these horses are ridden
daily as you say, what you outline below sounds great. Bravo for thinking ahead
and planning the sacrifice pens.
Your challenge will
be to manage the land so it doesn't become overgrazed. It will be tempting for
you to let the horses be out more than the pasture can handle.
would be ideal is to divide the 1/2 acre into two pieces. Graze the grass when
it is 6 inches tall and when 50% of it is 3 inches tall, move the horses over
to the other pasture. When a pasture is idle, you can spot mow the weeds - but
set your mower on high so it doesn't mow the grass, just the tall weeds. Because
these are small pastures, you could use a walk-behind mower or weed whacker to
target just the areas where weeds grow.
As long as
these horses are ridden every day or 4-5 times a week, they will have plenty of
exercise and when you turn them out, they will likely just put their heads down
and eat or perhaps roll in the grass.
to answer a little more specifically about acreage, one acre is 43,560 feet. If
it was a perfect square it would be about 209 feet on each side. But land parcels
are usually rectangular so that is why I used the example in Horsekeeping
on a Small Acreage of one acre dimensions of 264 feet by 165 feet.
if the horse pasture area is half that, or 132 x 165 but you divide that into
two smaller pastures for rotational purposes, you'd end up with two pastures of
66 x 165. This is interesting because a dressage arena is 66 feet wide (and either
132 or 198 feet long), so what you have ended up with are two pastures that are
the size of a dressage arena for the horses to graze and exercise in. Sweet !
applaud your efforts to keep your horses (and yourself and your family) on one
acre - it take diligence and good management.
of luck and keep me posted on how you lay things out.
more resources for developing and managing your facilities, refer to
on Small Acreage
Horse Barn, DVD
Hill's Horsekeeping Almanac