|The Guide Horse
Horses in residential neighborhoods
As more miniature horses overcome the livestock designation and start living in suburban neighborhoods, new issues have surfaced. With mini horse now accepted a service animals, therapy animals and emotional support horses, we are seeing a flood of tiny horses into urban and suburban areas.
A recent article in theHorse.com discusses the issues involved with having a miniature horse in a residential area:
According to Malcolm Commer, PhD, Equine Economist at the University of Maryland, many people have incorrect assumptions about the impact of having a horse in a residential neighborhood:
"Some folks may think their area is having a higher incidence of Lyme disease, West Nile virus, or rabies because of horses."
The article also discusses neighborhood covenants that often prohibit barns or turn-outs for horses. We also have State laws like Maryland that require a permanent barns for horses, and not just a shelter. There are other State regulations, intended for large horses, that are problematic:
"Robert A. Mowrey, PhD, Extension Horse Commodity Coordinator at North Carolina State University, says that in his state, regulations were introduced in the late 1990s that might eventually require owners to maintain green vegetation on their land at all times"
There is also a section of this article dealing with waster management and being a nice neighbor and notes a large increase in urban horses. According to Dr. Pete Gibbs:
"Probably 10-11% of horses in this country are in boarding facilities, but of the horse-owning households, most of those horses are on small acreages, and most of them are close to town. People want to keep their horses where they can get to them easily and enjoy them."
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