Horse owners considering claiming Government aid under new CAP reforms have been warned they could be worse off.
The Single Payment Scheme, which replaces subsidies paid to farmers, enables landowners to claim cash for the amount of acreage they farm.
But the cost of meeting the environmental and agricultural conditions placed on farmers claiming the grant could be greater for horse owners than the return they would receive.
Restrictions on using water-logged land, for example, could prevent horse owners from exercising animals during the winter.
Lucy Mason, a chartered surveyor, said: "In some cases these land management conditions - known as cross compliance - will be almost impossible to meet for horse owners and the claimant may end up losing the payment."
Particularly at risk will be holdings where a lot of horses are being grazed on a small area. And do-it-yourself livery yards should also study the cross compliance requirements before making any claim, she said.
Ms Mason, of Berrys in Bingham, Nottinghamshire, said: "You would probably be okay if you have a couple of horses on a reasonable acreage - such as three-and-a-half to four acres - with stabling for wintering the horses.
"And to prevent poaching it would also be advisable not to use the land for exercising horses during the winter months. If they rotate the horses around pastures on the farm they will probably be able to meet the compliance requirements.
"All land under the control of the entitlement claimant, even which is kept exclusively for horses, will still be subject to cross compliance. A breach of cross compliance on one small area will affect the claimant's entire single payment."
The new scheme was introduced at the beginning of the year to replace Common Agricultural Policy productionbased subsidies for farmers and claim forms have to be returned to the Regional Payment Agency by May 16.
Under the scheme, land managers can claim payments which could be worth up to £80 an acre in 2012.