With your equine friends in mind, its very important to choose a property that meets their,-and your needs. There are two main factors to consider when selecting the property for you; the land and the facilities.
Within these categories, the things to consider are:
- Property location
- Property size
- Land quality- Soil and Water
- Riding Opportunities
- Existing buildings and fencing
When looking at a property your horses can call home, you should get a feel not only the land your purchasing but the surrounding area. Spend a few nights in the area to get a better idea than just a day-trip. You will get a much better picture of what the area has to offer.
How many horses will you have on the property? Typical guidelines are at least one acre per horse. While bigger is almost always better, something to consider is the upkeep and time management for larger spaces is something to be aware of. While this can be sectioned off to keep necessary maintenance low, a plan for the size and number of horses should be considered when purchasing a property.
Quality pastures require quality soil to create ideal areas for horses to thrive. You won’t be growing any crops, but the type of soil greatly influences the type of grass that will be naturally growing.
Dirt-Organic soils are ideal for growing grass but can be subject to damage during heavy rainfalls- which is a problem if the area is full of buildings and structures. It’s best to put pastures in these organic soil areas.
Rocky- If the soil has some gravel and rocks in it, it can be an ideal spot to put buildings to keep mud and runoff from flooding the areas out. They can be utilized for riding, but are not ideal for grazing.
It is likely that there will be a variety of soil types, which can fill different uses for your horse farm. You may want to consider contacting the Natural Resource Conservation Service for input and advice on what to plan particular areas for.
Water- In addition to the soils, you should make note of every water feature the property has. Not just for the quality of water, but as well as to check to make sure county laws don’t prohibit you from making any changes or modifications to them.
While it may seem obvious, you should take a minute to appreciate not only your own property for scenic riding but the neighboring area as well. Does my land or adjacent land have trails, rivers, fields to be taken advantage of? Is there a community of other horses in the area?
It can make a big difference to your well being, and your equine friends well being if neighbors also have horses. Having a community that understands the needs of their own horses, as well as yours is a wonderful additional benefit that can be gained in some horse communities.
Even if neighbors do not have horses, hopefully they appreciate the beauty and majesty or our equine friends. This may impact how much off-property riding you end doing.
Existing Buildings and Fencing
Take an inventory of the existing buildings, pens, and structures. Consider how many horses you will have, and how much space existing items may satisfy your needs. Ask yourself the following:
-Do I need extra stalls?
-Are the footing and flooring appropriate for my horses?
-Is there an arena?
-Is there a round pen?
-Is the existing fencing adequate and in good condition?
-how far apart are the buildings?
All of these things should be considered when purchasing a property for your horses, and if they are lacking should be planned for in addition to the purchase price of the property.
Because it’s easy to do, don’t forget to enjoy the experience.
Exploring and searching for that magical place to call home can be a challenging and time-consuming process, but always enjoy the ride!.