After years of saving, you might finally be able to realize your dream of owning property to keep and ride your own horses. Horse properties can be more costly than other real estate, but if you've never lived on land with horses before, you also may not realize what things to look for. Besides a barn, stable, and some fenced pasture, what else might you consider?
Here are some things to look for if you're in the market for horse properties:
1. Income Potential
Keeping your own horses can be costly. Not only do you need to stay on top of food and vet costs, but you'll also have property maintenance and repairs. In order to offset the cost of keeping a horse property, you should always consider income potential when you're looking to buy. Is the barn large enough to board other horses? Is there an exercise pen already in place for owners who might want to come use your property to work their horses? You might not want a larger barn or stable block, but a few extra spaces can mean extra income each month.
2. Friendly Neighbors
You want to make sure that your neighbors are, if not supportive, at least respectful of your property and what you will use it for, especially if you will end up fencing and building from scratch. You'll need cooperation when you hire fencing companies to put paddock fences along the border of the property.
3. Road Safety
What good is having horses and property when there is no safe place to ride? Busy roads like state highways and interstates mean easy access, but they also cut down on how much riding you can do on your property. Don't rule out more remote country locations if it means that you and your horses will be safer or have the opportunity to ride more. Consider nearness to horse-friendly public trails and wildlife preserves when making your buying decision.
4. Available medical care.
If your horses do have a medical emergency, you need to make sure there is a vet in the area close enough to get there in a timely way. Sometimes, local vets can be quite busy. Before buying a home you are interested in, take a look at how many vets nearby provide equine care and if they can take you on as a new client.
Clay-based, wet soil can be tough on horses. Well-drained soil is safer for them while grazing and it can be better for growing reliable pasture. If you live in a rainy area, well-drained soil is an important feature of a successful horse property.