The image of watching your horses grazing peacefully in your paddock is an idyllic scene to which many aspire.
However, there are many practicalities that should be considered when choosing a property that will serve both you and your horses equally well. Here are a few tips for first-time equestrian property owners that might be worth considering:
Size of pasture
The usual rule of thumb is to have at least 1.5 acres per horse for up to two horses, and one acre per horse thereafter. (NB: There are 2.4 acres in a hectare). Is the type of pasture right, or will the land need reseeding, and is there a water supply?
Do not assume that having land automatically confers the ability to graze horses. You may have to apply for change of use from residential or agricultural to grazing before you can keep horses.
Barbed wire should be avoided at all costs and replaced ideally with proper post and rail or possibly electric fencing.
Access by road (not just muddy field) is important when it comes to transporting your horses, vet access, etc.
Is this simply a converted barn, or does it have non-slip flooring with proper drainage? Tack and feed can be heavy so tack/feed rooms should be close at hand. Always ensure your feed room is secure to prevent any escaped horse gorging itself! It is also worth ensuring that the stable itself is within a fenced area – just in case.
Ultimately this is a home you are buying. Whilst needs of your horses are mostly non-negotiable, it can be difficult to combine this with the perfect property. So work out in advance in which areas you might be prepared to compromise (eg location, size of accommodation, condition etc). This will undoubtedly open up a much wider range of available properties, enabling you to start enjoying your new lifestyle at the earliest opportunity.
We’re experts in the field (no pun intended), so please feel free to call us on 01234 380360 if you wish to discuss any aspect of buying or selling an equestrian property.