Are you shopping for your first or next horse facility? Janice Reeves, an equine real estate agent in Upstate, New York shares four things to think about when looking at a horse property.
#1: The number of horses you anticipate having on the property.
Local zoning laws outline minimum acreage per horse. Each municipality sets guidelines, which can vary dramatically even between neighboring communities.
“I have a lot of people who think they need five acres or more for a horse. That’s not necessarily true,” Reeves says. “I also know someone who keeps five horses on a half-acre and that’s perhaps less than ideal.”
Reeves always investigates zoning regulations within the town where she is selling a property but encourages every buyer to talk directly with the town to confirm the current laws.
#2: Your preferred approach to pasture management.
If you rely on grazing to provide the bulk of your horse(s)’ diet, you need to consider the available acreage and how rotating pastures can maximize forage growth.
#3: How will the facility be used?
Are you the sole owner, or do you plan on boarding horses or leasing part of the facility to trainers?
“Knowing how you plan to use the property will help you decide how much space you need for stalls and riding,” Reeves says. “An indoor arena is always nice, but an outdoor arena might suffice, depending on your plans.”
#4: Storage availability.
Reeves has personally kept two horses on a two-acre plot. A run-in shed provided ample protection for the horses but offered no room for hay or tack.
“We put pallets on the ground and pulled a tarp over the hay. My big dream was getting an Amish shed. We eventually moved but making sure the new property had storage (or space to build) was important,” she says. “A tack room wasn’t as big of a deal for me because I kept it in my trailer, but it’s something to think about.”