Ron Wallace has been a horse farm manager for more than 30 years. But he's not your normal horse farm manager; his business is to help select horse property, create or renovate the facilities, establish a management team, then gradually remove himself from the picture and leave the farm running smoothly. Wallace shared some thoughts about general planning that should go into the decision of buying a horse property. You can find more about his company Equine Farm Management at www.EquineFarmManagement.com.
The key to owning and running a successful, hassle-free horse farm is planning. So before you buy property to build your dream farm, or before you purchase a property with horse amenities in place, let’s stop and think about what will make your farm run as smoothly as possible and give you the greatest enjoyment.
There are several key areas you need to consider. In this article we’ll talk about planning what you want to do with your horse farm.
First, start by imagining what you want to do with your farm. Are you clear on the type of operation you want to have? Are you raising Thoroughbreds, training dressage horses, or teaching reining? Will you run the operation yourself, or will you have a crew to maintain the horses, facilities and property?
Then determine if the geographic area you have chosen is suitable for that breed and discipline. Location is important for any business, and it’s important even if your horse farm is for your own horses and not a boarding operation. You have a much better chance of success (and enjoying your property) if you locate your horse facility in an area where the climate, terrain and support industries are conducive to the type of farm you want to buy or build.
Support industries include such services as veterinarians, farriers and feed suppliers who are familiar with your breed or discipline and can cater to your special needs.
Also, you need to consider whether there are competitions and/or sales for your breed or discipline within a reasonable transporting distance from your farm. You don’t want to build the nicest farm in the world that is 1,000 miles from the nearest event center for your discipline.
If you are going to live on this farm, hopefully it is in a community or area where you want to live. Make sure to check out the lifestyle and community (schools, shopping, entertainment, etc.) to ensure you will be as happy as your horses.