My Land Is My Castle

02/1/21  |  Hertha Wolff-Arend

This blog is dedicated to everyone who is interested in buying an equestrian property and needs advice on what to look for before making an offer. At the same time, if you already live with your horses on a property, this blog may also give you some ideas for improvements

When looking at horse properties, you will find all kinds of houses, barns and settings. Some of these settings are meant for the so called gentleman ranches, others for the more serious horse addicts like trainers or professional riders. Some people just keep horses in their yard and enjoy the sight of their four legged friends. There may be as many reasons why people own horses as there are breeds in the equine world.

There are different disciplines in equine sports which need to meet different measures and settings. For example, if you are a dressage rider you might want a 20 x 60 meters arena, while if you prefer jumping or roping you will probably prefer a bigger arena. As a jumper, you need storage for poles and jumps while as a roper you might like to have room for pens to keep cattle.

Nevertheless, there is one thing the various disciplines and horse enthusiasts have in common: The need for usable acres when buying an equestrian property. This is what you have to look for:

  • You must have enough flat land to build a barn, an arena as well as other outbuildings if they do not already exist on the property.
  • Get confirmation that zoning allows horses. The size of the land does not necessarily mean horses are allowed.
  • Take into consideration the number of horses you own or you want to own. Horses need room to roam and you should plan 1.5 to 2.0 acres per horse. 
  • Some hills and slopes are fine, but avoid steep and rocky ground to avoid injury to your horses.
  • Ideally there should be enough room to build a loop road that makes it easier for you to trailer in and out of your property.
  • Avoid any property that is listed as studded with oak trees. Although some shade from trees is fine, you don’t want your horses chasing each other under tree branches. The horses can get injured and will be prevented from enjoying what they like most, aside from grazing in a herd, i.e. scoping the horizon.
It does not matter if you have 5 acres or 50 acres; a property without plenty of flat acres is not appropriate for keeping your horses. It does not matter if you start to build your dream from the scratch or buy an existing equestrian property. Your land is your castle and your horses will be grateful when you make the right choice.

Please share your experience and let me know what you think about the importance of usable acres for horses.

In this blog I shared my personal views and opinion and talk about my own experience since I am living on a country property with a bunch of animals.