Time to buy your dream property – where you can watch your horse(s) graze peacefully outside your family room window. Make sure you work with an equestrian expert because there are many factors that should be considered and priority amenities that you should have or budget adding. A property with a large lot that is advertised as having “Equestrian Potential” may end up being much more expensive than the property that already has these key equestrian features.
Most equestrian properties will have some kind of fencing, primarily to safely contain your horses. Fencing is expensive, so make sure the property has the best kind of fencing based upon how you plan to use the property, or budget the cost to add or change out the fencing.
- Wood. Highly visible, strong and aesthetically pleasing. High initial cost and high maintenance due to horse chewing, weathering, etc. If a horse breaks through it when spooked – nails & splintering can present a hazard.
- PVC. Highly visible, strong and aesthetically pleasing. Higher initial cost, but ongoing maintenance cost much lower. Internally ribbed PBC boards resist breakage, but are designed to break away when pressure is applied.
- Steel Pipe. Exceptionally strong and long lasting, not as aesthetically pleasing. Planning must be exact and modifications difficult once the fence is completed. If a horse runs into the fence it can suffer damage since there is no give.
- Smooth Wire. Lower cost and typically coupled with electrical systems to create a deterrent effect. Visibility can be a problem – although you can get the wire wrapped in PVC coating in a variety of colors to help.
Here are some features you should think about when looking at barns – existing or budgeting to build.
- Barn access & proximity – to the main road, the house, and onsite outbuildings. In general, you want to make sure the property location is easily accessible for deliveries and horse trailers via reliable and well-maintained roads.
- Structural Soundness & Safety.
- Barn Age – while an older barn might look picturesque – you want to make sure it is safe and in good repair.
- Lighting – electricity to the barn is important for day to day needs and safety, especially in the case of an emergency.
- Construction – solid wood or cement walls that go down to the floor with no gaps are the best bet. All stall floors should be non-slip and preferably matted.
- Size – a 12×12 stall is optimal and more comfortable for large horses, however a 10×10 stall will accommodate standard horses & ponies or do you need a foaling stall?
- Use – optimal size depends on use – will you have one or multiple horses, plan to breed or board horses.
- Safety – make certain gates and stall doors are in working order and there isn’t a way for horses to escape, injure itself or another horse.
- Feed & Equipment Storage. Make sure there is enough storage for hay, grain and equipment to meet your needs in the barn or in an outbuilding close by.
Other things to consider depending on the type of riding you like to do and how you will use the property: Arenas – outdoor, covered or indoor. Water – availability in the barn and the pasture. Pastures & Turn Outs – sufficient space for the maximum number of horses that will be there. Access – are there riding trails nearby?
Article Published in the Woodinville Weekly Real Estate Section. Since 2017 The Blue Team has written the bi-monthly Real Estate Column sharing their expertise in this community publications. Sharing their Tips for Home Buying, Tips for Home Selling, Tips for Investors, Buying & Selling Luxury Homes, Real Estate Transitions (Including Relocation & Senior Real Estate Tips), and Equestrian Real Estate.