Would be interested to hear what others look for when buying property for horses. We are looking at buying land in the next few years, either bare or with a house/shed/existing buildings. Stables and other horse-specific facilities are uncommon here and tend to be on the pricier properties so most likely we will be converting existing sheds/adding that to whatever we get.
The end goal is keeping 2-3 horses at home, possibly running other livestock, arena, small yard (tack/feed sheds, loose box or two, undercover area for saddling/farrier/etc, undercover parking for float etc).
What I've got in mind so far is:
Good soil/pasture (as this takes years to improve - don't want to be starting too much on the back foot)
Mix of flat/rolling terrain
Somewhere to ride out (semi-quiet roads, forestry block etc)
Not an exposed site (both ocean and mountain nearby)
None of those are unreasonable in our area, though getting them all at once might prove a challenge .
Anything else I should think about? What's on your horse farm 'shopping list'?
As a professional farm shopper (ok, I just feel like that right now) I have the following big 5 and then everything else is negotiable:
1) 5-25 acres (pretty much all the land around me is good farm land, so I don't really have to worry about soil issues as much)
2) Excellent drainage
3) Black top road or very close to it
4) House I want to live in for the rest of my life, or will want to with reasonable improvements
5) Close to either my job or my husband's, but if not, then inbetween our jobs
Then I also want the following:
-Rural water instead of well
-Existing barn that works for horses
-Good shelter belt
-At least a 2 car garage or a place to build it
-Prefer a house that I don't have to reside, reroof, and put new windows in my first day...
-Good septic system
-No major repairs needed
-Water and electric lines run to fields/barns/garages
Then there are just the "ideal" wants:
-Nice horse barn
-Nice horse fencing
-I'd like to avoid a bunch of demo on old farm buildings/bins/sheds
-Built in the last 30 years vs. 130 years, although I would love a well preserved mid-century home.
-Runs off of dutch doors/overhang area of stalls
I could really go on and on and on here...
There is no way I can afford enough land to "ride out" and that isn't realistic close to the city. However, if we end up by my job there is a state park that is close with horse trails, and there is a boarding facility not far with indoor and a huge outdoor. I would eventually build an all-weather outdoor riding arena.
In addition to or reiterating concerns already mentioned:
-Access to electric and internet service without going to ridiculous expense (I need to be able to work from home, and VPN over a satellite connection ain't gonna cut it.)
-Zoning and wetlands designations appropriate for my intended use. (Fifteen acres I'm not allowed to fence or build a barn on isn't useful as a farm.)
-Reasonable proximity to a decent hospital