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Ring adding value to a horse property?

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  • Ring adding value to a horse property?

    My property came with a (small) horse barn. 3 stalls, very nicely built for horses, but no ring. 12 acres are fenced, but they are wooded, which means that it's a challenge to keep horses here.

    I'd like to put in a ring for my own personal benefit, but there are only a few places that are naturally level enough to make that cost effective. My question is - does it add value to the property given that it's *already* a horse property? Anyone know?

  • #2
    It makes it easier to sell to a horse person and harder to anybody else, so I don't think a bank appraiser is going to see money in it. Do it if you'll enjoy it. Don't do it if you are moving soon and want to get your money back out of it.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks tangled! This situation is a little bit more complex as it's a family-owned property and I'm trying to decide whether it's a case of "it's already horsey, why don't we just take it the whole way horsey and make it ideal for some local horselover" vs. where it is right now which is acreage with a nice horse barn and a fenced wood-lot...but no *real* pasture or ring.

      I wouldn't want to clear all the woods, but I'd have to take out a few trees in order for a ring to go in. I definitely would not be asking a bank for any money out of it, but rather to help understand the market, as it were. I know that as a horseperson, that would endear me to the property...and this is a place where there are many small horse properties.

      Not planning on moving for at least the next 10 years!


      • #4
        We put in a nice arena 9 years ago. Cost $35K(ish), maybe a little more. When we put our place on the market a few years ago the appraiser said that the arena value add to the property was maybe $1-2K. So the short answer is, "no." The longer answer is more complicated since an arena certainly could make a property more appealing to a horsey buyer down the road.
        Flying F Sport Horses
        Horses in the NW


        • #5
          If having a ring means you will use it and your horse life will be better, then add it. I put mine in about 12 years ago knowing full well its value would be limited on resale. But I have had to use of a lovely ring for all this time (and hopefully many more years in the future).
          Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


          • #6
            Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
            If having a ring means you will use it and your horse life will be better, then add it. I put mine in about 12 years ago knowing full well its value would be limited on resale. But I have had to use of a lovely ring for all this time (and hopefully many more years in the future).
            This totally. ^^

            I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


            • Original Poster

              What I'm wondering now is - what if I did something that was "less destructive", for instance, like filling in the huge (stable) sinkhole we have, and transforming that into a ring. The sinkhole most likely won't add to the property value, and it's unusable land as it is.

              Orrrrrr doing something where I just scrape the dirt down and make it so that it's easy to transform back into grass should it ever need to be sold. I don't need a very serious ring, just something relatively level that suffices to school one horse, and not every day.


              • Original Poster

                Oh - and I should add - since this is a shared family property I have to "justify" it a little and have some alternatives...I want to do this intelligently so that it adds or doesn't harm, but not detracts from, the value of the property. Does that make sense?


                • #9
                  Dear heavens, if you have a sinkhole and can fill it in, by all means do that before you do anything about a ring. I can't think of anything more detracting than a property with a sink hole. By saying it's a 'stable' sinkhole, I presume you mean it won't sink any further.

                  Now, if you are able to not only fill in the sinkhole and at the same time make a suitable riding area, by all means do that!

                  If you look at other topics, you will see where I'm considering turning my lovely and properly graded and tiled outdoor ring into a grass pasture because I don't want to continue to maintain it as a ring. Too bad I couldn't give it to you to use.

                  I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


                  • #10
                    No, it will never add the value that it will cost you to build it. However, if you have the money and YOU will use it regularly and maintain it, build it. I don't use one, I ride on established turf and prefer it, but if an area was going to get reworked and material put down anyway, I can see the tempation to go ahead and make it a function area to use.
                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                    We Are Flying Solo


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by msj View Post

                      If you look at other topics, you will see where I'm considering turning my lovely and properly graded and tiled outdoor ring into a grass pasture because I don't want to continue to maintain it as a ring. Too bad I couldn't give it to you to use.
                      Darn it, why are you so far away. I would use your ring and maintain it for you for using it.


                      • Original Poster

                        msj, this is sinkhole country right here ALL the properties have at least one. It's a karst area. I didn't think of the sinkhole until just now because it's kind of a "given" that it's wasted land. I actually think it's one of the reasons that the property sat on the market for a long time before my family bought it (we have a weird joint ownership sort of deal). I have ZERO clue as to how much it would cost to fill, but it is an option.

                        The big issue here is that we're very wooded, so flat non-tree'd spots are at a premium, and my father loves the fact that it's also a wood-lot, but he doesn't want to sacrifice any of the "big lawn". All points that I can see, but a horse property that's difficult to ride on isn't much of a horse property at all, if you know what I mean.

                        The sinkhole *might* be the ticket...and I just realized that as I was typing I'm going to have to investigate the costs for that!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                          Darn it, why are you so far away. I would use your ring and maintain it for you for using it.

                          Wish you could.

                          I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


                          • #14
                            I wanted to make a ring part of my refi and I got the same perspective from an appraiser--not much/any ROI.

                            That said, I'm not sure that appraisers necessarily "get" the horse market, mine didn't even include the barn or fencing as value-ads, and they were also not free.

                            It may depend on the type of property you have, too. I live on a small farmette next to a big national park with trails, so my place probably has as much appeal to a full-time trail rider buyer as to a show buyer. On the other hand, a ring is pretty much a must for a big boarding facility, so if a seller didn't have one, the buyer would know they have to put it in themselves.


                            • #15
                              The first question is "how big a riding rind do you want?"

                              Second we have to ask, "how much money do you have?"

                              As to the first question, let's presume a standard dressage ring of 20m x 60m (or 65' x 210'). That amounts to 13500 ft./sq. (more or less, or just over a quarter acre). Clearing that amount is probably doable for most folks. You're going to "clear cut" it so you can sell whatever you can sell. You might even find a local saw mill willing to come and do the cutting. If a co-owner objects to loosing this much wood then I'll wager you're going to have lots of other problems, too. This demonstrates the "downside" of joint property ownership outside the marital relationship.

                              If you're in "sink hole" country then filling one in is problematical. It sank for a reason. Is that reason still there or was it a "one off" event? You need an answer, here, before you spend any money.

                              You don't indicate where you are. If you're in country with lots of rain then your construction costs will be much higher than somebody in a more arid region if you want "all weather use." Cold weather climates will be more demanding than hot weather climates.

                              As to adding value, cleared land is generally more valuable than wooded land. Well drained land is generally more valuable than wet land. Just how much more valuable is open to debate.

                              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                              • #16
                                Whether or not a riding arena adds any value to a property does depend somewhat on what area you are in. If you are in a horsey area with other similar horse properties and there is a clear market specifically for horse properties, it could add some value (but almost certainly NOT as much as you pay to put it in). OTOH, if you are in a non-horsey area it may not add any value and may even make the property harder to sell. Non-horsey people can think of a lot of things to do with small barns, but arenas...not so much. In an upscale area it could be converted to a tennis court I guess.

                                I may have mis-interpreted what you wrote, so forgive me if I'm wrong, but do NOT consider putting an arena in on top of a filled in sink hole, no matter how stable it is.

                                Life is short. If you want an arena to ride in, do it. However, recognize that the investment improves your quality of your life, not your finances.


                                • #17
                                  I had a sink hole show up (in my case it looks like they buried a building or something there) and I did a lot of research on them, because that's how I am, and the gist of it was that they are not a site to build anything on. Now that's just what I found, but I would probably consult with a geo-expert before starting.
                                  DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                                  • #18
                                    I would not build a riding ring on a sink hole, regardless of how much better your property will look. The sink hole is there for a reason and nothing you do will keep it from happening again - nothing I would want to ride on!

                                    Not to contradict what others have said but a few years ago we built our barn and set up pastures and had the property appraised (before banking crisis). This summer we finished our ring and had the property appraised again and got almost all of our cost added to the value which was a nice surprise considering the readjustment of property values some people have experienced.

                                    Bottom line, if having a ring adds to the enjoyment of your riding then put one in - if the barn is already a horse farm then if it goes on the market, most likely only buyers interested in having a horse farm will look at it and to me the ring adds to the property, not detracts from it.