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Gated Horse Communities

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    Gated Horse Communities

    I do mean neighborhoods with gates, rather than horses with gaits. Although I have nothing against horses with gaits.

    This sort of lifestyle is not for us, because we have a working farm with other animals, but I was curious if it works well for others.

    Our friends live in an older horse community (no actual gate) where the HOA is debating whether or not to make our friends get rid of their donkey and goats. They have lived there for 15 years and had the mini donkey and goats for most of those years. Now, they might have to move. You can't see the animals from the road because of bushes and mature trees. The barn and pasture is kept very clean. I suppose you can hear the donkey, but the goats are not that loud.

    If people are worried about animals other than horses residing in these communities, is it because horses mean higher property value? What if someone isn't feeding their horses properly? Can they use HOA rules to correct the problem faster than outside the community? Do they typically allow donkeys? Mules?

    The few gated horse communities that I know in this area (looked at purchasing a home and lot in one of them) have typically identified what critters other than horses are allowed as well as capping the number of each. However, one of the reasons why we steered clear of this type of lifestyle was because the HOA president, who was showing us the house, let it be known that they were 'very friendly' and 'would consider exceptions but if the leadership or representation of the HOA shifted in preferences, we would have to be prepared for that'. Our experiences with HOAs in regards to a couple of condominiums we've owned has not always been the greatest. We felt too 'at risk' for anything we 'might' want to do and moved on and purchased something else.
    Ranch of Last Resort


      I bought in a development with an HOA. I read the covenants carefully before doing so.

      That said, there might be more than one set of these so I'm not sure which set was in play when others bought. I think it's fair to have the set of rules that were on the books when any given property owner bought be the ones that govern them. My development has not been sold out yet. And the guy who built mine has another where rules were modified over time, such that people in the early phases were less restricted (in writing) than the folks who bought in newer phases. That HOA has just been turned over to the residents, so it will be interesting to see if their board votes to even things up or not.

      There are cases where HOA rules help you-- help maintain your quality of life and property values. What about the guy who wants to keep a pet cow (which will attract more flies than a horse)? What about the folks who train Pasos and build in a sounding board which they use often? Are you happy invest in a stick-built house only to have a neighbor come in with a kit home? Surely the value of the development, which your more expensive home helped to create, will help sell his place as the "worst house on the best block" and you'll enjoy no such return favor from him?

      All of these things have happened because HOAs didn't specify the kinds of livestock one could have (or not), didn't include a noise ordinance at all and didn't limit building beyond specifying no mobile homes. In other words, HOAs cut both ways. Don't buy what you can't live with. Read the covenants before buying.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat


        Original Poster

        Thanks for the feedback.

        Exvet, I don't know the details of the bylaws, but I do know that they have been updated recently to be more restrictive. I hope it works out for them.

        If my husband and I were in a position where we had to move every few years, I could understand only having one or two horses and being very happy with restrictions and the conservation of property values.

        I've never lived within the confines of an HOA. My husband did, before we married, and he hated it, even though it did help him when he sold the house.

        Some around here have shared barns and people to ride with, which is nice. I spent many years boarding my horse and I do miss finding someone else to ride with easily.


          Original Poster

          Sounds like very good advice, mvp. We have neighbors with trailers and neighbors with stick houses, as you put it, lol. Doesn't matter to us, but we don't have to move often.

          Sorry for the vague question, clanter. It's something I don't have any experience with, but I am curious how others like it because these communities are becoming more common in my area.


            We live in a tiny subdivision of small horse properties, not gated as this is an older subdivision built in the 70s. We have an HOA that restricts animals to horses and/or goats but no other livestock including chickens are allowed. There is no HOA fees just the bylaws for living in the subdivision, which is pretty short. Sadly, of the 18 properties, only 4 have horses now. The non-horse owners thankfully don't complain about the few remaining horses.


              Originally posted by Moonlitoaks View Post
              Exvet, I don't know the details of the bylaws, but I do know that they have been updated recently to be more restrictive. I hope it works out for them.
              Did the homeowners sign the updated 'bylaws'?

              Usually, as I understand it, the covenants (CCR) is a civil contract signed at the time of closing on the property. CCRs can be changed but if an existing homeowner doesn't sign the update CCR, not sure the newer contract can be enforced.

              Do the CCRs address what happens to existing homeowners if the CCRs are changed? What exactly did the existing CCRs say about allowed or prohibited livestock on the property? The devil will be in the details...
              Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; John Gilliespie Magee, Jr


                Original Poster

                Wheresmywhite, I don't know any details. I think it would be a bad position to be in. Even if you're right, you could end up with hostile neighbors.


                  I suspect many of us know that CCRs define what one may or may not do with their property but it sure doesn't make neighbors be happy

                  While I may not suggestion to these people what they do or what might happen, I would always suggest they go back and read/re-read their CCRs.

                  Depends on how much these people love their home, their neighborhood and critters...
                  Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; John Gilliespie Magee, Jr


                    Original Poster

                    They are nice people that really like their neighborhood, but they will move before giving up their animals. Their son wants to get into cows anyway, lol.


                      My farm borders a gated "equestrian community." Only about 1/3 of the lots have sold - it never really took off like they expected because of the absurdly long list of rules from the HOA. You can't have a front facing garage, minimum of three different roof pitches on the house you build, trailers stored can't be visible from the roads, etc. But there's one lot that built a house and fencing last year and it's right by my farm, and they have a donkey. So, apparently at least some animals other than horses are allowed there.

                      I personally wouldn't do it. Not following someone else's cockamamy rules for MY property.


                        Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post
                        I personally wouldn't do it. Not following someone else's cockamamy rules for MY property.
                        Sometimes the rules are 'cockamamy' but sometimes, they do serve a useful purpose. Stuff like 3 different roof pitches, for example, would turn me off but if the rules limit how many rusting out old car/truck bodies are in your front yard, maybe not such a cockamamie rule.

                        There are definitely things in my CCRs I don't like but compared to other CCRs that I've seen, mine aren't too bad...
                        Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; John Gilliespie Magee, Jr


                          If the rules are followed, about the number of votes required, the CC&Rs can change. That typically happens when the homeowners take over the HOA from the builder, but if there is a voting majority today's horse friendly community can change just about anything they want.
                          You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                            Our "starter farm" was in a horse community (but no actual gate) and there are enough equestrian communities in our area, that I also have friends in some.

                            The HOA at our first place had strict rules about types of fencing that could be used, size and material of farm signs, and no commercial boarding or teaching was allowed. I was most annoyed by the 'ring etiquette' rules, which prevented us from moving jumps, and having a friend ride one of my horses with me was strongly discouraged. DH vehemently objected to the busy-body HOA leadership and was adamant we'd never live in such a community again.

                            Our current, forever farm, is in a neighborhood with many horse owners, but no HOA. The neighborhood covenant does stipulate that no cloven-hooved animals are allowed without prior vote/approval, I can't have a rusting car on blocks in my yard, and no property can be subdivided if it results in a property size of less than 10ac. But other than that, it's very flexible on number of horses, house and fencing styles and colors, and what I can do on my own property.

                            Communities can be great if you have a small number of personal horses, and want access to shared facilities such as rings or trails, that would be unavailable otherwise. However, a lot depends on the mentality of the HOA community and the rules you agree to when you move there.
                            One friend has a small place in a well established community in town, and his HOA has strict rules on number of horses allowed. Even with those limits, some of his neighbors aren't good about pasture maintenance, so weedy, manure-filled pastures aren't unusual. Another friend in a different community had to go through a lengthy waiver process to get a second mini approved, as her one horse became overly bonded and herdbound to his mini companion.

                            I do sometimes miss the huge community ring I had access to at our first place, but overall, we're much happier to be out of the strict HOA and drama-filled meetings of the community. Our current neighborhood has an annual meeting to discus road repairs, and other than that, we all just do our own thing.
                            A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's does that...



                              A large lot neighborhood nearby allows horses with 2 per acre. It prohibits other livestock with the wording "absolutely no pigs." I've always wondered what prompted that.


                                Originally posted by Where'sMyWhite View Post

                                Sometimes the rules are 'cockamamy' but sometimes, they do serve a useful purpose.
                                Absolutely, but that doesn't mean the useful rules make up for the cockamamie ones enough to make me want to be in an HOA.


                                  I haven't seen an example yet of a rule that would make me want to live in an HOA. Even the spectre of a car, or several, rusting on blocks doesn't bother me. Just one perspective. In other words, I can't imagine living with the rules in the present for every HOA I've seen, plus the worry that things might be changed and I'd have to move rather than give up animals -- I just can't imagine it.
                                  If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great


                                    Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post

                                    I personally wouldn't do it. Not following someone else's cockamamy rules for MY property.
                                    Yes, but they your neighbor gets to do the same thing and fly his freak flag high at the top of the stripper pole in his front yard. Consider it....
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat


                                      Most of the HOAs I've been involved with (personally through friends or relatives or professionally as an attorney) have been run by people who received their management training in either Berlin or Moscow during the '30s or Havana or Beijing today. Depending on just how intrusive their Rules are they can come as close to being Big Brother as our society can produce. Arrogance, financial chicanery, and bigotry are common. I would never, as in NEVER, own a property governed by an HOA.

                                      But that's just me. Others find them anything from tolerable to desirable. If you're thinking about it read the rules and meet a few of the Officers and Board members and talk to a few residents. Find out how the rules you read are enforced in practice. Then make a decision.

                                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo


                                        Original Poster

                                        It's interesting that you brought up racism, G. A black family, all financial particulars being equal, looking for a home is not shown the same properties a white family is; even in 2020. The kicker is that in order to be financially equivalent, the black family has to make significantly more than the white family. Your black neighbors in a decent neighborhood are probably richer than you because financial institutions are very racist in how they do business.

                                        A few of the non-horsey HOAs have quite a reputation in cities not too far from me. These are places I would never live because of income disparity and racism. I was hoping it would be more laid back for horse type ones around here. It might be, for all I know. I know the regular HOAs in my town seem more balanced, but what credentials did the black families have to show to live there?