1. Property Needs
Buying a horse property depends a lot upon your needs and goals. Are you going to be riding and what type of riding? Are you just using the property for grazing? Are you planning to use it for commercial purposes, such as stables, breeding, or performance horse riding?
2. Know The Land
If you are buying property that has never been used as a horse property, dry footing for your animals is very important. Ask questions about drainage of the land during rainy seasons and look for areas that might be too soggy. Muddy land can be a nightmare in both time and cost to keep your animals healthy and looking good. Good soil quality is a must for grazing your horses.
Also look for vegetation that might be harmful or toxic to your animals. Areas with heavy weeds or marsh type grasses are not ideal for grazing. If you’re not up-to-date on what to look for, check out the publication put together by the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board on toxic plants for horses and livestock.
3. Zoning & Ordinances?
Another important tip is to think long-term about the property you are potentially buying. 5 or 10 years down the line, you may want to build a new barn, stable, arena, etc, so you may want to carefully consider if the size of the property is appropriate and what zoning and ordinances may prevent expanding or realizing your goals.
Be sure to educate yourself on local rules and regulations on environmental issues, land conservation, and property use restrictions. Having a good real estate agent that has experience with
4. Fencing & Water
In order to keep your animals safe from wandering or other dangers, it’s important to inspect any existing fencing to make sure it’s on solid footing and in good condition. With larger properties, new fencing and/or repairing fencing can be very costly.
Also of paramount importance is access to fresh water. Make sure there is not only adequate fresh water supply, but also that is easily accessible and in range of watering troughs. Most folks do not want to have to haul buckets of water to fill their troughs. Most large properties will be on a well, so also check to make sure there’s at least 10 gallons per minute pump rate.
5. Access for vets, farriers and trailers?
Lastly, look for facilities that give good access and adequate space for your animals stall and aisleways. This will also make it easier for your vets and farriers to work with your animals. Also, make sure there is adequate lighting and ventilation in the facility.