Many horse owners dream of their ideal horse farm, and while the image of rolling hills and green pastures is easy to imagine, finding the right farm to suit your needs can be a daunting process. With so many properties to choose from in today’s market, here are the top 5 things you can do to make the dream a reality.
First, consider your future needs. Whether through herd expansion, fencing repair, building additional storage or clearing areas for exercise, horse ownership has a side effect of causing people to embark on a seemingly endless stream of projects. Planning ahead to accommodate potential changes can alleviate frustrations down the road. On that same note, the second thing to consider is how much change you will have to make to the existing property for your use.
Consider the actual ‘useable’ area of the lot or land. Does the property have an existing horse set up, and is it workable for your use? If not, how much renovation will be required? When evaluating the existing facilities in place, safety must always be the primary consideration. While there is a lot of charm in old Pennsylvania barns, many lack good ventilation and structural soundness. Next, the local zoning must be examined for community restrictions, road setbacks and permitted equestrian activities. Are you simply a pleasure rider? Perhaps breeding, hosting clinics, or offering lessons? Make certain your planned use complies with locally defined limits.
In Pennsylvania, there is a recommended 2 acres per horse, which ideally refers to fenced pasture only, and should not include the land upon which the house sits. Another item to consider is water supply and the distance to key locations, such as the water trough or the barn. If there is a drought, an ample water supply could mean the difference between your farm going under or surviving. Know, if there is a well, when the last well test was performed, and what the rate is of gallons per minute. Is it a shared well? One of the biggest headaches horse owners face is distributing water to multiple pasture locations
Finally, the best thing you can do to make your dream horse farm a reality is to use an equine property specialist. Working with a Realtor ® who is a horse property specialist and a fellow equestrian is a definite plus. Your equestrian property Realtor® specialist has the edge over others in the field, they know about horse keeping in Pennsylvania, as well as the important issues that affect horse property owners in the state. Not only will they be familiar with most horse properties on the market, they will have in depth knowledge of facilities, horsemanship & disciplines to facilitate the successful acquisition of equestrian property.