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An essential guide to buying your first equestrian property.

Do you have horses or a dream of owning horses of your own? Equestrian enthusiasts know there's no greater joy than having your horses at home. Read this article to get clued up before you buy an equestrian property.
An essential guide to buying your first equestrian property.
If you have ever had horses as a child as you learned to ride, you will know that they can take a lot of looking after, but there is nothing quite like riding out in the fresh air. But if you keep your horses in livery stables, away from home, you likely have a long-held dream to buy a property that will allow you to keep your horses close by. Popping to see them during the day, no driving backwards and forwards to the yard or paying extortionate livery fees, and best of all, going for a ride whenever the mood takes you. It is perhaps this freedom and flexibility that makes equestrian properties some of the most sought-after properties of all.

It is not as simple as buying a large property with some land; there is much to consider when buying a property with equestrian facilities. How much land is there, and what is the ground like, to name a few. Follow this guide to ensure you are searching for just the right property for your and your horses' needs.

Criteria: Firstly, you need to know exactly what your criteria are. What do you need from the property, and what do you need from the land? How much land do you need? You might consider somewhere that may have an option to purchase or rent more land in the future if you need to.

Location: With equestrian properties in such high demand and such short supply, you may find that a relocation is the way to get the property you want. Consider, then, where you would be happy to move to for the right property. But there is more to think about when it comes to the location. Will you have a large horse trailer that you need to travel in - if that is the case, are the roads easily accessible to the property. Many properties with land will be rural and can often be down winding country lanes. Find out about bridlepaths and places to ride close by; there is little point having your horses at home if you have nowhere to ride them.

Facilities: Horses require a lot of care, and one of the main things is access to water. The average horse will need between 5 and 10 gallons of water per day, so good access to water is essential. Make sure that there is indoor and outdoor water access and that water facilities are within easy reach of both the pastures and stables; you don't want to be lugging gallons of water long distances every day. You will also need some stabling of some kind. Make sure that there is also a tack room, electricity and water. Most horses will be comfortable in a stall that's 12 x 12 feet, and ideally, stables should face away from prevailing winds.

Good ground: Most would agree that you should buy as much land as you can afford, but be practical about how much you actually need. The BHS says that 1 to 1.5 acres of permanent grazing will support a horse, and 2.5 acres will support 2 horses, as long as you manage your pasture properly. It is a good idea to look for fields that can be split into smaller paddocks and turnout areas so that you can rotate your grazing. You might even be able to buy more land in the future. Look for land with free-draining soil so it is easy to manage in all seasons and lowers the risk of injury. Preference is for light loams and chalk-based soils, avoiding heavy clay, which can clump in winter and go hard in the summer, and overly sandy soil, as the horses can eat the sand, causing colic.

For many searching for properties with equestrian facilities, the house itself is less of a concern than the land and stabling for the horses. There is so much to consider that you may have to compromise on the property to get the right facilities. That being said, if you're willing to do a little renovation work here and there, or perhaps be a little flexible with the property's location, you could just find a gem that does exactly what you need.

Get your heads-up alert completed and fill in the essential features so that you can be kept informed of all new instructions as soon as they come onto the market. It could be the case that there is a lot of interest in equestrian properties because they are relatively rare.