If you own a horse and are thinking about buying a property that would allow you to give up rented stable space, then it is critical for you to choose your new property carefully.
Of course, buying real estate always requires time and careful reflection. It is important to consider the condition of the house, its location, how much storage space it has and even the suitability of its kitchen.
However, if you are considering keeping a horse in Ocala, or even several horses, then there are even more factors to consider. When you are ready to become a horse property owner, contact Florida’s Choice Realty first. In our expert Realtors, you will find knowledgeable guidance and advice that will help you locate the perfect equestrian community and property.
Consider the Type of Barn
Many horse properties already have a barn on site. This can be a huge advantage because it saves you the trouble of having a barn built. Many horse owners recommend wooden barns because these are more convenient to insulate. You also may encounter a property with a metal barn. These can be quite practical, durable and easy to maintain. However, metal barns also can be very loud, especially during thunderstorms, and you’ll want to consider this before you buy.
While you’re checking out the barn, take some time to count the number of stalls so you can be certain that all of your horses will have a place to call home. Check to see if there is a loft where hay can be stored. If so, how many bales can fit into the space at once? Is there other storage available for all of the miscellaneous equipment that goes with horse ownership?
Just like the house, the age and condition of the barn are crucial considerations. Be certain to ask the Realtor how old the barn and stalls are, as this may help to indicate when they may need to be repaired or replaced. Also, be certain to ask about and review any drainage systems and waste management systems. Have an inspector look at these and other factors before making a purchase decision.
When it comes to land, you probably need to look for some specific attributes for your equestrian property. If the acreage is quite extensive, then chances are good that some of it is wooded and some of it is pastureland. Make certain that there are no steep slopes where you will be keeping your horses as constant time on a pitching slope can be damaging to tendons and ligaments. It also is helpful if there is plenty of land that’s not covered in dense vegetation as this protects both the horse’s hooves and his eyes from tree branches. Accordingly, your horses will have plenty of room to roam without fear of hurting themselves.
You’ll also want to be aware of any marshy areas on the acres where the soil doesn’t drain well as this similarly is not conducive to the health and safety of your animals. Areas with standing water are mosquito breeding grounds, and these pests can spread diseases that are harmful to horses. Spend some time examining how rocky the soil is too. Severely rocky soil can hurt the soles of the horse’s feet, which can be surprisingly tender.
Another critical consideration is water supply. Keep in mind that horses drink between five and ten gallons of water every day so it is helpful if the property has a deep, reliable well that can easily meet these needs.
Check the Perimeter
Next to the barn and the type of land, a perimeter check is an equally critical factor to consider. What kind of fence surrounds the property? Has it been well maintained? Will you need to replace it or perform extensive repairs on it within the first two years?
Why is this so important? The health and safety, perhaps even the life, of your horse depend upon it. More than one horse owner has had a nightmare experience when a horse is injured or killed after escaping through a poorly maintained fence. Breaking a leg in a ditch and being hit by a passing car are just two of the possible scenarios.
Because you want to avoid this, you have to ensure that your property’s fence is well-maintained at all times. If you see barbed wire fence anywhere on the property, bear in mind that you will have to remove it and replace it before your horse moves there. Many horses are severely injured after becoming entangled in this dangerous type of fencing material.
You want to ensure that the fences on your property are highly visible so that your horses can easily see them. Resilience is another critical characteristic. This refers to the fence’s ability to properly react to the impact of a horse running into it. Will the fence have a little bit of give but not shatter into sharp splinters that may cause further injury?
Ask lots of questions about the maintenance requirements for the existing fence. Some really high-quality fences that cost a great deal at installation require very little hands-on care. Other fencing material may be cheaper to install but requires constant vigilance to ensure that it’s still functional and safe. Which kind does your horse property have?
Also, take a look at how tall the fences are. Most equine experts recommend perimeter fences that are at least five feet tall. It is possible for some horses to jump a fence of this height, so if you have a particularly athletic animal, then you may want to opt for a fence that is even higher.
A great deal of equipment is needed to provide proper care to your horses. Does the prospective property that you are considering have adequate storage space? For instance, you’ll need a tack room where you can keep all of your equestrian gear. You also might need a separate feed room. This is a horse-proof area where you can store your horse’s grain so that she cannot break in and overfeed herself. Further, consider whether or not you need a designated area to keep a manure spreader, horse trailer, tractor or arena equipment. Does the property have enough storage space for all of that equipment, or will you have to add more outbuildings?
Remember, horses need plenty of space, and so does the equipment that goes with them.
Join the Equestrian Life in Ocala
Ocala is widely recognized as an excellent place to live if you love horse culture. If you feel that the time is right for your family to bring your horses home, then talk to Florida’s Choice Realty today. The guidance of an experienced Realtor is just what you need when you are considering the purchase of a horse property.