Sharing your life with a horse is something that many Americans either already do or plan to do in the future. Unlike a dog or cat, however, a horse cannot be sheltered inside the family home. Because of this, the purchase of a property suitable for horses is often a prerequisite for horse ownership. If you are about to realize your dream of a horse of your own and will also be looking for a suitable property because of it, here are three selection tips you should know.
Check for potential zoning issues
The first criteria for selecting a property for single horse ownership will require looking for those with appropriate zoning for your needs. Unlike those who plan to have multiple horses or an equine-related business venture, such as a stable or riding arena, single-horse property zoning may be much more broad in nature. In addition to looking for properties that are specifically zoned for horses, consider also looking for those classified under labels like rural, homestead, small farm, and agricultural. Once you find a few interesting properties, contact the local zoning board to see if a single horse would be allowed under those broader regulations.
Understand the acreage requirements
To determine how much space a single equine will need, you will need to have a plan for how you intend to feed it. Horses can be kept in small lots if they will be fed by their owners instead of having to forage for their own food. If, however, you want your horse to have some land to graze while you also supply supplemental food, then 1.5 to 2 acres of well-tended pasture per animal could be sufficient. If the area in which you plan to purchase land and house a horse is very dry or the land does not grow a good amount of grass, you will want to look for a much larger parcel.
Avoid potential safety concerns
Another very important part of keeping a horse is the level of safety you can provide. For instance, fencing should never be made from barbed wire because the jagged points can easily tear the horse's flesh. Instead look for fencing that is considered safe for horses, such those made from smooth vinyl or poly materials.
Additionally, make sure that the terrain will also be safe with no prairie dog holes, swampy areas, or sudden drop-offs where a horse could become injured.
For additional assistance in choosing the right property to keep a single horse happy and healthy, buyers will want to work closely with a real estate professional to find horse ranches for sale.