Everything You NEED To Know About Buying, Owning & Operating a Horse Farm
Horse farms have started to become more popular in the last few years with the rise of people looking to enjoy more outdoor activities. People are looking for a rural lifestyle instead of the big city, and many have turned to open horse farms as a fun hobby. If you are thinking about a horse farm, keep reading to see everything you need to know about buying, owning, and operating a horse farm.
What kind of land is best for a horse farm?
You need to worry about a few other things when finding a suitable property where the horses can freely roam. If you are looking for properties, you need to think about more than the acreage and the condition of the land. The terrain shouldn't be too rugged for a horse to manage, and you should look for flat and grassy lots to accommodate the horses.
Avoid properties with wooded areas and standing water. Horses can sometimes become injured on branches or debris if they are wandering in the woods and their hooves prefer to be in dry areas. If the property is too marshy, the horses can develop rot in their hooves, so look for a plot of land that is nice and dry.
Can I turn any property into a horse farm?
There are quite a few regulations that go into owning a horse farm, but it largely depends on your area. If you are purchasing using a realtor, make sure you let them know your plans for the property so they can check if there are any ordinances in place as far as owning horses.
If you are zoned for owning horses, you still need to follow local regulations regarding drainage, manure storage, and the horse's safety. Some counties have laws to ensure the horses are being treated well and ensure that they aren't an issue for the rest of the public. If you have any questions about the guidelines for your county, a local animal services officer might be the best person to ask.
What location is best to build a horse farm?
The location of your property is very important, and you want to make sure you are close to all of the things you will need to keep your farm running smoothly. Here are a few things you should look for when it comes to your farm's location.
- Is it close to any feed stores or horse supply stores?
- Is it close to any vets that work with horses?
- Is it close to other properties that might have an issue with the horses?
- Is it in an area with a wild animal issue?
These are all critical things to consider when it comes to building your horse farm. You want to make sure you are not spending an arm and a leg on getting the basic supplies you need, and it's essential to be close to a vet that can help you, especially in emergencies.
How large should my horse property be?
The size of your property is essential, and some places actually require a certain acreage to allow you to keep the horses on your land. This is to ensure that they have enough space and cut down on crowded farms that can be harmful to animals' wellbeing.
If there are no specific limitations in your area, you should base your property size on how many horses you plan to keep. The general rule is 2 acres for your first horse, then an additional acre for every other horse you own. This is just a rough guide, and it ultimately depends on how much usable space you have on your property.
What buildings do I need on my horse property?
A home isn't the only thing you need to have on your property when you're building a working horse farm. You need to build some good quality horse stables, a place to store your feed and tack (which can be your barn if it's well constructed and insulated), and some high-quality fences to keep your horses on your property. If you are purchasing a property with no existing buildings, then you need to plan out where everything will go to ensure you have enough space for everything you need.
Focus on the basic needs of your horses, then expand on that if you need to. Horses will need shelter (which will likely be your stable), food (your barn or food storage), and a water source, and you will need a home to live in.
Is it expensive to run a horse property?
There are so many different costs of running a horse farm, and it adds up quickly. Let's take a look at some of the average prices for things you'll need
Supplies for each horse, such as hay, bedding, food, medicine, and general farm maintenance supplies - $3,500 per year
Horse health which includes regular vet visits, insurance, and yearly vaccines- $1,500 per year
Essential horse equipment for riding - $2,500 per year
Essential human equipment for riding - $1,900 per year
These totals don't include things like power and water because they can vary quite a bit, but that total comes in at $9,400. This is a very low average that only considers the primary care and needs of the horses, and it can go up quite a bit if your horses have medical issues or emergencies.
Can I make money from my horse property?
If you are thinking about converting your horse farm into any kind of equestrian facility, you need to check your local laws and see what's required. Sometimes it's as simple as getting a commercial license, but it all depends on the regulations for your area. Once you are permitted for commercial use, there are a few ways you can rent out your existing horse farm to earn some money, so let's have a look at a few.
Keep in mind that you will likely need to talk to a few experts to see what is required for each commercial use. Sometimes you will need to get extra insurance or do some paperwork to ensure your facility will be safe for others. Check with local property lawyers about what steps you need to take to ensure everything is in order before using your property for commercial use.
Equine therapy has become very popular in the last few decades, and it's a great way to help your local community. Look locally for any equine therapy experts looking for a facility to work with and work out a schedule with them that suits you both.
Offering riding lessons is another good way to use your farmland and horses to make money. If you have any riding experts in the area that are looking to give lessons, then offering up your property is an excellent way to earn some money to keep your horses well maintained.
If you're the kind of person who prides yourself on giving horses the best care and attention, look into boarding other people's horses. You can charge a monthly fee to take care of the horses that are being kept on your property which is ideal for anyone who is already taking care of their own horses. If you have the extra space, look at what it will take to become a horse boarding facility.
For those who love to take care of their property and keep it looking beautiful, look at opening up your horse farm to photoshoots. Many horse owners like renting pretty-looking farms to photograph their horses for specific occasions. You can also offer up your horses for photoshoots if you'd like. Look for a local photographer who's interested in offering shoots from your farm for a small fee.
If you have the correct paperwork, you can open up your farm to host events like farmers' markets, birthday parties, and bridal showers. Add some port-o-potties and a few places to relax so you can rent a separate area of your farm while keeping the rest private. People love using farms for themed events, and it's a great way to get some good money.
Other Things You Need To Consider For Your Horse Property
One of the most important things you can invest in for your horse farm is the fences. If you have a poor-quality fence, you risk your horses getting out or other animals getting in. A high-quality fence should be one thing you don't cut corners on, so make sure you get the best quality fence you can afford.
Everyone needs to have a plan in place for escaping with their animals. You also need to worry about bad weather and plan for your horses if something happens. Heavy snow, floods, and high winds are terrible for horses, and there might even be situations where you need to flee.
If you are concerned about where your horses are, look at investing in a simple camera system so you can keep an eye on what's happening on your property. A wi-fi-enabled camera system is a great way to keep track of where things go, and you can check on the recordings if there are any significant issues. A camera system is a great upgrade idea for your horse farm.
Planning is key to making sure you end up owning and running the horse farm of your dreams. You need to consider so many things if you want to own and run a horse farm. Make sure you do as much research as you can in your area, as the laws and regulations can vary quite a bit from state to state.
Check out the latest Denver equestrian properties for sale.