Equestrian homes — All you need to know

Key information
  • Equestrian property is land registered for keeping horses
  • You’ll need at least 1–1.5 acres of land per horse
  • An average horse will need a 12’x12’ stall

Owning equestrian property is a dream for every horse owner. Whether you’re a seasoned competitor or a casual rider, the convenience and pleasure of having your horse on your doorstep has endless appeal.

But horse properties are more than a house with an adjoining field. From land and stable size to access requirements, there’s a lot to consider to make sure you find a suitable property. In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to find the perfect home for you and your horse.

What is equestrian property?

horse in pasture

Equestrian property is exactly what the name suggests: it’s property with the appropriate space and facilities to house horses.

If you’re buying land that’s not already being used to keep horses, you’ll have to apply for Change of Use permission from your Local Planning Authority to register it as equestrian property. Agricultural land can be used for grazing horses, but beyond this, you’ll need to  specifically register your land for equestrian use to avoid a planning breach.

How much land do horses need?

One of the most important things to look out for when buying equestrian property is the size of the plot. You don’t need to have a vast country estate with several acres of secluded pasture, but horses are large animals and need plenty of space to graze and exercise.

The British Horse Society recommends roughly 1–1.5 acres per horse. But if you can afford to go above that, your horse will be happier.

It’s important to remember that this acreage should only include land suitable for grazing. If you have any wooded land on your property, for example, that won’t count towards the amount of space your horses need.

When looking at property size, bear in mind its suitability long-term. Having more than you need at first gives you flexibility if you want to build facilities like an outdoor arena or keep additional horses in the future.

Finding the right location

Bridleway

As ever with property, location is key when looking for a home for you and your horses, and finding the right one will depend on your specific needs.

If you’re a casual weekend rider then you’ll ideally want a property with easy access or proximity at least to bridle paths. For competitors and professional riders, being able to quickly reach the motorway will be essential for getting to events.

Bear in mind that the region you focus your land search on may mean some compromises are necessary. In the densely-populated south east, for example, a property with perfect direct access to hacking routes will likely come with a high price tag to match.

However you ride, you’ll want to do some research before you buy to find out where the nearest equine vets and farriers are. Also think carefully about how the property is accessed, as you’ll need to be able to manoeuvre a horse trailer or truck in and out regularly.

What your horses will need

horse stables

Just as important as location is the reason you’re looking for equestrian property in the first place: the horses themselves. Keeping horses isn’t as simple as finding a plot of grass. There’s a lot to consider to make sure things are right for them.

For starters, it’s recommended to have a yard within sight of your house for easy access and security. As for the land itself, the type of soil matters too. Free-draining limestone or chalk is best for keeping horses outside year-round, but soil that’s too heavy in clay will get boggy in the winter. If you need to check potential flood risks, Addland can help via the Flood Zone map layer that comes with Addland Professional.

Finding a property with an existing barn or stables is recommended for first-time buyers. But always make sure the facilities are well-built, insulated, and have ample space — the BHS recommends 12’x12’ stalls for an average horse to move and lie down comfortably. Adequate tack and feed storage space is also important, as is running water and a sink. Horses are thirsty animals.

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to buying equestrian property. But with careful consideration of what you need, there’s no reason you can’t find your dream home for you and your horse.

Addland makes it easy to find, research, buy and sell land. Start your equestrian property journey today.

Addland
Published: 08 June 2021
Last updated: 31 January 2022

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