A BUYER’S GUIDE TO EQUESTRIAN PROPERTY

Equestrian properties are some of Britain’s most sought-after homes. It might be a rolling country estate, a secluded pasture, or even a few acres of land with a stable. Living with your horses just across the yard can be a wonderful experience. Whether you’re a seasoned competitor taking your horses to competitions every weekend, or a rider who enjoys a quiet hack in the woods, there’s an equestrian property that will suit your needs. 

Once you’ve decided to purchase a ‘home for two’ there’s plenty to think about. From choosing a property with the correct soil, to knowing what features to look for in a barn, here is everything you need to know about buying the equestrian property of your dreams.

What Is An Equestrian Property?

An equestrian property is planned estate development where prospective buyers can purchase a property with enough land to home a horse, with a shared trails network for riding. 

palatial country home

8 Tips On What To Look For In An Equestrian Property

Location & access:

Many equestrian properties are very rural, and some can only be accessed by winding country lanes. When viewing a property, look at the access points and make sure there’s ample space to get a horse trailer in and out of the property, and to turn a truck around as well.  Location and access is very important when it comes to purchasing an equestrian property. Your horse or pony needs a lot of land, whether that be to graze on or for enjoying long hacks together.  The property should ideally be located close to main transport routes such as carriageways or motorways to allow fast access to shows, racecourses and riding events.   

Horse in field with Moor Lane House, Moor Lane, Sarratt in the distance

High-quality land:

It’s no secret that land is something you should never compromise on, because it’s the only part of a property that you can’t change. When dealing with equestrian properties, land is especially important as your four-legged friend will be living on it almost exclusively. Land with free-draining soil is ideal, as it’s easy to manage in all seasons. Budget at least 1.5 acres of land per horse, more if you can as horses are happier with more space. If you purchase more land than your horses require, you can rotate your pastures. Purchasing more land gives you flexibility in case you’d like to expand your property and build an arena, or if you acquire another horse.   

hree horses, a gray, a bay, and a chestnut grazing in a pasture

Access to water:

The average horse drinks between five and ten gallons of water per day, so good water access is essential in an equestrian property. Plumbing should be modern and up-to-date, indoors and outdoors. It’s essential to have a sink in your barn, and be sure that the water facilities are in easy reach of both pastures and stables. You won’t want to be lugging gallons of water long distances!  

A well-built barn:

When looking at equestrian properties that already have facilities, be sure that the barn has stables, a large tack room, and electricity and water. Most horses will be comfortable in a stall that’s 12’x12’, so bring your tape measure. Stables should face away from prevailing winds.  

Beautiful countryside view with a horses animal in farm in deep countryside small town

Plenty of storage space:

Storage is essential in an equestrian property, even if you’re thinking of expanding the property in the future. Horses require plenty of equipment, so again, a large tack room is very important. If you’re stabling several horses, consider properties that would offer enough space for separate storage of feed, hay, and dietary supplements.  

Summer Evening on dartmoor

A conveniently located yard:

The ideal equestrian property would have a yard within sight and earshot of the main house. However, having a yard located too close to the main residential structure can bring down the value of the home, so be sure to mention yard proximity to your estate agent and get their opinion.  

FAQs Section:

What can equestrian land be used for? Equestrian land can be used for grazing, feeding, riding or rugging horses on, and an application must be made to the local planning authority to authorise the land for equestrian use.  

Is equestrian classed as agricultural? Equestrian land must be owned in order to be used for equestrian purposes. If a horse is simply grazing on the land, then it would fall under ‘agricultural’. However if you are riding, rugging, teaching or homing your horse on the land for any other purpose, then it must be authorised as equestrian otherwise local planning authorities can enforce a planning breach on you.  

Can you live on equestrian land? Yes, however planning permission is required for a permanent property featuring equestrian benefits such as stables, an arena and/or field shelters.  

Can I build stables without planning permission? No. Any equestrian property that features stables, an arena and/or field shelters must have planning permission. You may even need to have planning permission to home your horse/pony in a field too, it is always best to check with the local planning authority to be sure.  

Do horse facilities increase property value? It may not always boost the value of your property, however it will add value when it comes to selling the property. The extra land is desired by many, as is the location (often secluded and private).  

How do I buy an equestrian property? Easy – with Fine & Country! We specialise in equestrian property up and down the country, so get in touch with your local Fine & Country agent today to speak with a member of our team who can help local to your area!   

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