What is an ideal horse property?
That all depends on the type of horse facility you plan on having. I will go over some of the basics.
A general rule of thumb is to have 1 – 1 1/2 acres per horse. (Check with the township zoning also. Each township has different regulations in regards to the amount of property allowed per horse.) The property can be either flat or sloping, with several trees for shade. Be careful as to the type of trees, though. Some are poisonous to the horses if parts of the tree are digested. Check with your local co-operative extension office for a list of native trees that are poisonous to horses.
Another area to consider is what we call a “sacrifice area”. The area is usually a highly used area by the barn or run in shed for the horses where no vegetation will grow. This area is where the horses will be when they cannot be turned out into the pasture. If horses are turned out into the pasture when the ground is wet, the pastures will get torn up. Therefore, having a sacrifice area is beneficial.
If a barn is to be constructed on the property, check with zoning about the limits and if the property has the right dimensions to comply with the zoning regulations for a barn.
If you are planning on boarding a few horses on the property to help pay for your horse habit, check with zoning to see if that is allowed. Some areas will only allow for your own horses on the property.
Are there wetlands on the property? That is okay as long as there are areas that the horses can be fenced in where it will be dry. The last thing you need are hoof problems because the horses are standing on wet ground 24/7.
If there is a stream or creek running through the property, that may be a plus for you. You wouldn’t have to worry about watering the horses, but do test the water to make sure it is safe for the horses to drink before allowing them access to it. Horses MUST have free access to water at all times.