Importance of Acreage and Topography When Buying an Equestrian Property

Once you’ve decided on the type/style of equestrian property you would like to buy, the next step is looking at the topography– the natural and artificial physical features– of the property. This is important because it can determine the layout, acreage, and limitations of the property. The necessary acreage will all depend on the amount of horses you will want on your property.  120047279-3

First off, zoning is a crucial aspect to pay attention to, as it will determine the regulations of your facility.  Most horse properties and equestrian facilities are located in areas of the county called unincorporated areas. These areas are not regulated by the cities, but by the counties. In contrast with cities, the county deals with more agricultural and rural horse areas, thus they are more willing to allow for the establishment of horse properties. Another factor to pay attention to is Horsekeeping vs. Horse Stabling, as it will determine the yasquantity of horses and the necessary facilities. In the animal designation “L”, horsekeeping is permitted, meaning that one who has their horses and facilities specifically for private use may an “unlimited” amount of horses. This differs from Horse Stabling in terms of size and quantity. Because Horse Stabling is used for commercial purposes, they must be treated as such. The regulations rely solely on the amount of usable area the property has. Usable property is the amount of land that excludes any buildings or areas not deemed suitable for equine inhabitants, i.e. residences, driveways, landscaping, accessory structures, and places where there is active agriculture.  Once the amount of usable area is confirmed, there are restrictions and guidelines a horse owner must abide by. These include limits on the amount of horses per acre that a property owner may have. In almost all occasions, permits and verification are needed.

Once all the zoning regulations are clarified, and the amount of usable area is distinguished, its time to see if the property accommodates your discipline. Depending on the amount of horses you wish to keep, the barn sizes can vary stall quantity. However, depending on the style of riding you partake in, the ring sizes are –to most riders– nonnegotiable. A standard dressage court is typically 20m x 60m. Arenas designated to western riders vary in size: Typically, if a rider participates in calf roping and/or steer wrestling the arena will average to about 100ft x 300ft. Whereas team roping is slightly wider with dimensions of 150ft x 300 ft, and barrel racing being 100ft x 300ft. Hunter/Jumper arenas are also on the larger side, ranging about ???ft x ???ft.

Contact Carol Shuttleworth or Ken Shuttleworth

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