Whether you’re making improvements to your equestrian property or getting it ready to show to potential buyers, here’s how to landscape the grounds like a professional.
- Fence the perimeter
Fencing keeps your horses from wandering off the property as well as ward off trespassers. It can also protect horses from each other, especially in cases where adjacent horses do not get along, or when new boarding horses are introduced and need a buffer from other occupants.
You’ll also need to plan ahead for human entry and passage through the property’s fenced areas. Think about practical, day-to-day concerns, such as workers moving around carrying loads of hay or driving through the property in tractors.
- Develop a plan for grazing and pasture management
When planning and designing fencing for your equestrian property, grazing and pasture management will inevitably need to be discussed with your landscape architect.
Experts typically recommend planning your horses’ grazing and pasture needs before proceeding with digging and planting. The same goes for extra plantings like ornamental features and shade trees. Moreover, if a section of the pasture will remain untouched during certain times of the year, the rest of the area must be planned for rotation.
Factors affecting grazing and pasture management include:
- Property size
Climate, in particular is a major concern when it comes to fire safety in equestrian properties. If there is a high risk of wildfire, you must limit any plantings near stables or feed storage.
You can also consider building a sand perimeter or a ring of succulents around certain structures as these can serve as a natural barrier to fire.
Lastly, be careful not to plant anything that may be toxic to horses and other animals on the property.
Keep in mind as well that even non-toxic trees can still pose danger to obsessive chewers. If some of your horses are obsessive chewers, make sure that trees are fenced off.
- Don’t forget irrigation and drainage
Bodies of water in and around the property can serve as a viable water source for irrigation and fire emergencies. However, you need to plan your irrigation system ahead of time. You’ll also need to determine how your proposed irrigation system may affect the siting and design of the stables and other structures on the property.
If there’s a natural pond on the property, for example, equestrian landscape experts recommend dredging the pond, leveling the bottom, and lining with sand. Not only will this make the pond an attractive outdoor feature, it will also allow you to use it as a rehab area or aquatic exercise facility for your horses.
If drainage is poor, then this area might not be the best location for your stables or arena. To be on the safe side, talk to your landscape architect or your arena construction specialist about doing a feasibility study building structures on the site.
- Upgrade your stables
If you want to make your horse property look more upscale, don’t forget those little extras that can make the stables appear more secure and convenient. These features can improve the overall quality of your equestrian property:
- Outdoor wash racks
- Feed and hay area
- Arena or seating area
- Separate tack room
- Foaling pens
- In-out runs next to the stalls
- Rehab area
- Equipment storage (i.e. jumps, cones)
- Guest house
- Swimming pool
- Fitness facilities
- Entertaining area/event space
Always keep functionality in mind when adding features to your stables. Some features cannot be added after the stables have already been constructed and so you will to plan ahead for these additions.
Extras like entertaining areas, arenas, outdoor pools, and guest houses can help you generate extra income from private events, short-term rentals, and recreational use.
As a real estate expert and active member of North Texas’ equestrian community, I can help you buy or sell horse properties in and around the area. Contact Sarah Boyd & Company to get started today. You can reach the team here. You can also message us at 2146.494.403 and Sarah(at)SarahBoydRealty(dotted)com.