Now that you’ve found the equestrian property of your dreams, you’ll want to enhance it with landscaping and other improvements. But before introducing new plants to your horse property, be aware that some plants and other additions can be toxic and downright hazardous to horses.
Here are some landscaping tips for your horse property in North Texas.
Choose safe, non-toxic plants
Potted plants are convenient for adding color to the landscape and can be easily replaced with seasonal plants so that your landscape is always green and in bloom throughout the year. This flexible arrangement lets you try out different combinations to see which looks best on the property and which is easier to maintain. Investing in a few plant trolleys can make moving and rearranging large planters much easier.
But most importantly, keep toxic plants and fruit trees away from horses and other animals in the vicinity. Some of the most toxic plants include brake fern, hemlock, tansy ragwort, oleander, and locoweed.
However, trees that are not considered toxic to horses can still pose a health and safety risk for obsessive chewers since tree bark can easily make its way into horses’ digestive systems. Such trees should be confined to the turnout area and paddock and should ideally be fenced off as an added precaution.
Invest in fencing and security
Keep intruders out and prevent horses from wandering off with perimeter fencing. When done right, perimeter fencing keeps your property secure and makes it look more visually pleasing. Just make sure to plan for entryways for human passage in and around fenced areas. This is especially true for workers who pass through fended areas with wheelbarrows, tractors, and other bulky equipment.
Keep pasture and grazing management in mind
Your horses’ pasture and grading should be paramount when it comes to landscaping and fencing. It’s always advisable to plan out your pasture needs prior to any digging or planting.
When planning for pasture and grazing, it’s important to determine whether adjacent boarding horses get along and if a buffer between paddocks might be necessary. The latter entails post hole-digging and additional fencing material.
Location, climate, and property size are major factors that affect turnout arrangements. If part of the pasture will lie empty and unused during off-season, the remaining areas must be planned for rotation.
When planning for pasture and grazing arrangements, you can also discuss extra plantings like ornamental plants and shade trees. Climate and fire safety is an important consideration, particularly for locations at risk for wildfires. In this case, it’s safer to limit plantings near feed storage and stables. Installing a sand perimeter or a ring of succulents around wooden structures can help create a natural barrier to fire.
Make way for drainage and irrigation
Having a natural pond on your horse property ensures that you have a reliable water source for landscape irrigation and fire emergencies. However, you need to plan ahead since having a natural pond will affect the siting of stables and other structures. Most equestrian landscape experts will advise you to dredge any existing ponds, level the bottom, and line it with sand for multiple uses as a water source in addition to aquatic exercise and rehabilitation for horses.
Adequate drainage is important for equine properties. If it doesn’t have proper drainage and irrigation, it may not be the best location for your stables and arena.
If you’re not certain, work with a landscape architect who can have a feasibility study conducted before carrying out any construction work on the property.
Arena construction specialists should also coordinate with landscape architects to make sure that the site drains properly as well as decide on the appropriate type of rain footing.
Talk to a horse property expert today
To learn more about equestrian properties in North Texas, just contact Sarah Boyd & Company here. We have over 10 years of real estate experience. We help clients secure the finest equestrian properties, vacant land, and luxury homes in North Texas. Call the team at 214.649.4403 or email Sarah(at)SarahBoydAndCo(dotted)com to start the search.