Equine communities—planned residential developments designed for people who own horses—have created an option to being squeezed out of rural areas by commercial developments.
What do strip shops, condominiums and subdivisions have in commonplace? around the united states, they’re replacing farms and horse ranches, paving over agricultural land, and leaving equine fans much less space to freely very own and trip horses. in response to this “progress,” there’s a current interest in housing trends that replicate a lifestyle constructed round horses.
Equine groups-planned residential tendencies designed for those who very own horses-have created an choice to being squeezed out ofRural regions by business traits. however are the developers without a doubt giving horse proprietors an answer, or are they taking advantage of a situation they’ve created? will non-public horse farms be replaced by using equestrian groups to preserve acreage for equine use? can those groups thrive? and what’s to preserve the belongings from being similarly evolved in the future, once more pushing horse people out?
Metropolis making plans commissions or civil engineers will argue that there may be a long way less developed landThan agricultural land or forest, however people who personal horses experience the pinch. and that they’ve unknowingly grow to be a customer base for residential builders across the country.
Housing Horses and Humans
- Equestrian communities work best when they are small and owners share similar horsekeeping philosophies and riding disciplines.
- A common vet, farrier, barn crew and maintenance crew help keep these arrangements running smoothly.
- Some communities place restrictions on the homeowners, so review covenants carefully and decide whether you can live with them.
- Look for conservation easements, which will protect the land as horse property in the future.
Equestrian communities come in several forms, but two main types are found across the country. The first will be referred to as an “equestrian center subdivision” and the second as “horse farm communities.” Both developments are founded on the same purpose: to keep people and horses together on the same property with riding options and amenities.
Advice From Professionals
Sheela Clarkson of Asheville Real Estate Agency in North Carolina has been selling property to horse enthusiasts for over 25 years. Her agency specializes in equine developments, and she advises developers on horse-owner necessities, as well as marketing techniques.
“We have a few equestrian communities that are up and running, with more on the drawing board,” Clarkson says.
Like Clarkson, Pam Murray is an equine real estate specialist with RemaxGold in El Dorado Hills, California. She has been selling equestrian real estate for 20 years. An avid horseback rider, she’s active in several community horse clubs and volunteers for the California Conservation Trail Patrol.
Here’s what both Murray and Clarkson have to say about equestrian developments.
Love Thy Neighbor
The equestrian center subdivision is prominent on the East Coast. This development has individual homes built on small sites surrounding an equestrian center. All the homeowners share common barns, paddocks, riding arenas, and private trails.
Typically, the properties work best when there is a common vet, farrier and barn help to feed, turn horses out, and clean stalls, as well as maintain the entire property. The equestrian center subdivisions are generally governed by condominium-type rules and regulations, with restrictions on building codes, outer home décor, and property use.
The horse barn is a co-op, and the developer usually manages the property. As Clarkson explains, “This type of development usually works for professional people who travel or can’t otherwise care for their horses.”
On a positive note, the barn, trails and arenas are maintained and residents have “horsey” neighbors. But Clarkson notes that most equestrian center subdivisions don’t last.
“I think it’s a great idea, but it has problems,” she admits. Because horse people are particular, especially when it comes to their horses, residents usually encounter disagreements among themselves. The property manager may then pass horse-related responsibilities to the residents. But in Clarkson’s experience, the disagreements only seem to continue.
“It gets difficult with different riding disciplines, people feeding at different times of the day,” Clarkson says. “Some people are sloppy and some are clean.”
Because of disagreements among residents even when they care for their own horses as they please, the developer eventually wants out.
“Groups of people that can work together and keep it going are rare-it doesn’t seem to have a lasting effect,” Clarkson says. Many of these facilities end up being private boarding facilities. To better the odds of purchasing a home within a community that will remain intact, search for smaller developments where the residents share your riding discipline.
Down on the Farm
The horse farm community consists of individual horse farms usually ranging in size from one to 20 acres. Each farm has its own barn and paddocks that are maintained by the horse owner. The community usually has easements to private trails, and some of these developments are gated communities with many other amenities.
Murray described a horse farm community in Cool, California, named Auburn Lake Trails, which also has an equestrian center-a private facility with barns and arenas for residents or land owners.
“The community backs up to the Western States Trail System, where there’s an annual 100-mile equestrian race,” Murray says. “It has 35 miles of trails within the community.”
Obviously not just for horse owners, this community, like other equestrian communities in California, offers an inviting environment for anyone who wants to live in a gated community. While many horse farm communities are designated as multipurpose and offer amenities to non-horse owners, Murray cited that 70% of residents own horses.
In California, horse farm communities are often governed by Covenant Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). The CC&Rs are regulated by homeowners’ associations and aim to maintain the aesthetic and monetary property value.
The CC&Rs usually state that, “barns and outbuildings need to match the home, fencing must receive architectural approval, and they dictate the number and type of livestock permitted on the property,” says Murray. She adds, “CC&Rs state that the property is for common use-for hikers, bikers and interdisciplinary horseback riding.”
Murray doesn’t just sell equine real estate; she also lives in a horse farm community named Greenstone Country in Placerville, California.