So you’re all excited about buying that first horse property. You secured your financing, your dreams are in order and you have made an offer. The mortgage will be the largest financial commitment but have you considered and budgeted for all of those unexpected expenses that lie in wait for you once you sign on the dotted line?
Fencing. Do you have enough? Does any existing fencing need to be replaced or repaired? What types of fencing do you want on different parts of your property? How are you going to use the different parts of your property – pasture, round pens, garden area, parking? How many linear feet of fencing will you have to maintain or install?
The barn. Have you given it a thorough check for leaks and pooling, both roof, walls and floor? Moisture can ruin a supply of hay or other feed or tack items. Dampness can make the barn uncomfortable and contribute to mold growth leading to potential animal health issues.
Water lines and spigots. Do you have water where you need it? Will you have to run more lines or install spigots? Do you really want to run hoses hundreds of feet out into the pasture water tank only to remember in the middle of the night that you left a hose running somewhere?
Mud control. Will you be wanting or needing to have gravel, sand or have road felt spread in certain damp areas? How much will you need and when? Does any excavation need to be arranged for pipe or ditches?
Tack storage. Do saddle racks come with the property? You will want bridle hooks, a utility sink in the tack room or nearby and tack room organizers such as shelving, drawers, hooks and hangers.
Wash stall. Is one already plumbed? How often would you use one if you decided to install one? Is it worth the expense? Do you have proper flooring pads and efficient drainage? Is there a hot water tank for warm washes?
Insurance. Horse ownership requires special insurance to mitigate the risks associated with it. See my previous blog from August 24, 2012 on Cory Oelklaus and his insurance advice to horse property owners.
Lights. Does the property have adequate motion or infrared sensor lights on all parts of the land and buildings? Will you need to hire an electrician to install more lighting. In the barn and tack room these types of sensors can help save electricity costs by turning off lights when no one is in the area. At night, they are a safety provision.
Tools. Are the previous owners leaving their barn tools or will you be shopping for manure rakes, pitch forks, shovels, wheelbarrows and buckets?
Equipment. Does the property come with farm equipment or will you be perusing Craig’s List for a used tractor, manure spreader, tiller, mower or bush hog? These can be quite expensive but doing the jobs by hand that they perform takes time and muscle. Something to consider.
Pasture maintenance. Are you going to use pasture feed in lieu of purchased hay and other feed? You will need to feed your pastureland with lime, fertilizer and seed from time to time in order to maintain a satisfactory quality of horse sustenance.
First aid supplies. How much and what assortment do you want to keep on hand for emergencies in the barn. Do you want a cupboard in the stall area or in the tack room.
From board to home. Boarding is an attractive alternative to funding and maintaining your horse at home. Each has its pros and cons and you must consider the complete costs of each situation before committing to it. Do your research, carefully plan out your dreams and you will fully enjoy your first horse property. If you are ready to explore the possibility of purchasing Oregon horse property, we need to talk!